Dads influence healthy families and communities

This month, we celebrated all of the wonderful dads out there. Fathers have an important opportunity to influence healthy communities and healthy families. They play an impactful role in fostering a positive body image in their children, and can be powerful advocates for family-friendly policies in workplaces. Check out the featured articles below to learn more about dads and the wonderful work they do each day. 

June is also Men's Health Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about men's health issues, and encourage the important men in our lives to schedule their wellness checkups. Click here to learn more about Men's Health Month, and for additional resources. 

Habits of Body-Positive Dads: How Fathers Influence Body Image
Via National Eating Disorders Association, by August McLaughlin 

"Many dads fail to realize just how valuable they are to their daughters' self-worth," writes relationship expert Linda Nielsen in the College Student Journal. "Yet research shows that healthy father-daughter relationships raise women's chances of developing self-reliance and confidence, while guarding against eating disorders. Additional research shows that fathers play a significant role in boys' body image."

Fathers Supporting Breastfeeding

Fathers Supporting Breastfeeding is an FNS project targeted to African American fathers so that they may positively impact a mother's decision to breastfeed. The project is part of a continual effort to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among African American women by involving fathers in breastfeeding promotion efforts.

Congratulations, Kathleen! 

Our wonderful project manager, Kathleen Carlson, has welcomed the newest member of her family to the world. We're thrilled to welcome her beautiful baby girl, Astrid Penelope!  

Jessie Gruner is the temporary point of contact during Kathleen's maternity leave.   

Congratulations, Kathleen and family! 
Stay active, have fun, and beat the heat all summer long

The summer heat is here, and with it comes the challenge of staying active while keeping cool. If you live in the Valley, it can be especially difficult to squeeze in physical activity while avoiding extreme temperatures. 

Health still happens in our hot Arizona summers! We can stay active outside in the early mornings and evenings, and even plan summer getaways to cooler outdoor activities. 

Beat the heat and get moving all season long with these fun and affordable activities! 

Make a splash (and stay safe) with affordable swimming lessons

Dive in and cool off this summer with affordable swimming lessons for all ages. The swim season began almost a month ago, but did you know that many kids have no or low swimming ability? According to a recent study, 40 percent of Caucasian children, 45 percent of Hispanic children, and nearly 64 percent of African-American children in the U.S. have no to low swimming ability. Children from low-income households are significantly less likely to have good swimming abilities.

The City of Phoenix offers swimming lessons at public pools for children, adults, and people living with disabilities. Prices range from $3 to $15 per lesson, and kids can swim for free at over 20 pools in Phoenix through the Kool Kids program
Hunger doesn't take a break: Summer meal programs fill the nutrition gap

Each year, the beginning of summer marks the beginning of fun, friends and a welcomed break for school children across the state. But for many Arizona students, this time of year also marks the end of daily, nutritious, and reliable meals. 

Nearly half a million students in the state rely on free or reduced school lunches during the school year, according to the most recent Food Research & Action Center report. For many students, these guaranteed meals may be the only source of nutritious food they can count on each day. The school cafeteria doors may be closed for the summer, but hunger doesn't go on vacation.

That's why over 400 Summer Food Service Program sites in the state serve free meals to kids 18 and younger all summer long, helping to close this critical food insecurity gap.

Visit to find free summer meal programs across the state and for additional resources.

Harvard Law Report: Food Waste Reduction Ripe For 2018 Farm Bill

Via FoodTank

According to a report published by the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), the U.S. spends US$218 billion annually to grow, handle, deliver, and dispose of food that is never eaten. Moreover, 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. is thrown away. This discarded food would be enough to feed the one in seven Americans who are food insecure. The report entitled Opportunities to Reduce Food Waste in the 2018 Farm Bill is part of a joint project between the FLPC, ReFED, and Food Policy Action.

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