Thank you, Pittsburgh, for giving residents and visitors safer streets for walking, biking, and increased physical activity!
On Wednesday, March 18, the Voices for Healthy Kids Texas campaign team hosted a Youth Advocating for Heart event at the Texas Capitol to advocate on behalf of increased access to healthy foods.
“We’re trying to make it fair for other people who don’t have access to other stores to be able to have access … so they can live a long healthy life like I do,” said youth advocate Sky Travis, a fifth-grader.
More than 70 youth advocates, community members, school teachers, administrators, heart disease survivors and American Heart Association volunteers came together from across the state to advocate for the Texas Grocery Access Investment.
Eleven groups of advocates made their way to the Texas State Capitol, where they held about 65 meetings with legislators and staff. The youth advocates told compelling stories about limited grocery access in their neighborhoods or their friends’ neighborhoods. The timing of this event wasat a critical point in the campaign – one day before the related legislation was to be considered by the House Economic and Small Business Development Committee.
“Junk foods aren’t always okay to have, and I think that stores should have more healthy choices,” said Haeli Pradia, a sixth grade volunteer advocate.
The kids were honored to represent their schools and hometowns in the State Capitol. Teachers were also grateful for this opportunity for their students, most of whom were visiting Austin for the first time.
One volunteer, Sydnee Marshall, is the supervisor of health and physical education teachers for her school district. In this role, she works to help create the curriculum for students. Even with a strong curriculum focused on healthy eating and physical activity, she said, “It’s impossible for us to tell our students to pursue that outside the classroom if they are not able to have access to grocery stores.”
To learn more about the event, check out the Storify recap.
Story adapted from the American Heart Association.
Two new complete streets and equity reports have been released and are the result of a project to study equity elements in complete streets policies, the characteristics of communities with equity elements in their policies, and to qualitatively understand how equity elements in complete streets policies are being implemented in practice. Learn more about the reports here.
Eight applicants have been awarded funds that will help young students walk, bike and roll safely to and from school.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.