Each week, the WK Kellogg Foundation curates the top news from the “good food” movement, giving special attention to news featuring Food & Community grantees and allies. This is the edition from Jan. 24, 2014.
Walmart Joins Fair Food Program. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantee, recently announced that retail giant Walmart has agreed to join the Fair Food Program. By joining the Fair Food Program, Walmart tomato suppliers will be required to not only increase farmworker pay, but to protect their employees from sexual assault, forced labor and more (via Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Mike Schneider, AP). To learn more about the Fair Food Program, visit: http://www2.wkkf.org/e/17412/ffp-faq-/df2jg/133471379.
Common Market Philadelphia Helps Hospitals Keep it Fresh. Last week, Common Market Philadelphia, a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantee, joined the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to honor five Philadelphia hospitals that are committing to serve fresh, healthy and local food in their cafeterias and throughout their patient care systems (via Alex Vuocolo, Philadelphia Generocity).
2013: Record Year for SNAP Enrollment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that 20 percent of American households were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) at some point in 2013. Specifically, there were “23,052,388 households on food stamps in the average month of fiscal 2013, an increase of 722,675 from fiscal year 2013, where there were 22,329,713 households on food stamps in the average month” (via Ali Meyer, CNS News).
Food Hubs Connecting Farmers with Buyers. Food hubs, which serve as processing and distribution centers, are connecting local farmers with bigger markets and more buyers. There are now more than 240 food hubs operating in the U.S., helping farmers connect with each other, receive discounted liability insurance and market their produce more efficiently (via Sean Powers, Harvest Public Media/NPR).
SNAP Grows at Farmers Markets. More and more low-income Americans are using their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to purchase fresh, healthy and local foods at farmers markets. From 2011 to 2013, “redemptions of SNAP benefits at farmers markets nearly doubled, increasing from $11.7 million … to $20.4 million” (via Alan Hunt and Gabrielle Blavatsky, Wholesome Wave).
Cash or Credit for Your School Lunch? A new study in the journal Obesity found that when students pay cash for their school lunches, they buy three times as many vegetables and consume ten percent fewer calories than students who use a debit card (via Shankar Vedantam, NPR). What’s behind the behavior difference? Brian Wansink, a Cornell University behavioral economist, points to a brain trick. Using a credit or a debit card makes it feel as though the financial consequences are far in the future, and the same may be happening for food choices.
A Turning Tide for the Obesity Crisis? Working-age adults in America are eating out less and consuming fewer calories a day than they did just a few years ago. According to a new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working-age adults consumed 118 fewer calories each day from 2009–10 than from 2005–06. It is likely that the economic downturn played a role, with more adults choosing to eat at home rather than at restaurants, but the data also shows that consumers are relying more on nutritional labels when purchasing food (via Melinda Beck and Amy Schatz, Wall Street Journal and Alexandra Sifferlin, TIME).
APHA Releases New Obesity Infographic. This week, the American Public Health Association (APHA) released a new infographic focused on the obesity epidemic in America. The infographic, “Public health takes on obesity: A route to better health,” highlights several ways individuals and communities can tackle obesity such as focusing on the built environment, access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity (via Dan, Public Health Newswire).
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