Dozens of Water Stations Planned for East Coachella Valley



In the eastern Coachella Valley, a place many Latino families call home, clean, safe drinking water can be hard to find. The California Endowment, a statewide health foundation that runs community initiatives throughout California, is hoping to bring better access to water in the region. In step with the Drink Up initiative championed by the Partnership for a Healthier America and First Lady Michelle Obama and in collaboration with Pueblo Unido CDC and the Rural Community Assistance Corp, the California Endowment announced plans to install dozens of water stations for filling reusable water bottles in the valley.  The project, called Agua4All, will start with 60 tap systems in 10 schools and other community centers in the unincorporated communities of Thermal, Oasis and ...

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School lunches are healthier now – but do kids like them? Study says Yes.



We all know that healthier school meals improve kids' diets. But did you know kids' like them? The first national surveys of school leaders show that the majority of students like the new healthier lunches schools are offering after USDA’s improved nutrition standards went into effect in fall 2012. This study is done by Bridging the Gap,  a nationally recognized research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation dedicated to improving the understanding of how policies and environmental factors affect diet, physical activity and obesity among youth, as well as youth tobacco use. In elementary school the study finds that there hasn't been a significant impact on participation in the school lunch program. Sixty‐five percent of public elementary schools reported no overall ...

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1Apple Grocery Opens to Serve Community, Including WIC Participants



The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides low-income moms with young children and moms-to-be with nutrition education, health care referrals, and vouchers for food. Latinos make-up 41 percent of WIC participants nationwide. The guidelines for buying food with WIC benefits can be tricky, and that's one of the reasons Andrea Little says she and her classmate at the University of Southern Florida and business partner Hector Angus wanted to open 1Apple Grocery in Plant City, Florida. In Plant City, almost 20% of the population is Latino. Besides helping to bring healthy food access to the community, Little and Angus say they wanted to make it easier for WIC participants to purchase nutritious food that followed federal ...

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Funding Expected for Farmers’ Market SNAP Program in Franklin County



14% of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits recipients are Latino families. Many of these families in the Columbus, Ohio area will soon be able to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables at their local farmers' market, thanks to new funds from the County. The Franklin County commissioners are expected to approve spending $10,000 to help low-income county residents buy goods at local farmers markets. Modeled after a program that began last year at the Downtown Pearl Market, the program will allow people who receive SNAP benefits, to use them at six area farmers markets, including Pearl Market. The program, called Veggie SNAPs, also will provide a matching amount of up to $10 for buying fresh local food with food-stamp benefits. Benefits are loaded onto an ...

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Report: 2014 New Jersey State Report-Providing Access to Healthy Solutions (PATHS)



Policy solutions aimed at the prevention and management of type II diabetes are often similar to those involved with obesity prevention. This report prepared by the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School provides useful information related policy for both obesity and diabetes prevention. Access the report ...

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Atlanta Passes Urban Agriculture Zoning Ordinance



When families don't live by a full-service grocery store, it can be hard to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, leaving many kids hungry and without proper nutrition. But what if you could grow fresh fruits and vegetables right in your back yard and sell them to a neighbor in need? In Atlanta, some zoning code changes are allowing folks to do just that.  Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed signed legislation in June 2014 that establishes the city’s first urban gardens and market gardens ordinance to address food deserts. The ordinance, which was approved by the Atlanta City Council on June 2, will help to eliminate food deserts and expand access to healthy and affordable produce by allowing urban gardens and market gardens to operate in residential zoning districts. Prior to the ordinance, ...

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UPDATE: The Portland Mercado Seeks Healthy and Hispanic Flavor-Oriented Food Venders



The Latino community in Portland, OR, along with the Hacienda Community Development Corporation (HCDC) have exciting plans for a new fruit and veggie venue with cultural roots. The Portland Mercado will combine elements of indoor public markets and farmers’ markets with the bustle and feel of many Latin American open-air markets. The Mercado entrepreneurs will offer a mix of goods and services, including culturally specific prepared and fresh foods and artisan and handcrafted items. The HCDC's reputation as a trusted advocate for the low-income Latino community will help promote the Mercado as a safe, legal, and reliable place to find goods and services. Update: The Portland Mercado is seeking healthy and specialty product vendors for the new market. The group is working ...

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13-Year-old Creates Interactive App for Youth Fitness and Health in San Antonio



Estrella Hernandez grew up in San Antonio, a predominantly Hispanic (63.2%) city with a 28.5% rate of obesity in its population of over 1.3 million people. When she was in middle school she began to take a look around her city and found that there was a big problem with obesity and overweight, especially with kids her age. She knew that there had to be a way to get her classmates and peers to become healthier, while still having fun. Estrella came up with the idea of an interactive mobile app she titled WeWalk, which combined active living, healthy eating, and gaming. As she worked with members of the San Antonio community she began to discover that together as a city they could change the obesity epidemic while having fun through exercise. EMERGENCE Awareness: Sitting in health ...

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Affordable Farm Stands Sprouting Up in Denver Food Deserts



The Denver Botanic Gardens run a community supported agriculture (CSA) program at their farm in Chatfield. In addition to growing food for their members, in June 2014 they began taking the food off the farm and into the hands of folks who live in Denver area food deserts, low-income areas without a full-service grocery store near by. The farm stand debuted on the first Friday in June near Denver Human Services, in the Sun Valley neighborhood, and will continue to operate there on the first two Fridays of every month through October. The second location is downtown on the 16th Street Mall, where it will operate for the second two Fridays of the month.  To make their farm-grown fruits and veggies accessible to everyone, all the stands ...

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