A Houston/Harris County Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative 
January 2016  /  Issue XXXVIII

  Follow us on Twitter        Like us on Facebook  

Contact us:


Save the Date for the Quarterly HLM Collaborative Meeting SavetheDate

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 9 from 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM 
Location: YMCA Center for Leadership Development, Mease Hall, 2122 E. Governors Circle, Houston, TX 77092 
Meeting Highlight: HLM Priorities, local examples and next steps you can help decide in three key sectors: Built Environment, Healthcare and Education.

Please RSVP at info@healthylivingmatters.net. We look forward to seeing you there!
Houston Food Policy Workgroup 2016 Focus CommunityTrustees 

The Houston Food Policy Workgroup (HFPW) is dedicated to nurturing the growth of a sustainable local food system, accessible to all, through education, collaboration, communication, and creation of a food policy council for the Houston region. HFPW meets every month on the 2nd Wednesdays. Every other meeting is focused on furthering progress on the current Action Groups. Join the discussion as we plan our course of action for tackling these two food policy issues for the Houston region.

Agricultural Valuation
Texas rewards those who use their land for agricultural purposes by drastically reducing their property taxes. Unfortunately, appraisers consistently exclude urban, diversified, and small acreage farms & ranches (under 5 acres). The HFPW aims to work with local appraisal districts and the legislature to better support small scale farms.    
EBT Access at Farmer's Markets
Residents receiving p ublic assistance for food often find it difficult to access fresh, healthy produce options, especially if they live in a food desert, and even more so at farmers' markets where systems are not in place for families to redeem benefits . HFPW believes this is a mistake the Houston region should solve.

Benefits of public food assistance funds for these families can be maximized while also supporting local farms. This aligns with HLM Policy Priority E1- Support legislation and policies at the state level that incent the purchase of healthy foods with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars.  

Action Group
s for these two issues will meet separately next month for the first meeting of the year on Wed, Feb 10, 11:30am - 1pm. Please send and email to caitlin.mcneely@houstontomrorow.org if you are interested in joining. 
Adline Greenspoint School Garden Partnership Aldine 

The Aldine Greenspoint YMCA has partnered with Johnson Elementary to build a new garden to be used by school and after-school students and staff. The garden was built last November with the help of seed funds provided by HLM, and support from ExxonMobil volunteers who provided the manpower to build the raised garden beds. Projects like these help support HLM Policy Priority L2 - Support a Comprehensive "Community Literacy" strategy, to include programs that teach community and backyard gardening .

In December, YMCA staff and students from the after-school program planted seeds with which to grow herbs, peppers, onions, and cabbage for their first harvest. The Aldine Greenspoint YMCA plans to use this garden as a learning opportunity for the school and after-school students, and hopes that each classroom will adopt a garden bed.

The motivation for this project was to have a way to discuss healthy eating while providing physical activity to the students. According to Ms. Claudia Sanchez-Lopez, Associate Community Director for Aldine Greenspoint YMCA, "Many kids in the area don't have access to healthy foods and this will give them an opportunity to see things grow and try new foods".

For more information about this project, please contact Ms. Sanchez-Lopez at claudia.sanchez@ymcahouston.org 
Featured Resources: Support for Afterschool Meals and Funding for SchoolsFeaturedResource 

The important, underused Afterschool Meals Program provides free meals to kids involved in afterschool programs like tutoring, music and sports. A new resource from Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) highlights how Texas schools that are eligible to enroll but haven't yet can benefit from the program. Click here to access this new fact sheet.

In addition, Action for Healthy Kids is getting ready to open their School Grants for Healthy Kids applications for the 2016-2017 school year. Grants will be awarded in two categories: 1) School Breakfast grants to start or expand school breakfast programs and 2) Physical Activity and Nutrition grants to provide equipment and resources to help schools implement physical activity, physical education and nutrition education programming with a goal of working toward becoming nationally recognized as a health promoting school. Visit their grants web page and stay tuned for more details on Facebook and Twitter
HLM Collaborative Meeting
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 from 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
YMCA Center for Leadership Development, 2122 E. Governors Circle, Houston, TX 77092
For more information, contact us at info@healthylivingmatters.net

Houston Food Policy Work Group Meeting
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Locations vary
For more information, contact Caitlin McNeely at caitlin.mcneely@houstontomorrow.org

Presentation: Designing Cities for Active Living
Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
BioScience Research Collaborative, 1st Floor Auditorium, 6500 Main St, Houston, TX 77030
More information

Texans Care for Children - Children's Policy Conference
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
St. David's Episcopal Church Meeting Center, 301 E. 8th St., Austin, TX 78701
More information

Webinar: Health Equity and Well-Being From the Start: Building Support for an Equal Opportunity Childhood
Thursday, February 26, from 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
More information

To view more events, visit our Calendar of Events webpage