This West Virginia Town Was Embarrassed After It Earned Designation Of Most Obese U.S. City. But Things Are Looking Up.
Public health officials in Huntington, West Virginia, began making changes after a bit of national shaming. Small but concerted efforts have started to change the tide for the town. In other food health news: a look at how Michael Bloomberg got New York City to eat its veggies, food stamps in Baltimore, and more.
What Happened After An Appalachian Town Got Shamed Nationally
Over a decade ago, Huntington, West Virginia, endured a dose of civic fat shaming when the city was labeled the most obese in the nation. Forty Five percent of the almost 49,000 residents were considered overweight. A hundred percent of the town was appalled at the title. It didn’t help the reputation of the city when a British celebrity chef turned up to lecture the public schools on their lunchroom fare and quiz children who could not identify basic vegetables. But in the end, it wasn’t an outsider’s intervention that turned the city around. (Dawson, 1/23)
How Mike Bloomberg Got New York To Eat Its Veggies
A Columbia University study published in 2014, found that Green Carts provided high quality fresh produce to neighborhoods with low consumption and availability and created an “economically viable and sustainable program.”Ester Fuchs, a professor of international and public affairs and political science who co-authored the study, concluded that the carts were penetrating the targeted population—it was serving low-income people for a lower cost, and they were eating more fresh produce. A subsequent 2015 city study found that the number of adults who reported not eating fruits or vegetables the previous day had decreased from 2002 to 2012, which “may be in part to due to the Green Carts.” (Dawson, 1/23)
The Baltimore Sun:
Feds To Cut Up To 15,000 In Baltimore From Food Stamps; Maryland, Other States Suing To Halt Change
As many as 15,000 people in Baltimore could see their food stamp benefits slashed under a new Trump administration rule that tightens eligibility requirements. Maryland recently joined more than a dozen states in suing to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from moving forward with the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. But should the rule go into effect as planned this spring, it would have a devastating impact on Baltimore’s economy and the health of its residents, city officials wrote in a declaration of support for the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction. (Richman, 1/23)
The Mercury News:
Alameda County Launches New Food Hub For Low-Income Residents
The newly built, 3,300-square-foot space, which opened Friday, provides a commercial kitchen for small, home-based food entrepreneurs, land to grow fresh produce and a place to package leftover food retrieved from some local schools to redistribute to low-income residents in affordable housing complexes. The "food hub" is the culmination of nearly a decade of planning and collaboration between the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, the nonprofit Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League and All IN Alameda County, a countywide initiative aimed at combating poverty. (Hellerstein, 1/22)