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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Su Casa Brings Fresh Produce to Latinos in Need

In Chicago's south side, one group is making a difference in the lives of struggling Latino families. Su Casa primarily serves Spanish-speaking homeless families of Chicago, many of whom are women and children escaping domestic violence. They host 3 meals a week for families in need, collect and distribute food through their food pantry, and host round-table discussions about social justice and issues that impact the community. Su Casa also runs an organic urban garden in partnership with Growing Home, an agricultural non-profit. The Su Casa Market Garden is located on Chicago’s South Side, behind the historic main Su Casa building. Community members and visitors to the farm can also volunteer at the Catholic Worker’s soup kitchen and food pantry, where much of the ...

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The Brownsville Farmers’ Market Launches a Culture of Health

Residents of the largely Latino city of Brownsville, Texas, struggle to find affordable, healthy food in their neighborhoods, and overweight/obesity rates were higher than 80%, said City Commissioner Dr. Rose Gowen. The situation spurred health officials, researchers, and community members to unite and create a farmers’ market that would serve up fresh produce to residents. EMERGENCE Awareness: Downtown Brownsville, Texas, is home to many low-income Latino families. Many of these families struggle with chronic diseases, like diabetes. In fact, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, more than a quarter of children in Brownsville are overweight or obese. Brownsville City Commissioner and physician Dr. Rose Gowen saw this decline in community health. Eating ...

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Swapping Sugary Drinks for Water Coolers For a Healthy Start

Research shows that children who consume too many sugary drinks risk developing diseases related to unhealthy weight. Latino children, because they tend to consume more sugary drinks than their peers, are at an even higher risk. Health leaders, school officials, and parents in one Latino community in California worked to create a policy to bump sugary drinks out of early-childcare centers and help kids fall in love with water at a young age. EMERGENCE Awareness: More than 44% of children overall in Madera County, Calif., are overweight or obese, and Latino children have even higher rates. Public health groups across California are recognizing these issues and working to reduce them. CA4Health, directed by the Public Health Institute (PHI) in California, is a statewide healthy-living ...

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Doctor Starts a Farmer’s Market in Her Houston Clinic

Dr. Ann Barnes talks to her patients daily about their health. When Barnes, an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Chief Medical Officer of Legacy Community Health, advises them to eat more fruits and vegetables, she hears common excuses. "'It’s too expensive, there’s nowhere near my house [to buy fresh produce].' That was weighing on me as a clinician," Barnes said. Barnes was worried some of her low-income patients would return to her office with illnesses or worse—pre-diabetes, heart problems, cancer—if they continued to not have access to fresh, healthy foods that would help them prevent disease. Then she had a revelation. Big Idea: Farmer's Market at the Clinic Houston, Texas, where nearly half the population is Latino, community ...

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Parents Help Swap Sugary Drinks for Healthier Options in Schools

The nutritional quality of lunches is improving in schools in Fairfax, Va., which has a large Latino student population. But the news wasn’t all good. Parents saw that, despite healthier lunch improvements, sugary drinks remained stocked in vending machines. Sugary drinks consumption contributes to increased rates of obesity and diabetes, studies show. So several parents banded together and, with the support of a member of the local school board and students alike, made a change to remove sugary drinks and replace them with healthier options in vending machines at seven schools. EMERGENCE Awareness: The Fairfax School District serves around 184,000 students. In the district’s 25 high schools, Latinos make up 19% of the student body. JoAnne Hammermaster has two kids in the ...

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Brownsville Leaders Turn Tragedy into Garden of Hope

An old, abandoned plot of land sat empty near the site of a triple homicide involving children in Brownsville, Texas (91% Latino). Could such a tragic location be transformed into beacon of hope—and health? The answer was yes, thanks to Dr. Belinda Reininger and others. The Start of Healthy Changes in Brownsville A weekly farmers’ market launched in 2008 in Brownsville, Texas. Dr. Belinda Reininger, assistant professor at the UT School of Public Health and head of the Brownsville Farmers’ Market, did the necessary paperwork to turn the market into a non-profit entity called The Brownsville Wellness Coalition. The new coalition had a mission to promote both physical activity and healthy food choices in light of rising obesity. The coalition son learned from local ...

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The Better Beverage Finder

Howard County Unsweetend, a group of concerned parents in Howard County, Maryland, have designed the Better Beverage Finder to helps kids and their parents search for healthy beverages and where to find them. You can filter your drink search by type of drink, type of sweetener, caffeine level, and more. Check out the Better Beverage ...

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The Learning Connection: What You Need to Know to Ensure Your Kids are Healthy and Ready to Learn

A report put out by Action for Healthy Kids demonstrates that physical activity supports academic achievement, that well-nourished kids learn better, and that healthier practices in schools can increase school revenue. Check out the full report! Check out the ...

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Mobile Market Busses Good Food Around DC

Michael Babin, a restauranteur in D.C., was concerned about fresh food reaching all corners of the district. He founded the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture, a nonprofit organization that strives to improve the health of the D.C. region by addressing issues of food access, raising awareness about healthy food sources and establishing connections between local, sustainable farmers and consumers. One of Arcadia's solutions to poor food access is their new mobile market. Arcadia’s Mobile Market is a 28-foot, farmers'-market-on-wheels that delivers crates full of local, sustainably produced food across the Washington, DC area, catering to underserved communities that don’t otherwise have access to fresh, affordable food. Arcadia’s Mobile Market promotes healthy ...

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