A Houston/Harris County Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative 
July 3, 2014  /  Issue XXII

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FeaturedArticleFamily Engagement in Pasadena

On June 17th, HLM joined Pasadena ISD's Texas Afterschool Centers in Education (ACE) program, and over 200 individuals for the Healthy Living Family Night at the Carmen Orozco Professional Development Complex. Families in Pasadena came together four times in the summer to obtain information and resources about healthy eating and active living.


Parents and children waiting in line to receive a free bike helmet and safety light.


During the event, HLM provided children with free bike helmets and bike safety lights in order to encourage safe active transportation. Bike helmets were purchased through the Texas Medical Association's Hard Hats for Little Heads program, which provided us with additional 200 helmets at no cost.     


Parent looking at the nutrition education resources being provided, include the Healthy Cook Book. 

In addition to helmets and bike lights, participating families received copies of a Healthy Cook Book developed by Champions for Change called Healthy Latino Recipes Made with Love.  Families were also provided with nutrition information on how to make healthy substitutions when cooking and got to sample some of the recipes from the cook book (for Spanish version, click here).   


Strengthening Our Partnerships Network: HLM's participation in Family Night extends our network to include new partners such as the Pasadena Public Library. Upon invitation, HLM will now participate in the library's summer workshop series to advance its policy priorities (e.g. L2: Comprehensive Health Literacy Strategy) and promote nutrition and physical activity in the area.  


Additionally, HLM has been invited to participate on the Advisory Council for Pasadena ISD's ACE Program. This also provides a venue to share information on policy opportunities in after-school settings as well as resources tied to nutrition and physical activity programming for students and families.  


To learn more about the work being done in Pasadena, visit the HLM-Pasadena web page.  

State-Level Policy Action: Be a Part of the Advocacy and Legislative Strategy Workgroup  
HLM is excited to get its advocacy and legislative strategy rolling to prepare for the 2015 Texas legislature. We are forming a workgroup of persons interested in getting involved. Please contact Tim Schauer at tschauer@cgagroup.com  or 713-249-2055 if you would like to be part of the team or would like to discuss other ways to get involved.
HLM Grantees Receive Community Leadership and Advocacy Training 
This spring,
(CDH) completed a series of trainings throughout Houston and Harris County to help empower agencies to develop leaders and advocates within target neighborhoods. The Community Leadership and Advocacy Training Program is an eight session curriculum that provides participants with the tools to equip their communities with a foundation of advocacy for their needs through various skills rooted in community organizing, team building, and civic engagement. Training participants and their focus areas for policy action are:
- Texas AHEC East (Fifth Ward): Providing incentives to grocers/retailers to increase access to affordable, healthy food
- Avenue CDC and the Ketelsen Trailblazers (Near Northside): Increasing access to safe opportunities for physical activity through complete streets
- Recipe for Success (Houston & Pasadena): Promoting the adoption of a district-wide health education plan
- Pasadena ISD (Pasadadena): Increasing access to safe opportunities for physical activity through Shared Use (or Joint Use) Agreements

To find out more about this training program or to get connected to one of these groups, contact CDH

Member Highlight: Lisa Helfman & Brighter Bites

Brighter Bites is a locally started, globally minded team of parents, educators, nutritionists and volunteers who hope to make our world brighter, one bite at a time. Founded by HLM Collaborative Member, Lisa Helfman, Brighter Bites delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly into the hands of children, as well as recipe cards, nutrition facts and ideas for preparation.  
As a result of Ms. Helfman's policy advocacy efforts, the Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) budget for 2014-2015 included the expansion of grant programs to promote nutrition education, including the Brighter Bites program (formerly Ace for Health). The Legislature provided $1.2 million in new funding through TDA to expand this program into additional schools in Houston and Dallas.

In other news, Salud America! recently published a story and developed a video informing viewers how the project was started, the food distribution process, and the impact it has had in the lives of students and families. To read the story and view the video, click here.

Current sites participating in this program include Kashmere Gardens Elementary, in Near Northside, and San Jacinto YMCA, in Pasadena, both HLM priority communities. To learn more, visit the Brighter Bites website
FeaturedResourceFeatured Resource: Let's Move! Child Care Free Online Training

Penn State University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have partnered to create six Let's Move! Child Care (LMCC) training modules. The free online training modules provide practical strategies for implementing best practice in early care and education (ECE) settings for promoting healthy weight in young children. Visit the LMCC website for more details. 

Brighter Bites Now At San Jacinto YMCA In Pasadena 
The YMCA is excited to announce that the Brighter Bites Program has come to the San Jacinto YMCA in Pasadena, TX!  In partnership with the Houston Food Bank, the San Jacinto YMCA is introducing a healthy eating initiative. Each Thursday this summer, their day campers will go home with a bag full of fresh fruits and veggies along with nutritional information to help them make healthier food choices. Full Article

New Houston Grocery Store To Bring High-End Goods Into a Food Desert 

One of Houston's most notorious food deserts is about to get some irrigation thanks to a public-private partnership. Local grocery chain Pyburn's Farm Fresh Foods will open its 12th store at the intersection of Scott Street and Corder to bring fresh food and vegetables to an underserved area. Houston Mayor Annise Parker joined council members Stephen Costello and Dwight Boykins, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Pyburn's owner John Vuong at the site Monday morning to kick off the construction. Full Article
New Program In San Antonio Aims to Link Nutrition, Child Wellness

The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, the only free-standing academic children's hospital in the region, is taking a holistic approach to child wellness by creating a comprehensive and carefully designed childhood health, lifestyle and nutrition program. The program connects children, families, food, health care providers and cooking, underscoring the link among diet, development and disease. It is comprised of family nutrition education, food preparation, cooking and lifestyle enhancement courses, as well as extensive community outreach initiatives that aim to break the cycle of obesity and improve access to healthy food and educational resources related to nutrition. Full Article 

Healthier Options For Children At El Paso Restaurant

If you have ever been on a diet, you know how difficult it can be to eat a healthy entr´┐Że at some local restaurants and the options for children are less. A new initiative between the Department of Public Health and some of our favorite local spots are working together to change some of the menus.The Eat Well! El Paso  program is first focused on children's menus to help battle childhood obesity. Full Article 

Creating Healthy Communities: Ohio Success Stories
The Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) program at the Ohio Department of Health is funded by the CDC's Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. Through 16 counties in Ohio, both rural and urban, CHC is helping communities, schools, worksites, and faith-based institutions to become places where healthier choices are easier choices.  Full Article

Let's Get Physical(ly Active) in Chicago

Spencer Elementary in Chicago spent the last year focused on creating best practices for eating healthy and being physically active before, during and after school. Their first goal was to increase physical activity levels by adding structured indoor and outdoor activity time. With assistance from Action for Healthy Kids and support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Spencer was able to get started immediately. Full Article

Orlando Steps Up to Make Its Streets More Pedestrian-Friendly   

Semoran Boulevard in Orland, lined with gas stations, strip malls and bus stops, is a good example of what's wrong with the roads in this busy Florida city. It's the most dangerous street in a city that ranks No. 1 in the nation for pedestrian accidents, according to a recent national study. There have been 28 crashes involving pedestrians - and six deaths- on this stretch of road over the past seven years.  Full Article

Want to Tackle the Childhood Obesity Epidemic? We Need to Build More Parks    

Mayors from across the country unanimously passed a resolution this week supporting new public parks and outdoor recreation programs to promote healthy urban areas and combat childhood obesity. The bipartisan resolution adopted at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports full funding and re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a program designed to promote the establishment and protection of outdoor spaces.  Full Article



Time to Act: Investing in the Health of Our Children and Communities. Full Report 


Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America's Largest Metros. Full Report  


Individual, Family, and Neighborhood Characteristics and Children's Food Insecurity. Full Article  


Addressing Obesity: Fear of Crime, Perceptions of Disorder and Disparities in Child and Adolescent Use of Public Parks. Full Article 


What We Owe Our Children: Building a Healthier Houston Region. Full Article

Increasing Young People's Active Modes of Transport: An Urgent Review of the Child-friendliness of Multi-sector Policies Required. Full Article

Stepping Towards Causation: Do Built Environments or Neighborhood and Travel Preferences Explain Physical Activity, Driving, and Obesity?  Full Article


National Park & Recreation Month

July, 2014

More Information 


System Re-Imagining: Public Workshop to Discuss Future of Metro   

Various dates & locations, from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Houston Food Policy Workgroup Monthly Meeting  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM 

Upper Kirby Building, 3015 Richmond, Houston, TX 77057 

More Information  


HLM-Pasadena Community Task Force Meeting

Thursday, July 17, 2014 from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Pasadena City Hall, 1211 Southmore Ave, Pasadena, TX 77502

More information  


Webinar: Buses, Boots, and Bicycles - Getting Safe Routes to School and Student Transportation Departments to Work Together

Thursday, July 17, 2014 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

More information  


CAN DO Houston Quarterly Partnership Meeting 

Thursday, July 31, 2014 from 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM  

United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Dr., Houston, TX 77007

More information    


To view more events in the month of July, visit our Calendar of Events webpage.