4 Latino Leaders Eliminating Food Insecurity in Texas



U.S. Latinos face high levels of poverty, food swamps, and food insecurity—living without reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. In Texas, the food insecurity rate is 14.3%. That’s why Texas State Representative Diego Bernal championed legislation that would allow schools to set up school food pantries. Because of this law, schools are helping those who are hungry and food insecure as well as reducing food waste. The law has also inspired others to create change and do good for the community, like Jenny Arredondo, Samantha Almaraz, and Pablo Ramirez. Diego Bernal & School Food Pantries Bernal was heartbroken after touring Texas schools and seeing students go hungry, even as "perfectly edible food" was being thrown away in cafeterias. He wanted to ...

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Kids Start School Food Pantry on Texas-Mexico Border



High-schoolers Samantha Almaraz and Pablo Ramirez see many classmates who struggle with hunger and poverty in the 85% Latino border town of McAllen, Texas. They wanted to help. So Samantha and Pablo, 10th-graders at Lamar Academy, started a school food pantry by working with their parents, school leaders, and using the Salud America! “School Food Pantry Action Pack” as a guide for their efforts. With their pantry, called the Energy Bar, they store leftover food from the cafeteria and distribute it to hungry students. "We're surrounded by people who are hungry and that don't get food,” said Samantha, who with Pablo is in the International Baccalaureate program at Lamar in McAllen ISD. "They tell us, ‘I don't have food waiting for me at home.’” The Energy Bar ...

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Comment to Protect SNAP for 1 Million School Children


kids in cafeteria eating food protect SNAP from cuts

Days after Salud America! members helped flood USDA with comments to protect the SNAP food assistance program, the comment period has reopened after a controversial new report. Comments now can be submitted until Nov. 1, 2019. The reopened comment period comes after a surprise release of USDA data that advocates say underscores the deep harm of its proposed rule to limit access to the SNAP. The change would eliminate food assistance for 3.1 million people and jeopardize free school meals for nearly 1 million kids, according to the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). “Even for those who remain eligible, forcing low-income families to navigate the burdensome paperwork will inevitably lead to eligible children losing access to a critical source of daily nutrition,” said ...

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SNAP: Speak Up Against the Never-Ending Attack!


snap hunger hungry food insecurity

SNAP is in danger of getting cut, again! In its third proposed cut in 10 months, the Trump Administration wants to change how USDA calculates heating and cooling costs when it comes to SNAP benfits. This would cut program benefits by $4.5 billion over five years, and trim monthly benefits by as much as $75 for 1 in 5 families on SNAP. Almost 8,000 households would lose SNAP benefits entirely, according to The New York Times. “If the three proposals become final and are implemented, millions of SNAP participants will have their benefits reduced or cut altogether — particularly seniors, people with disabilities and working families — and 500,000 children will lose access to school meals,” Kate Leone, of advocacy group Feeding America, told The Times. The USDA is asking ...

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10 Actions to Integrate Social Care into Health Care


Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care: Moving Upstream to Improve the Nation’s Health

Your health depends on the social conditions where you live—like stable housing, safe transportation, and health food. But the health care system often overlooks these social conditions in favor of medical interventions. To improve the nation's health, health care leaders should integrate social care into health care delivery. “Integrating social care into health care delivery holds the potential to achieve better health outcomes for the nation and address major challenges facing the U.S. health care system,” according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). Policymakers, health system leaders, and other stakeholders can achieve this integration through 10 key actions. 5 Goals to Integrate Social Needs into Health ...

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Apply Now: $25,000 RWJF Culture of Health Prize


RWJF Culture of Health Prize 2020

A culture of health is where everyone has a fair, just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Is your community creating a Culture of Health? If so, apply for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize! The contest provides $25,000 to communities that unite neighborhood, school, and business partners to improve health for all residents. Read about 2018 Winners In 2018, two majority-Latino communities earned two of the four prize winners. RWJF chose San Antonio, Texas (63.6% Latino) and Cicero, Ill. (88.8% Latino) from about 200 applicants. Eatonville, Fla., and Klamath County, Ore., also won. Salud America!, our national network to promote Latino health equity and healthy change led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, is excited to be stationed at UT Health ...

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Tell USDA: Protect SNAP for Kids and Families


SNAP hungry

The attack on SNAP food aid is far from over. After staving off cuts to SNAP in 2018 and 2019, the Trump administration now wants to change the way states determine who qualifies for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The change could take away food from 3 million people, according to health experts. "This rule would take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance," Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and the Senate Agriculture Committee told NPR. USDA is asking for public comments on SNAP until Sept. 23, 2019. How to Make a Comment to Save SNAP! 1. Copy one of our Salud America! model comments. Tweak the parts in green: SNAP HAS WORTH I am a NAMEOFPROFESSION in NAMEOFPLACE. ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 8/13: How Companies Target Junk Food Marketing to Latinos



Targeting unhealthy foods and drinks to Latinos contributes to health inequities. Yet, the food and beverage industry use marketing tactics founded on the 4 Ps of marketing—product, place, price, and promotion—to target Latino kids with foods and drinks high in sugars, salt, and fats, according to a recent Berkeley Media Studies Group report. Food and beverage companies leverage geolocation technology, strategically set low prices, and exploit culture to market their least healthy products to Latinos, the report states. Let's use #SaludTues on Aug. 13, 2019, to tweet about how companies use marketing tactics to target Latinos with ads for unhealthy foods and drinks. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “How Companies Target Junk Food Marketing to Latinos” TIME/DATE: 1-2 ...

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Why Your Town Needs a Farmers Market


farmers market sales

Does your town have a farmers market? If not, you might miss out on healthy fresh produce and social connections. Farmers may fail to engage in the local economy. To celebrate the Farmers Market Coalition's National Farmers Market Week on Aug. 4-10, 2019, we at Salud America! are showcasing the benefits of farmers markets as a way to increase access to fruits and vegetables among Latino and all people! Farmers Markets Can Help Latinos Latinos frequently live in food swamps. In these swamps, Latinos have no easy access to supermarkets and farmers’ markets, while abundant access to fast food and corner stores. This results in overconsumption of unhealthy foods, according to a Salud America! research review. The number of U.S. farmers’ markets has more than doubled in the ...

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