Loans for Texas Grocery Stores in Low Income Areas



Families living in food deserts, areas with limited access to grocery stores, have a harder time eating healthy because of limited fresh foods options. H.B. 725, introduced by Texas State Representative Ryan Guillen (D- Rio Grande City) in January 2013, would work to end food deserts by establishing a revolving loan fund to support investment in low-income areas in need of grocery stores. To qualify for the loan, these new groceries would be required to accept SNAP and WIC benefits, ensuring that all Texans, regardless of their zip code, would have access to healthy, quality ...

Read More

Plano City Council Votes “Yes” to Farmers’ Markets



Because of restrictive food safety ordinances, farmers markets could not do business in Plano, Texas. On Tuesday December 18th, 2012, Plano city council voted unanimously to make several major changes to the food ordinance. Among the most important was changing the definition of a farmers market in order to allow not only produce but also items such as cheese, milk and meat. The market will be located at Fairview Farms, 3314 N. Central Expressway and is tentatively scheduled to be open Saturdays from April to October. Plano, a northern suburb of Dallas, has a significant Hispanic population that will benefit from the location of Plano's first real farmers ...

Read More

Double Dollar Program at Austin’s East Side Farmers Market



In March of 2012, Austin’s Sustainable Food Center opened the Farmers' Market East, offering the first Double Dollar Incentive Program that matches food assistance in the state of Texas. Funded by local and federal government as well as private groups, the Double Dollar Incentive Program doubles the amount of money a person can spend when they use their federal assistance money, like WIC or SNAP, on fresh food at the farmers’ market. Austin’s East side has been referred to as a food desert, where fresh food and produce is not easy to find. The new farmers’ market, along with the incentive program, are creative ways to ensure that communities have access to healthy ...

Read More

Food in Schools: International School Meals Day



Since December 2010, the UK and USA have been sharing examples of policy and practices in promoting healthy eating in schools. With similar challenges and successes on both sides of the Atlantic, both wanted to find a way to raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition among children and foster healthy eating habits both at home and at school – and so, International School Meals Day emerged. Overall, the theme of International School Meals Day is to: Raise awareness of the importance of the nutritional quality of school meal programs worldwide. Emphasize the connection between healthy eating, education and better learning. Connect children around the world to foster healthy eating habits and promote well-being in schools. Share success stories of school food programs ...

Read More

New Mexico Wants to Put Healthier Food in Schools



New Mexico's legislators introduced a bill in 2013 that would set standards for the nutritional value of foods served in New Mexico schools, as well as encourage schools to feature New Mexico-grown fresh fruits and vegetables in all school lunch programs. The bill would also require that food served in school lunch programs be purchased from New Mexico vendors when ...

Read More

Food in Schools: All You Need to Know About School Food Policies in Texas



Feeding kids in Texas schools is no easy task, but policies at the local, state and national level make it easier for schools to give kids the nutrition they need so they can focus on doing their best in the classroom. The National School Lunch Program outlines national standards school meals must meet, but Texas has done its part to go above and beyond the requirement, ensuring that growing Texas minds get all the nutrition they ...

Read More

Detroit Community Rallies Together for Healthier Food Access



A town hall meeting is a great way to make your voice heard in local government. Typically open to everybody in the community, attendees get the chance to voice their opinions and ask questions of the public figures, elected officials, and each other. If there’s an issue in your community that needs to be addressed, a town hall meeting is a great place to start. But let’s be honest, getting a bunch of concerned neighbors together in one room can be a challenge. Demanding jobs and busy kids leave little time to meet in a room with folks to discuss food access issues. Knowing all this, a group in Detroit got creative. Fair Food Network’s Strengthening Detroit Voices, a nonprofit dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system, hosted a Telephone Town Hall on December ...

Read More

Ending Food Deserts in Dane County



When it comes to getting healthier food into your neighborhood, you have to get the word out first. On March 6, the League of Women Voters of Dane County hosted a forum on food desert issues in Dane County.The forum discussed limitations of Madison’s food system and what local government and businesses are doing to address related problems. “Poverty is not unique in Wisconsin,” said Carrie Edgar, department head and community food systems educator for Dane County UW-Extension. Dane County’s Food Share participants more than tripled from 2000 to 2010. Among those suffering from poverty, children outnumber the elderly two to one. Edgar encouraged the community to address the food insecurity by promoting and establishing food access points, such as farmer markets, that are ...

Read More

Farmers Markets and Doctors Team up to get DC Residents Eating Healthier



Health advocates and medical professionals are getting together and thinking outside the box about ways to reduce childhood obesity. Nonprofits, like Wholesome Wave and DC Greens, which runs several food access and urban agriculture projects in our nation’s capital, are connecting physicians who are already dedicated to preventative wellness and nutrition, like those at Unity Health Clinic (Unity) in Washington, D.C., to fresh produce. Physicians, like Dr. Jessica Wallace at Unity, are writing prescriptions for locally grown fruits and vegetables that their low-income patients can then take to five D.C. farmers’ markets, Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, Mount Pleasant, 14th and U St., Bloomingdale, and Glover Park-Burleith. “We know nationwide that poor minority communities ...

Read More