About the Author

Author Picture

Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

San Jose Farmers’ Market

Many residents in San Jose’s low-income communities don’t have access to fresh produce or can’t afford it, which is one reason they experience higher rates of nutrition-related diseases than residents of more affluent areas. Some city policies make it difficult to bring new community gardens, farmers’ markets and mobile produce vendors into low-income communities. The Campaign for Healthy Food San Jose was a year-long coalition started in September 2011. They had many big dreams for the city, like getting healthier foods into the neighborhoods that don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. In the end, the City of San Jose adopted a new Specific Use Regulation for the permit process of Certified Farmers’ Markets (CFMs) located on private property. The Regulation states ...

Read More

Senate, House Bills Aim to Improve Access to Local Foods

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, have reintroduced Senate and House versions of the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act, legislation that aims to increase access to healthier foods for consumers in underserved communities by expanding economic opportunities for local and regional farmers. The bill would provide funding to help farmers process and sell their food locally, which incentivizes schools and low-income residents to purchase it. ...

Read More

Making Food Banks Healthier in Northwest North Carolina

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina has been mindful about supplying nutritious food to the hungry in the  past, but the staff wanted to do more. Supplying healthy food can be tricky for a food bank, which relies on donations. Sometimes it does receive cash instead of food. When buying food, the food bank always chooses items that fall within the USDA’s nutritional guidelines. But what about when the food bank has to rely on someone else’s generosity? Saying no isn’t easy. But Second Harvest has taken a big step in the right direction by hiring a full-time nutritionist; they are the only food bank in the state that has one.  She handles such tasks as reviewing purchase plans to make sure the food bank is buying the healthiest foods it can. She also teaches ...

Read More

Local Restaurants get Healthier in Shasta County

Healthy Kids Choice is a Healthy Shasta initiative to partner with restaurants in Shasta County to offer and promote healthy options for children. The goals of the Healthy Kids Choice program are to have healthy options available on kids' menus, to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables, to decrease children's fat and sugar intake, to spotlight and promote healthier options for kids, and to assist restaurants in making the healthy choice appealing, available and affordable. Live in Shasta County? Are any of these restaurants in your area? Have you asked restaurants in your area what they are doing to help the community ...

Read More

Indianapolis Food Policy Council

The Indianapolis community knows first hand how obesity and hunger are linked. 40 percent of children in the city are overweight or obese, but at the same time 1 in 5 people in Indianapolis don't know where their next meal will come from. A group of city nonprofits want to change that by forming the Indy Food Council. Similar to councils in other cities, the Indy Food Council will act as a governing body for the city’s food system, addressing persistent problems, such as food deserts in the urban areas, plus capitalizing on opportunities for economic development. The council hopes to bring together folks who are already trying to bring better food into neighborhoods, like food banks, urban garden advocates, health officials and academics. The Indy Food Council, with its board of 18 to ...

Read More

City Vending Machines Could get Healthier

The City of San Antonio is in the process of developing a new snack vending contract and have incorporated the Healthy Vending Guidelines into the contract. In 2002, the Health Collaborative developed and launched the “Fit City Healthy Vending Guidelines” which guided San Antonio’s healthy vending efforts for nearly a decade. In 2011 the Health Collaborative and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District came together to update and strengthen the guidelines in response to increasing obesity and diabetes rates throughout the community. They engaged a coalition of community and public health experts, dietitians, and food distributors to design the new “San Antonio Healthy Vending Guidelines”. The new guidelines include a set of specific nutrition criteria; as well as ...

Read More

Green Carts Coming to New York City

Green Carts are mobile food carts that offer fresh produce in certain New York City areas. Local Law 9, signed by Mayor Bloomberg on March 13, 2008, establishes 1,000 permits for Green Carts. The purpose of Green Carts are to bring fresh, healthy produce to areas around the city that don't have access to healthy food, with customers being able to pay with SNAP benefits. Read more about NYC's Green Carts and efforts to bring them to areas in other big cities that have limited fresh food ...

Read More

Spreading Urban Farming Across New York City

Five Borough Farm offers a roadmap to farmers and gardeners, City officials and stakeholders to understand and weigh the benefits of urban agriculture, and makes a compelling case for increasing resources—from soil and compost to growing space to funding—to grow urban agriculture throughout the five boroughs of New York City. For the project, the Design Trust assembled a multidisciplinary team of Project Fellows to lead the research, including experts in food policy, sustainable design, and public health evaluation, as well as a graphic designer and a photographer. The team conducted extensive research and outreach to gather and synthesize information about urban agriculture in New York City. Check out the roadmap! Check out this map of New York City area community gardens or add ...

Read More

Updates to Santa Rosa General Plan and Zoning Code Mean More Grocery Stores

On June 19, 2012, the City Council approved the General Plan and Zoning Code text amendment to change the City of Santa Rosa’s grocery store policies and regulations. The amendment increases access to fresh food by allowing more small grocery stores throughout the City’s commercial districts. For neighborhood corner stores, the amendment helps to improve the exterior of the store, helps them become become a Women, Infants & Children (WIC) nutrition program vendor, apply for accreditation to accept CalFresh (formerly food stamps) from customers, have healthy materials at the checkout, and a new produce display. The hope is that this measure will begin to address food deserts in the Santa Rosa area, where many Hispanic families reside. The City Council hopes to continue to ...

Read More