Category: Community

Success story: Bringing students to the farm, and farm fresh produce to students

Rogue Valley Farm to School is growing a culture of health in Southern Oregon

Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S), a community-based nonprofit organization located in Ashland, Oregon, is boldly working to change local food systems and redefine what healthy learning environments and flourishing communities look like. They partner with schools and farmers across Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley region to incorporate nutritious foods into school meals and bring hands-on garden education to students. 

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Success Story: Advancing Equity Through Urban Fruit

Portland Fruit Tree Project strengthens communities through shared harvests and healthful food access

Take a stroll around Portland, Oregon in the summer and fall, and you are likely to notice the occasional fruit tree. Either planted in a neighbor’s yard, or lining a street, the branches of these trees are often bursting with fruit. But, unpicked, the fruit will eventually fall to the ground–the natural abundance slowly rotting away in yards or on sidewalks (much to the delight of local insects and squirrels).

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Success story: A place where affordable housing and nutrition meet

Northwest Housing Alternatives is working to include a community kitchen in new rural housing development

The rural community of Ontario, Oregon sits on the Idaho border about an hour from Boise. If you’ve visited there, you’ve probably been met by the delicious smell of french fries. That’s because the town is home to Ore-Ida, best known for its tater tots, french fries and other potato-based products. Beyond the potatoes,

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Combatting a crisis: COVID-19, mutual aid networks, and ensuring healthy futures

During an unprecedented year, communities pull together to help their neighbors.

Since its emergence, COVID-19 has altered life in ways few could have imagined. We miss spending time with our loved ones, attending social gatherings, and not having to wait in line to enter the grocery store. However, for some, the pandemic has held far greater consequences.

The loss of jobs, in-person schooling, and renewed stay-at-home orders have stretched families already struggling even thinner.

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Success story: sustainable farm supports budding Latino farmers

Farm is run on "horsepower"

Arriving at Stoneboat Farm, Matsu one of the large, white farm dogs immediately trundles over and pushes his head under your hand for a few ear scratches. He wanders freely around this farm in the rolling hills just west of Portland doing his part to keep animals, like hungry deer, away from the rows of veggies.

The Moore Institute likes to highlight groups around the state that are working to improve the food culture and ultimately reduce the prevalence of chronic disease.

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Success story: one school’s quest to serve healthy whole foods

Low-income public charter school in Medford, Ore. serves three fresh from-scratch meals daily

The smell of baking bread is irresistible as head chef Kris Walker shows a group of visitors the trailer he and his team have been working out of for the past year. The tiny trailer is steamy from hours of food preparation, and cramped with only five people in it. Yet somehow this is where Walker and his team have been able to prepare three healthy meals a day from scratch for more than 300 kids for the past year.

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Why school meals matter

How you can help improve the nutritional environment of your local school

School meals matter. Children consume as much as one-half of their daily calories at school. As a result, the food kids eat at school can either be an opportunity to encourage healthy eating behaviors and curb America’s childhood obesity epidemic, or can be a contributor to poor health and increased chronic disease risk.

Increasing the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products as part of school meals can be an effective strategy to improve healthy eating behaviors among children.

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Why SNAP Matters

Proposed cuts would cause poor health outcomes in this generation and the next

The next few weeks will see plenty of news stories about the potentially devastating effects of President Trump’s proposed budget, especially the proposed 29 percent cut to SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or what used to be known as food stamps.

A program that’s been around since the 1960s, SNAP has been studied extensively and consistently been shown to be effective in lifting people out of poverty and reducing the number of people who are food insecure.

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A New Year’s resolution that could help end heart disease

Nutrition now means a healthier you and a healthier community

January is a time to think about positive changes, and often our resolutions have to do with health and healthy eating. As you work toward meeting your resolutions this year, take heart and get some added motivation by knowing that your food choices today may eradicate chronic diseases by the end of the century. Incredible, right? But true.

A growing body of research has given us new insight into the origins of chronic disease and indicates that susceptibility to diseases like obesity,

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Success story: One organization’s path toward changing its food culture

A Q&A with Eecole Copen, manager of the OHSU Farmers Market

What was the impetus behind starting a farmers market at OHSU?

My director and I were at the very first Food-Med conference. We heard a presentation about the process of starting farmers markets at Kaiser Permanente facilities in California. A lightbulb went off in both of our brains simultaneously. OHSU is located on a hill with little access to fresh fruits and veggies, and at the time had no place for the community to gather.

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How our food culture is making us sick

How small steps can lead to big changes in the next generation

Have you ever stopped to really think about what you eat? And why you eat it? Have you ever considered where your food comes from, how it was produced? Or really thought about how what you eat affects your health, or the health of your future children and grandchildren? The answer is probably no. It’s not something we’ve been encouraged to do. Our lack of attention to our food has an enormous influence on the health of the American public.

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“Instead of wagging fingers, we need to generate consensus. Empowering consumers to call for better access to better food will put pressure on politicians to respond to voters, and on the food industry to please their customers.”

David Barker, Ph.D. from Nature, 2013