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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 ...

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PE and Health Ed. As Core Subjects For Elementary and Middle School Students



The Promoting Health as Youth Skills In Classrooms And Life Act (S.392) is a federal bill that would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and make health education and physical education core academic subjects in the classroom. It was brought before the 113th Congress on February 27, 2013 and sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico). Read the full text to the bill ...

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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 ...

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Farmers’ Markets Permits in Texas



Farmers' markets around the country have tougher rules and regulations than your average supermarket. Many farmers and vendors who sell at farmers' markets have to pay for permits multiple times at year at every location they sell at, regardless of if they are in the same city or not. H.B. 910, sponsored by Texas State Representative Lois Kolkhorst would ensure that the permit fees that could be imposed on farmers and farmers’ market vendors could not exceed $50 per year per county or city. Read news about the bill here! Check on the current status of the bill ...

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The Soda Tax in Richmond



In November 2012, the city of Richmond, CA voted against measures that would have put a one cent per one ounce business licence fee on sugar-sweetened beverages and use the revenue to fund activities related to reducing childhood obesity. The Richmond soda tax proposal brought a large amount of attention to the idea of taxing sugary drinks. Many public health experts saw this as a silver lining to the defeat in ...

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Drinking Healthy in San Mateo County



Minority populations of San Mateo County are disproportionately affected by obesity, according to Get Healthy San Mateo County. Get Healthy San Mateo County is a group in California that works collaboratively with individuals, communities, and organizations in the County to develop strategies that will reduce and prevent obesity. The group encourages the San Mateo community to put down the soda and start working towards healthier drink options in schools and neighborhoods. With tons of county health data available on their website, Get Healthy San Mateo County invites everyday people to create healthy changes in their ...

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Creating An Expanded Learning Opportunities Council for Texas



According to The Texas Partnership for Out of School Time (TXPOST), only 15% of school aged children are enrolled in after school programs. Expanded Learning Opportunities would reduce the amount of risky behaviors that kids participate in, make communities safer, and increase the amount of physical activity that children participate in. HB 384 and SB 503 are two bills that would establish an Expanded Learning Opportunities Council. An Expanded Learning Opportunities Council would serve to increase learning opportunities in coursework, mentoring, tutoring, physical activity, academic support, and educational enrichment. The council would be charged with developing innovative learning methods, and would consist of 2 members from the senate, 2 members from the house of ...

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Houston’s Spark Parks Initiative Brings a Community Park to Berry Elementary



According to a March 2013 Houston Independent School District (HISD) news blog, a new Spark park at Berry elementary will display art work that represents the neighborhood's Latino heritage. A shared use agreement will make this school park available to the community during after school hours. During the school day, educators plan on incorporating the use of this park into their curriculum. Spark Parks is a non-profit organization based out of Houston that brings uniquely designed parks to underserved areas. Resources to build Spark Parks come from a variety of places including the city's Department of Housing and Community Development, local school districts, Harris County, the private sector, neighborhood groups, PTA/PTO groups, and concerned citizens. Spark Parks was born out of an ...

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Banning Sugary Drinks on CalFresh



Californians who get help under CalFresh, the food stamps program, may soon see their beverage choices limited by state lawmakers, who are considering barring use of the benefits to buy sugary sodas and other unhealthy beverages. State Sen. Michael J. Rubio (D-East Bakersfield) introduced S.B 134 that proposes to modify the list of allowable food items that can be purchased under CalFresh to exclude many sweetened beverages containing more than 10 calories per cup. As of August 5th, the bill is still being read, amended, and considered by California law-makers. Read the full-text of the bill ...

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