Texas Policymaker Enables School Food Pantries to Save Leftover Food for Kids


latino kids in a school food lunch line

Texas State Rep. Diego Bernal had a simple question for school leaders in San Antonio. What's your biggest concern for students? Wasted food, they told him. In fact, Bernal toured schools in San Antonio (63.2% Latino) and learned leaders were frustrated with how much food is trashed and not given to students who live in poverty and have no food at home. Even in more affluent school districts, students were going hungry while schools threw away, “untouched, unopened, ripe, perfectily edible food,” Bernal told the San Antonio Express-News. Bernal was heartbroken. He wanted to do something. But how could he bring leftover school food to the mouths of hungry students? Children Going Hungry Bernal saw two types of hungry students in San Antonio. Students who are ...

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Sweat Equity: How to Get Fit and Volunteer at the Same Time!


work out help out collage

Paul Rezaei loved being physically active as a kid, so much so that he became a personal trainer and has helped people get fit in San Antonio for 10 years. One day, as Rezaei watched people spend energy to jog on treadmills and move weights, he had a revelation: "Can't we do this [work out] while doing something positive for the community?" Rezaei wanted to host events where people could work out—and at the same time serve as volunteers to create gardens, help at-risk families, and improve the community. How could he make it happen? Physical Inactivity and the Need for Healthy Spaces Rezaei, a trainer at Life Time Fitness, sees many people in San Antonio (67% Latino) struggle to get the recommended daily physical activity. More than half of adults here are obese or ...

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Young Latina Innovator to Launch ‘MyFunFood’ App



Isabella Jimenez of San Antonio isn't a normal 13-year-old. When Isabella watched in shock as her classmates ate only potato chips or candy bars for lunch day after day, she didn't just shrug it off. She gave herself a call to action. "Why not create a kid-friendly app with recipes and health tips for [students and] the whole community?" Isabella asked. Isabella's First Step In many Latino communities, like San Antonio (68% Latino), students are more exposed to unhealthy food in and out of school, according to a Salud America! research review. Isabella saw this in her school, Lee High School in North East ISD in San Antonio. "It's mainly concerning, because [chips and candy bars are] what they're putting into their diet,” Isabella said. Isabella wanted to find a ...

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Health Equity, a Bike Full of Groceries at a Time



Ricardo Rocha believes anyone can be a hero and improve local healthy food access. Even someone like him. Someone who grew up in a poor family that toiled to put food on the table in Mexico. Someone who immigrated to the deserts of New Mexico, and eventually Denver (31% Latino). Someone who was a struggling, undocumented high-school student. “I was not doing very well in high school. Someone there told me about the College Assistance Migrant Program," Rocha said. "That helped get me into [Metropolitan State University of Denver],” Rocha said. “I learned a lot about what it really meant to belong somewhere." Rocha wanted to do more than "belong somewhere." He wanted to make that somewhere better. So, when he noticed many people trying and failing to find healthy food ...

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Get Water Bottle Fountains at Your School!


SaludWater water bottle filling praxina guerra school

Classic water fountains aren't always accessible or safe for kids. Water Bottle Fountains are filtered water dispensers for easily filling and refilling water bottles. This gives kids much-needed access to safe drinking water throughout the school day. They help keep kids hydrated while saving families money from buying bottled water. They also help the environment by reducing waste. Salud America! wants to help you get Water Bottle Fountains at your school with our custom-for-you Water Bottle Fountain Action Pack with Coaching! Request an Action Pack to get (at no charge to you): Customized, click-to-send emails, graphics and resources One-on-one support from an Action Pack Coach Ads on Facebook Promotion of your efforts to 100,000+ change-makers 25 Salud ...

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What’s Your Big Idea for Healthy Change?


what's your big idea icon

What is the one thing you want most for kids in your schools? Salud America! can customize an "Action Pack” just for you to help you build a case and get supporters for your big idea for a healthy change, whether it’s water bottle fountains, brain breaks, shared use, bullying policies, etc. Action Packs can include: Custom emails to school/district leaders Custom webpage to build supporters Custom data and graphics for social media Custom fact sheets, FAQs and PPTs See samples Request your customized Action Pack now! Michaeli Smith, the wellness coordinator at Comal ISD in Texas, had a big idea for more water bottle fountains in schools. Water bottle fountains, compared to traditional water fountains, help improve students' access to water in schools be ...

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Uncover the True Health of Your Town!



Is it hard to find healthy food in your town? Or places to play? Or health care? What does local health look like, compared to other areas? The new Salud America! Salud Report Card has these answers and much more. You can select your county and automatically generate customized data on local obesity, food access, physical activity, and health equity issues compared to the state and nation, and comparing Latinos to non-Latinos. The Salud Report Card also offers policy solutions, case studies, and share-ability to inspire people and policymakers to start and support healthy changes in their communities. Enter your location for your own free Salud Report Card! "Moms, dads, teachers, local leaders and more can use the Salud Report Card to find out what health issues are ...

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Latino Students: 10 Big Ideas on How Schools Can Improve Our Mental Health


brownsville students

A group of students from Brownsville Early College High School in Brownsville, Texas, worried how Latinos are less likely to report and seek care for mental health issues. The students wanted to help. So, as part of a national competition, the Brownsville students researched mental illness, observed its impact on their campus, surveyed their peers, and crafted their own 10 ideas how schools can meet students’ mental health needs. Now their effort has won them the Big Problems Big Ideas Challenge sponsored by the Taylor Wilson Thompson Family Foundation to address childhood issues. The award gives them $3,000 to continue their efforts in mental health. “As a predominately Hispanic population in times of struggle, we feel like we are one step closer to making an impact ...

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Study: Unhealthy Eating Is Top Risk for Early Death in U.S.


Latino toddler kid with sugury drink obesity

An unhealthy diet is the leading risk factor for death, causing more than 500,000 U.S. deaths in 2016, according to a new study. For the study, University of Washington researchers analyzed data on 333 diseases in every state from 1990-2016. They implicated diet in 529,999 deaths from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases in 2016. After diet, tobacco, high blood pressure, and obesity were the next biggest early death risks. These findings have big implications for Latinos, who tend to struggle with local access to healthy food, according to a Salud America! research review. “To an increasing degree, overweight, obesity, and sugary diets are driving up health care costs and are costing Americans years of healthy life,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 5/1: Racism and its Alarming Impact on Mental Health


Immigration Rally in Washington latino dad and daughter march

Racism can crush a person’s mental health. In fact, racism negatively affects mental health because it causes depression, anxiety, and heightened psychological stress in those who experience it, research shows. How can we help Latinos and other communities of color who experience racism every day? To celebrate Mental Health Month in May, let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, to tweet strategies to reduce racism, help those who experience racism, and boost mental health in communities of color! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Racism and its Alarming Impact on Mental Health TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, May 1, 2018 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: Dr. Silvia L. Mazzula, executive director, Latina ...

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How You Can Get Involved to Create Healthy Communities



You don’t need to hold political office to make a healthy change in your community. Parents and residents play a big role in helping leaders make change by getting involved in neighborhood associations and local committees, boards, and commissions. These groups rely on your input to shape plans and policies that impact health in your area. Contributing to healthy local change is important because where you live─down to your ZIP code─can predict your and your family’s education, income, and physical and mental health. So how can you get involved? Ways to Get Involved First, check out our Salud Report Card to see what healthy change is needed in your town! Get Your Salud Report Card! Now that you know, here are some ways you can help shape local policies, ...

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Ramirez to Receive ‘Icons in Healthcare Award’


amelie ramirez in 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, who has received the "Icons in Healthcare Award" from CentroMed, a San Antonio health and human service agency! The award recognizes individuals and groups for their important contributions to community healthcare. Dr. Ramirez has more than 30 years of experience developing robust health research and communication models to reduce cancer and improve health among Latinos locally and nationally. The award will be presented at a gala on Nov. 1, 2018. "I'm very thankful for this award and its recognition of our ongoing progress to boost Latino health in San Antonio," Ramirez said. Dr. Ramirez's studies and programs have contributed to increased cancer screening, better cancer risk ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 4/24: Our Kids & the Need for Social and Emotional Learning


teacher and students reading taclking discussing raising hands

Social and emotional learning is BIG for early childhood development. Social and emotional learning is how Latino and all kids acquire the knowledge and skills to manage emotions, set positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, and build strong relationships. With strong social and emotional skills, kids overcome challenges and avoid unhealthy behavior. They also do better in and after school, and are more likely to become healthy, functioning adults. How can we find ways to optimize the teaching of social and emotional learning to kids? Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, to tweet about new ways to promote social and emotional learning in and out of school for Latino and all kids! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Our Kids and the Need for Social and ...

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Apply for Up to $2.5 Million to Study How to Make Health a Shared Value


women and kids walking in urban city

Evidence for Action, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is seeking research proposals for up to $2.5 million to study innovative ways to "make health a shared value." This "shared value" involves individual, family, and community factors to renew a societal commitment to health and health equity. The new funding aims to understand what drives and enhances these values. Proposals, being sought for differing budgets of up to $2.5 million for up to 48 months of work, could use data from placed-based initiatives to see the effect on mindsets, sense of community, or civic engagement, and the impact on population health. "We seek evidence on the extent to which...mindsets and expectations, sense of community, and civic engagement can be changed through ...

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