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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Collaborative Health

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Collaborate = Win-Win 

Advocacy 101: Don't Be Scared of Big Capitol Buildings - "Advocacy is for everyone. Even shy people. Got food? 5 million Californians don't! 3 Keys to Advocacy. Frame your issue in simple terms. Use data & stories to bring an issue to life. Stories have changed minds when data or reason could not." Frank Tamborello, Hunger Action L.A.
Did you know that L.A. City has 15 council members and a mayor? The County has 5 supervisors, the State Senate has 40 and Assembly has 80 members. At the Federal level, the House has 435 and Senate has 50 members.

School Food Policy - "California has a 12% unemployment rate. 1 in 5 children live in poverty. 26% of 5-7th graders are obese." Elizabeth Medrano at and Nicola Edwards, MS, RD at Why? Give Healthy New School Food a Chance. "Articles like this LA Times story and this interview with LAUSD food service director on Airtalk highlight how the district’s new lunch menu (filled with new items such as mesquite chicken, whole-wheat chow mein, and Greek salad) has met with opposition from students, parents, teachers, and administrators alike." Poor families believe that they can't afford healthy foods or don't have access to healthy foods. LAUSD Food Services Director Dennis Barrett wants everyone to know that "the National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs is the greatest hidden treasure in America." The program supplies 2 free meals a day to millions of low-income children, and  extremely low-cost meals (usually under $2) to any school child regardless of income.  LAUSD alone serves over 600,000 such meals every day.” The new healthy school menu without fast-food items is challenged by many obstacles including students dislike of change. "What can we do as advocates of healthy food for children?  TRY THE FOOD.  Try it.  Get your kids to try it.  Get your kid’s teacher to try it." 

Breakfast First : BIC- Experience in California and other states shows that serving Breakfast In the Classroom (BIC) often increases school breakfast participation to nearly 100%. All students are offered breakfast at the start of the school day. Breakfast is served, eaten, and cleared during the first 10-15 minutes of class while teachers conduct administrative activities or begin the day's lessons. Classroom Breakfast helps ensure that all students start the school day well nourished and ready to learn. If children are hungry, they cannot focus on learning. Classroom Breakfast can count towards instructional minutes for the purposes of an audit. Everybody Eats video features both the Classroom Breakfast and Second Chance/Grab n' Go Breakfast models. Another very informative Classroom Breakfast video is available from San Diego Unified School District. A Toast to Breakfast page shows how schools are putting students and breakfast first with Grab n' Go!

More about Collaborative Health at 

P.S. 3/25 Free to Breathe Yoga Fundraiser for lung cancer. Donate at: 

Ingrid Cheng
Writer, Health Advocate

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