Latina Nutrition Leader Starts a School Food Pantry to Feed Hungry Kids in San Antonio


jenny arredondo

Jenny Arredondo knows some San Antonio students leave school and don't eat again until they return to school the next day. Many students live in poverty. Some don't know where their next meal is coming from. Arredondo wanted to help. Arredondo, senior executive director of child nutrition at San Antonio ISD, found a solution in Texas State Rep. Diego Bernal's new state law. Schools now can start "school food pantries" to accept and store donated food and surplus food from the cafeteria, and distribute that leftover food to hungry students. How could she start school food pantries at San Antonio ISD? Food Insecurity at San Antonio ISD U.S. Latino children and families often struggle with poverty and live in poverty stricken neighborhoods with abundant fast food but little ...

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Study: Green Spaces Boost Brain Development in Latino Kids


kids running park green space play

Exposure to green spaces can boost brain development in school children, according to a new Spanish study with big implications for U.S. Latino children who lack access to parks where they live. The new study, which links long-term exposure to green spaces to enhanced cognitive function in Spanish children, was led by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Researchers used MRIs and computerized tests to note children's working memory and inattentiveness every three months. They discovered children who grew up in homes surrounded by green space showed greater activity in the regions of their brain linked with learning. They also showed better ability to engage with others. Children near green space also showed lower levels of ...

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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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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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#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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