Join Accesslocal.tv as we cover the Urban Farm To Fork Experience 2016 event that took place on October 16th.
The Food Literacy Center is due to receive an influx of 30 AmeriCorps workers after winning the National AmeriCorps Award. The Food Literacy Center’s message of healthy eating habits executed through creative cooking and nutritional knowledge helped them outshine the competition. “We’re fortunate that our program stood out as a successful model that puts community service at the core of our mission,” said Food Literacy Founder Amber Stott. In an effort to spread their message to every child in California, the Food Literacy Center will use this extra work force to expand their operations.
On a regular basis, the Food Literacy Center offers hands-on classes where the students, all children, are taught the value of eating their fruits and vegetables. “The AmeriCorps service members will be trained as Food Geniuses, so they’ll become certified instructors to deliver our food literacy program to elementary kids,” said Stott. “Having a consistent team of members in each school each week will improve the quality of programming and help us expand to more schools.”
“Every child deserves access to a nutritious meal,” says Congresswoman Matsui, who assisted in the creation of the AmeriCorps over a decade ago. “[The] Food Literacy Center provides critical services in our community, connecting our next generation with the tools and resources they need to live healthy lives.”
The award is administered by California Volunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The workers will be hired locally, bringing more jobs to the Sacramento area.
All AmeriCorps workers are encouraged to apply here.
The Food Literacy Center also hosts and participates in many community events and outings in an effort to reach the masses. The Food Literacy Center will host the Sacramento Taco Party on October 11th where participants will get to sample some of the best tacos Sacramento has to offer. Buy for tickets now before they sell out.
As far as their future plans go Stott noted their plans to “design a farm-to-school youth engagement tour. We’ll stop at several key farm-to-school locations, eat school meals, and taste food made by students learning through these regional programs.”
The Oak Park Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9AM – 1PM at McClatchy Park through October. Check out their farm-to-fork quality food options, as well as the live entertainment and cooking demonstrations before the program ends for this year.
Thanks to TV shows like “The Biggest Loser”, counting carbs is on its way to becoming a regular American pastime. Newly released figures are also showing that diabetes is quickly becoming part of American culture and more people should be worried about it.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention* found that on average almost one third of U.S. teens with diabetes are unaware that they have it. The data showed that “about 0.8 percent of the teens surveyed had diabetes, and of these, nearly 29 percent didn’t know they had the condition.”
A quick internet search reveals that diabetes often has no symptoms, and even the few that are listed such as frequent urination and thirst could be seen as trivial. Diabetes is dangerous because of the strain it puts on our bodies which puts people with diabetes at a much higher risk for mortal complications such as liver failure, heart attack, and stroke.
To put more candidly, the findings reveal that a third of teens who are facing these deadly complications are completely in the dark about it and therefore unable to combat it. In turn they showcase the importance of teaching America’s youth about healthy eating habits and the consequences of neglecting our bodies.
”Type 2 diabetes is preventable by eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and veggies!” says Amber Stott, founder of the Sacramento-based Food Literacy Center. “It’s critical to teach kids the habit of eating their veggies at a young age, because eating habits form early.”
In accordance with Stott’s advice, another study** published in the Health economics journal found that by rewarding or ‘bribing’ kids to eat fruits and veggies, the number of kids who ate at least one serving per day doubled.
“Vegetables protect us from many diet-related diseases. Eating veggies is like brushing your teeth. We don’t wait until our kids have a cavity to teach them to brush their teeth–we teach them early so they don’t get cavities in the first place,” said Stott. “This same thinking should be considered with eating vegetables. By doing it early–and often–we’re protecting our kid’s good health so they don’t develop health problems later in life.”
Even after the rewards ceased for eating fruits and veggies, the children continued to eat almost double the fruits and veggies they had previously, proving that good habits can die hard too.
These studies reveal two things: one, to slow the diabetes epidemic action must be taken to correct the poor eating habits that our country has developed, and two, there are feasible ways of doing so, such as bribing kids.
*The CDC study noted that the tests could not confirm whether the teens that showed positive had type 1 or type 2 diabetes, only the latter of which is preventable; as well as the fact that only one round of blood tests leaves some room for overestimation as to the results.
**The Health Economics study noted that rewarded behavior can lead to a slight lack of motivation to perform the rewarded behavior purely through personal motivation in the future.
A recent study by the CDC revealed that most adults consume less than 20% of the fruits and vegetables servings that modern nutrition has deemed as necessary. Locals from the California State Fair are interviewed for their opinions and insights on the subject.
The Center of Community Health and Well-Being, the Sacramento County, and SNAP, by way of the Health Education Council are holding a three part series of healthy eating classes on July 9th, 17th, and 22rd.
“The Oak Park community is home to multiple resources for singles and families,” says Kristine Lee with the Center of Community Health and Well Being. “The classes specifically are addressing the learning needs of individuals. The diverse resources from organizations benefit the residents, and these classes about healthy eating suit the community because people want more knowledge about the choices they make. Classes allow individuals to learn for their own sake, and that of their household, creating a richer community that is well informed and prepared to share and give.”
Course material will include: ways to encourage kids to eat fruits and veggies, making good decisions with a busy schedule, incorporating exercise and stretching into daily routines, dealing with shopping problems, learning about CalFresh and more.
“The classes introduce information to encourage and motivate attendees to proactively decide on healthy lifestyle components,” says Lee. “They learn and discuss food shopping, budgeting, movement and stretching, and programs and resources that exist to stretch food dollars. The classes are important for people to help themselves since the security of our meals is a top priority.”
Classes will beheld at the Oak Park Community Center 3425 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Sacramento, CA. If interested in attending, call (916) 905-6034 to RSVP with a name, phone number, e-mail, and zip code. Participants must be 18 or older.
The 4th annual VegFest took place at the Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento on Saturday, June 7th. Businesses promoting healthy eating and vegan diet alternatives set up booths displaying their products.
On Saturday February 1st, Ubuntu Green’s Youth Leadership squad received a $500 GABY (Grant Advisory Board for youth) Grant to build a garden shed. The program supports youth led projects that “Build Wonderful Communities”.
The youth leadership squad, also known as the G-squad, presented its project plan to the advisory board after some quality entertainment from the Sacramento Mandarins Drum Corps. Kevin Goings, the Sacramento Mandarins drum line instructor, brought an assortment of percussion instruments, ranging from a simple bucket, to an imported African bongo drum. The Mandarins even invited the crowd to come up and try them out. At the end of the presentation, there was a drum line full of GABY-grantees.
Guest speakers at the ceremony honored grant recipients with their praise and encouragement. Dr. David Innis, West Point Military Academy graduate and motivational speaker, gave a speech about his past experiences on the island nation of Barbados, and the training he received from West Point. He left the participants with his trademark phrase “Obstacles will come, but it all depends on your perspective”, which he had the participants repeat periodically to remind them of the idiom’s practical usage.
Emilio Balingit, G-squad mentor and Ubuntu Green staff member, was happy with the group.
“I was proud of the squad when they received the grant,” said Balingit
Area residents interested in learning more can visit the Ubuntu Green Website by clicking here. Volunteers are welcome every Wednesday from 3 pm to 5pm behind the Home Cash Market on 14th Avenue and Roosevelt Way in Sacramento.
Twin Rivers Nutrition Services Department has been awarded six Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) grants. The elementary schools that will receive the benefits of the grant for this school year are: Northwood, Fairbanks, Strauch, Johnson, Woodridge, and Castori. The FFVP provides students with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day and is a creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as a healthy snack option.
The goal of the FFVP is to:
- Create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices
- Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience
- Increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption
- Make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health
The grant enables school children to try a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample. The fresh fruits and vegetables must be provided separately from the lunch or breakfast meal and in one or more areas of the school during the school day.
Only elementary schools are eligible for the FFVP grant. To be eligible, the district must participate in the National School Lunch Program and be in good standing. In addition, fifty percent or more of the students at that site must be eligible for free/reduced-price meals.
This program was highly successful since it began as a state pilot program in 2005 at the former Aero Haven campus. In 2010, Northwood was awarded the grant and in March of 2011, North Avenue, Fairbanks and Woodridge were offered the grant. Last year there were only five grants awarded in the County of Sacramento, and all five were awarded to Twin Rivers schools.
In 2010, Congress mandated that the FFVP be evaluated nationwide so in April of 2011, an evaluator contracted by the United Stated Department of Agriculture visited Northwood and conducted an extensive evaluation of the program. The evaluator stated that of all of the programs she has evaluated across the country, Northwood was by far the best.
This program is seen as an important catalyst for change in our efforts to combat childhood obesity by helping children learn more healthful eating habits.
This media project informs people about the cons of buying fruit or vegetables at grocery stores and the pros of buying fruits and vegetables at a Farmers’ Markets.