June 2016 Newsletter

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June 2016

News & Ideas for Building Thriving Communities

Focus on: Social Determinants of Health

Social constructs such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status have a strong influence on our health. These "social determinants of health" may seem unrelated to illness and disease, but they play a critical role in our well-being. Research shows that people with higher incomes are expected to live longer than people with lower incomes. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders living in the United States are, on average, in poorer health than whites at every income level. This is reflected in Alameda County as well: a 2008 report by the Alameda County Department of Public Health found that a white person born in the Oakland Hills is expected to live 15 years longer than an African American born in West Oakland. A variety of factors link these social characteristics to lower health outcomes, such as living in a toxic environment, experiencing chronic stress from racial or sexual discrimination, or eating less nutritious food because healthy food is too expensive.

Health disparities originate from deeply embedded social frameworks that are often ignored. While there is no one cure, there are ways to reverse health inequities, starting with the community. Increasing access to nutritious food by replacing liquor stores with supermarkets, removing lead from the built environment to protect children, and advocating for tolerance of all genders, ethnicities, and religions are just a start to the many ways we can create a healthier society. It starts with a community dedicated to working together to find unique solutions to these complex problems.

Market Match Funding Awaits Gov. Brown's Signature

Share your support of this program to help low-income residents access fresh produce.

Call the Governor's office at     916-445-8241 or fill out an e-mail form here.

Fast Facts: Health Inequities in the US

  • People in the highest income group are expected to live, on average, six and a half years longer than those in the lowest income group
  • College graduates are expected to live at least five years longer than those who didn’t finish high school
  • Compared with the richest countries in the world, the U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate, the highest homicide rate, the highest child poverty rate, and the largest wealth gap between the rich and the rest of the population
  • African American women of any class who report having experienced high amounts of racial discrimination are almost five times as likely to deliver underweight babies as to those who didn’t experience discrimination
  • White neighborhoods have 4 times as many supermarkets as Black or Latino neighborhoods

Source: Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? California Newsreel, 2008. http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/amazing_facts.php.

June mtng 2

Lance Nishihira of WE Run Food, ALL IN's South Hayward/Union City food recovery pilot team, updated the membership on the team's progress at the June meeting.

Upcoming Events

  • June 22, 11:00 am-5:00 pm, ACCFB's Feed the Need Food Drive at the Alameda County Fair. Free admission and $1 rides for each individual who donates 4 or more canned or packaged food items. 
  • June 24, 6:00 pm-9:00 pm, Alameda Point Collaborative and Food Shift Launch Party for the Alameda Kitchen, Purchase tickets here
  • July 21, 8:30 am-2:30 pm, KaBOOM! Playground Build for the College of Alameda's early childcare center, RSVP here
  • Game Theory Academy is now enrolling for their summer courses. For more information, click here.

In This Issue:

  • Focus On: Social Determinants of Health
  • Call to Action: Farmers' Market Match Funding
  • Fast Facts: Health Inequities
  • Update: Food As Medicine
  • June Meeting Recap
  • Stuff to Do, Stuff to Read

The West Oakland Farm Park Now Open! Visit City Slicker Farm's new urban farm and public park, located at located at 2487 Peralta St, Oakland. 

City Slicker Farms Sign
Grand Opening City Slicker Farms

City Slicker Farms held a grand opening celebration on Saturday, June 11 for their new West Oakland Farm Park.

Update: Food As Medicine

When families living in poverty have reduced access to nutritious food, healthy development is at risk: research shows that people from low-income households are more likely to develop chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity than people from wealthier ones. These diseases are preventable, especially if their causes are addressed early in life. Currently, Alameda County lacks a system that easily identifies and helps children who, because of reduced access to nutritious food, are at risk of developing chronic diseases. 

Food As Medicine is based on the notion that if pediatricians become actively involved in making sure their patients are eating quality food, children will be less likely to develop chronic conditions, especially diabetes and obesity. ALL IN is partnering with Dr. June Tester and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland to develop a “food prescription” program. A detailed plan for a pilot program, with a target population of pre-diabetic, low-income children, is now in place, and will include deliveries, home visits to assess the living and cooking environment, and nutrition classes for parents. The pilot will be implemented later this year.

June Meeting Recap

Our June membership meeting began with updates from each action team. WE Run Food, part of the Food Recovery effort, gave a more in-depth presentation on the progress their team has made. The pilot, which will operate in Hayward and Union City, will use an app called Chow Match to pickup excess food and deliver it to food organizations. 

Following the new meeting format outlined at last month's meeting, attendees heard a presentation by another Alameda County collaborative, the Interagency Children's Policy Council (ICPC). ICPC works with numerous county agencies and organizations (including ALL IN) to make sure Alameda County's children are safe, healthy, and thriving. The collaborative promotes these three goals through increased communication and system-based change. 

The next membership meeting is September 15 from 11am - 1pm, at TCE Conference Center, 1111 Broadway, Oakland, on the 7th floor. 

Thank you to all who attended, and have a wonderful summer!

Read & Watch

  • How much do you know about health inequities in the United States? Take this quiz and find out!
  • Want to know more about social inequities in Alameda County? Read this 2008 report.
  • A short video on health equity, prepared by San Francisco State University.

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