Inside the Revamp of the Thrifty Food Plan and the Massive Expansion of SNAP


Thrifty Food Plan Expansion SNAP

Lack of nutritious food can result in countless physical, social, and mental health complications. For many Latino families, governmental assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), put food on the table and uplift out of poverty. But health experts say federal food aid needs expansion to help families in need. Fortunately, the Biden administration recently announced the modernization of the Thrifty Food Plan—used to calculate SNAP benefits—and a 25% rise the average SNAP benefit, the largest single increase in the program’s history. “The background formula was based on food preparation costs and nutrition standards that were developed in 1975,” Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry told the Indy ...

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UPDATE: Health Equity Report Card Covers Social Vulnerability, COVID-19


Health Equity Report Card Covers Social Vulnerability, COVID-19

We have updated our Health Equity Report Card to include place-based information on your county’s Social Vulnerability Index Score and COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. The Salud America! Health Equity Report Card, first launched in 2017, auto-generates Latino-focused and local data with interactive maps and comparative gauges, which can help you visualize and explore inequities in housing, transit, poverty, health care, food, and education. You will see how your county stacks up in these health equity issues — now including social vulnerability and COVID-19 — compared to your state and the nation. Then you can share the Report Card with your local leaders to advocate for healthy change! Get your Health Equity Report Card! Why We Need to Consider ...

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Congresswomen of Color Introduce WIC for Kids Act


Congresswomen Color WIC Kids Act

Many Latino families don’t have access to healthy, nutritious foods. To put food on the table, they rely on government food aid programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). SNAP and WIC can improve diets and help raise people out of poverty. But many people of color don’t participate, even if eligible. Now two congresswomen of color — Reps. Jahana Hayes and Jenniffer González-Colón — introduced the WIC for Kids Act to eliminate barriers to enrollment for millions of pregnant women, mothers, and children, improve child and maternal health, and increase food access. “I introduced the WIC for Kids Act of 2021 to make it less burdensome on families to enroll ...

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Farmer’s Markets Are Essential for Healthy Food Access amid COVID-19


Farmers markets are essential food improving healthy food access via farmers market coalition

Does your town have a farmers market? Farmers markets are a path to healthy food access. They are especially important now as the pandemic worsens food insecurity. Fortunately, the Farmers Market Coalition is stepping up to support farmers markets. They’re pushing for federal aid for markets, creating resources and anti-racist toolkits, and sharing how markets increase access to healthy, fresh produce and social connections, and engage farmers in the local economy. "Amidst a global pandemic and nationwide change, it is now more important than ever for [farmers] markets to bring people together," according to the coalition. "As hubs for connection and community resilience, farmers markets have particularly risen to the occasion this year by providing a necessary sense of unity ...

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9 of 10 SNAP Participants Face Healthy Eating Barriers


SNAP Healthy Eating Barriers

Millions of Americans rely on social programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to put food on their tables. These individuals, many of whom are Latino or other people of color, still face barriers in accessing nutritious food. In fact, a recent USDA study showed that nine in 10 SNAP recipients have difficulty purchasing healthy, nutritious food. Facts like these are fueling calls from experts and advocates for “nutrition security,” a new outlook on the kinds of food that are accessible for all families, according to Cassie Ramos, a policy associate at Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Lack of access to nutritious diets is a major challenge for people with low incomes in the United States,” Ramos writes in an Op-Ed in The Hill. ...

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Advocates Urge Taking ‘Food Security’ Toward ‘Nutrition Security’


Advocates Urge Nutrition Security

Millions of Latinos and other Americans of color suffer from a lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. For years, experts and advocates have described this problem as “food insecurity.” However, as this conversation takes the forefront after a year of food-insecurity problems highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic, nutrition experts are now saying it is time to address food security in a new light: Through “nutrition security.” “You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘food security’ to describe consistent access to food,” Cara Rosenbloom, a registered dietitian and the president of Words to Eat By, wrote in a recent Washington Post perspective. “But many health professionals and policymakers think it’s an inadequate ...

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Study: Fast-Food Ads Disproportionately Target Black, Latino Youth


Fast-Food Ads Target Youth

Across the nation, people of color have less access to healthy, nutritious foods. To super-size that unhealthy environment, the fast-food industry spent $5 billion on advertising in 2019, especially targeting Latino and Black youth, according to a new study from University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. “Fast-food consumption by children and teens has increased over the past decade, and fast-food advertising definitely plays a role in that rise,” said Dr. Jennifer Harris, senior research advisor for marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center and a co-author of the study. “Our findings show that these advertisements disproportionately target Black and Latino youth, groups who already face greater risk for obesity and other diet-related ...

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Rhode Island Hopes to Join States with Sugary Drink Tax


Rhode Island Sugary Drink Tax

Sugary drinks can contribute to obesity and disease, especially for children of color. A rising number of U.S. states and cities are hoping to curb consumption of soda, juice, and other beverages through a number of regulations, including implementing a sugary drink tax. Sugary drink taxes are shown to reduce the number of sugary drink purchases. They also raise money for local health programs. In Rhode Island, legislators hope to pass a sugary drink tax to help provide food to the hungry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to State Sen. Valerie Lawson. “The pandemic has shined a glaring light on food insecurity in our state,” Lawson said, according to UPRISE RI. “Recently, Rhode Island Kids Count released their annual Fact Book showing that the pandemic had a ...

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Washington D.C. Might Pass Major Sugary Drink Tax


Sugary Drink Tax Washington Pass

Sugary drinks contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues. This is why many U.S. cities are trying to reduce the consumption of sodas, juices, sports drinks, and other high-sugar beverages by raising their price through sugary drink taxes. They then use the tax revenue to pay for local health programs. Washington, D.C. (11.3% Latino), which already has a type of sugary drink tax, could transition to an even stronger sugary drink tax with its Nutrition Equity Act. “Our lowest-income neighborhoods have the most limited access to healthy drinks and full-service grocery options,” said Dr. Federico Asch, a cardiologist and president of the American Heart Association Greater Washington Region Board of Directors. “We have a huge problem where, for example, many kids ...

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