Providing jobs while teaching kids about nutrition

Date posted: June 30, 2009

The Accelerated School (TAS) students were paid for their work during the summer session to improve healthy food access in their community. In the past two years, they’ve created short videos for the “Where Do I Get My Five?” DVD and, a comprehensive online resource scheduled to launch August 2009, and transformed two local markets.

[vimeo 2948517]

The South L.A. Shopping Challenge
So You Think You Can Cook is a reality show competition set in the very real world of the South L.A. food desert. An average family of four in this area has $10 or less to spend on a meal. In this episode, two VERY competitive teams race to buy the healthiest, yummiest food from the corner store on their $10 budget.

Working on behalf of community issues has economic as well as social value. For several students, “Where Do I Get My Five?” and was also their first job and their first paycheck.

Turning your gas 'n sip into a place to buy fruits and vegetables

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Healthy Eating Active Communities Initiative student Magali Bravo initiated the conversion of the first South L.A. store, owned by her godfather, to stock healthier food choices. This “market makeover” serves as a model for other local stores and helped lay the foundation for Public Matters and South L.A. HEAC’s work on

[vimeo 760868]

On her way to school everyday, HEAC student Magali Bravo sees few healthy choices, store after store. This video shows that with a little elbow grease and a lot of determination, a neighborhood can grow their healthy food options – one corner store at a time.

South L.A. – The Food Desert. You can convince your local market to carry fresh food.

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South L.A. is a “food desert.” There are few supermarkets and those carry low quality produce.
[vimeo 1016506]
This video is the true-to-life tale of an epic journey, two hours – by bus. It chronicles the extraordinary efforts undertaken by HEAC student Lae Schmidt to get quality fruits and vegetables missing from her neighborhood.

In many communities, the main outlets for buying food, corner and liquor stores, offer little to no fresh food. Building relationships and transforming local stores are key to increasing healthy food access and improving health conditions in South L.A.