- Author: Julie Cates
An old proverb says it takes a village to raise a child. The teachers at Pixley Elementary School have found that it takes not just a village, but a unique combination of community agencies, good curricular materials and a little bit of dirt. That's right, dirt. In Pixley, they are growing healthy kids in a school garden.
A motivated third-grade teacher, Fidel Garcia, applied for grants from the Tulare County Farm Bureau, California Ag in the Classroom, the Dairy Council of California and LifeLab. He invited UC Cooperative Extension nutrition educator Grilda Gomez into the classroom to share the UC Cooperative Extension “Nutrition to grow on” lessons. A local nursery,...
- Author: Jennifer Rindahl
On July 1, the University of California announced our new Global Food Initiative to address one of the critical issues of our time: How to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach eight billion by 2025.
UC's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is already a critical partner with California's farmers and consumers, providing growers and ranchers with scientifically tested production techniques, educating families about nutrition, improving food safety and addressing environmental concerns. With programs in every California county, our research and extension network in California reaches from Tulelake to El Centro and more than 130 countries working to solve agricultural problems at home and...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Alice Escalante is something of a circuit rider in Tulare County. A UC nutrition educator, Escalante travels to rural communities, seeking out groups of low-income senior citizens to offer education that will spur healthier eating.
“I've reached more than 500 adults in the last year – in places like Exeter, Porterville, Cutler and Goshen,” Escalante said. “I go to senior centers, churches, welfare-to-work programs.”
Escalante visits each facility four times for one-hour sessions that include lessons from UC's research-based “Plan, Shop, Save, Cook” curriculum, plus physical activity and a cooking demonstration. Last week, Escalante...
- Author: Kim Girard
It's a drizzly winter morning, and dozens of volunteers at the San Francisco–Marin Food Bank are slowly breaking down a 2,000-pound sack of whole oats into 1-pound bags, their hair tucked back in neat plastic caps. A decade ago, volunteers were more likely to be boxing up canned foods items. Today, 60 percent of everything ferried out of this warehouse is fresh produce. No soda or chips are in sight, and whole grains like these General Mills oats are standard.
For food banks nationwide to move in a similar healthy direction, coordinated efforts must increase at all levels. It will take leadership like that provided by Feeding America, the national food bank network organization; expanded support for nutrition...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
A critical moment that just about every child will face in his or her lifetime takes place at the counter of a fast food restaurant. What should I order?
UC Cooperative Extension nutrition educators in Tulare County keyed in on that point in time in a play performed for 1,600 fourth-grade students at AgVentures Farm and Nutrition Day, May 23.
The play is a scripted game show titled “What Does MyPlate Say?” which encourages the children to think about the USDA's MyPlate eating guidelines, introduced to them by UC CalFresh educators in their classrooms throughout the year, when they order a fast food meal.
Five “contestants” were selected from the...