Thank you, Pittsburgh, for giving residents and visitors safer streets for walking, biking, and increased physical activity!
Walking a mile in someone’s shoes can be a powerful experience. Recently, the American Heart Association of Oklahoma invited people to do just that in order to bring attention to the issue of low access to healthy foods.
During the Heart Walk on April 18 in Oklahoma City (OKC), participants volunteered to carry bags of groceries to simulate what it’s like for those who have to travel that far just to access healthy food options.
“One issue we always face questions about is the definition of ‘low access’ meaning being a mile from healthy options,” said Samantha Bender, OKC grassroots director at the American Heart Association. “People say, ‘well I run a mile every day so it can’t be that bad.’ But they don’t consider routes with no sidewalks or having to carry multiple grocery bags and managing small children.”
Two teams, one of five participants and one of two, shared the burden of carrying grocery bags that weighed around seven pounds. In the bags were essential items like a gallon of water (to simulate milk), canned vegetables, fresh fruit and a loaf of bread.
“We struggled to find people to do it because they know it’s really hard,” Samantha said.
A few minutes after the start of the walk, Samantha found the team of five. Within the first few minutes, one of their grocery bags had ripped. Instead of being frustrated, the team turned it into another learning experience.
The team recognized that breaking bags is a likely situation when carrying groceries that far. “If we were really carrying them for a while, they wouldn’t have held up at all,” they said.
At the end of the walk, the two teams came together to discuss their experiences. The team of five decided that the task was way harder than they had expected, and that the distance traveled felt way longer than a mile.
The team of two had an easier time. But then, Samantha asked how they would feel if they couldn’t share the burden of carrying the bag. “Most people aren’t taking a team to the store and splitting one bag, it’s probably two or three bags on their own.”
“That would have been horrible,” the team of two concluded.
The OKC campaign team hopes this was an eye-opening experience for everyone involved. To learn more, check out the team’s video.
Thank you, Pittsburgh, for giving residents and visitors safer streets for walking, biking, and increased physical activity!
Sitting in traffic, this DC resident realized that most of her life was spent sitting, and it was making her miserable--learn how she transformed her life.
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:
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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
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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
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Public Health Agencies
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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
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