It started off with a mission to eradicate type 2 diabetes in this country. God placed the message in my heart when I wrote You Can Afford to Be Healthy.
Type 2 diabetes is an unnecessary disease that is preventable if we had a culture of health in this country. So I ventured out on a journey to discover how to create a culture of health that would make type 2 diabetes a thing of the past.
My 2 point plan to eliminate type 2 diabetes:
- Healthy food access for all, which includes making sure institutions provide access to plant foods so folks experiencing poverty and homelessness are able to eat nutritious foods and making sure healthy food is affordable for folks being financially strained
- Support the dissemination of whole food plant based nutrition research to all communities, especially communities plagued with type 2 diabetes
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
You investing in your health and me as your coach helps me work towards accomplishing this mission.
Here’s where we are right now.
LA Food Policy Council & the Good Food Zone Policy
One of the ways policymakers can help bring about healthy food environments is by inducing supermarket operators to open in underserved communities.
I helped raise money for LA Food Policy Council, an organization doing many amazing things, one of which is the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network. The goal of the program is to ensure that everyone can access fresh produce within a half a mile of their residence.
Low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have 3x as many small markets than more affluent and white neighborhoods. On average, they also have half as many full-service grocery stores. Limited retail options mean residents in lower income areas have less options for a healthy diet.
The Healthy Neighborhood Market Network program empowers small business owners in low-income neighborhoods to bring good food to their communities. By working with storeowners to champion healthy food access, the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network supports community vitality and economic development. Storeowners receive training, guidance and upgrades to their stores, transforming them into beacons of healthy, affordable food. As a result, communities have more options for living a healthy life.
In addition to that work, I am currently a co-chair for the Good Food Economy Working Group that is advocating for and working on the implementation of The Good Food Zone Policy.
The Good Food Zone policy, when passed and implemented, will support healthy food businesses in underserved neighborhoods. It’s food-oriented development. It connects food insecure folks to affordable, fresh, healthy food (like mobile grocery stores for example), low income neighborhoods to jobs, and supports businesses in these underserved neighborhoods with the technical assistance and financial support to grow and expand. This will positively affect the City of Los Angeles and has the potential to grow to the County and then nationwide.
Since COVID-19 hit, LA Food Policy Council has been:
- Passing out masks and gloves to local neighborhood markets
- Supporting these local markets so they can continue to provide food and necessities to underserved communities
Feed Our Soul
The curricula in America’s public schools should include education on nutrition and healthy food preparation starting at the elementary school level.
I am on the Board of Directors for Feed Our Soul. Feed Our Soul teaches young people about wellness through workshops, including gardening, environmental learning, nutritional literacy, culinary skills and restorative justice initiatives. The workshops are brought to the schools and the schools don’t need to invest huge sums of money on installing a garden because Feed Our Soul trains youth how to grow food using a hydroponics growing system. Students grow the food and then get to take it home to their families. The parents also look forward to their harvest. Through the young people, entire households are put on a healthy path.
Since COVID-19 hit, Feed Our Soul has been:
- Holding produce giveaways, giving away to South LA residents surplus from local farms.
- Planning virtual cooking demos for students
- Raising funds for a hydroponic farm, utilizing vacant lots in the city. These will be used as teaching gardens for programming outside of schools.
You can be mad at the system, which I am, and you can also mobilize for change, which I am. Thank you for joining me in this fight to eradicate type 2 diabetes in this country.
Here is a great article on some major policy moves we need to make in this country.