July 23, 2013 – In her remarks to the National Council of La Raza in New Orleans, First Lady Michelle Obama talked about the progress the country is making in addressing the childhood obesity issue and acknowledged The Food Trust's role in increasing access to healthy, affordable food:
"We are finally starting to see some results, as childhood obesity rates are beginning to drop in cities and states all across this country. We’re making progress, thanks to all of you.
"And while we still have a long way to go, the good news is that right now, we have everything we need to reclaim our children’s health – that is, if we’re willing to step up and continue to do our part in our own families and communities...
"And it’s about empowering families with the information and resources they need to make healthy choices for their kids...
"Major American businesses like Walmart and organizations like the Food Trust, which is working right here in New Orleans, are bringing fresh food into our communities. Restaurants are offering healthier menus. Mayors throughout the country are refurbishing parks and playgrounds. And we are bringing healthier breakfasts, lunches and vending machines into our school cafeterias."
From Remarks to National Council of La Raza
Today, Philadelphia has one of the nation’s largest citywide networks of farmers’ markets in low-income communities. But this thriving program, operated for the last 20 years by The Food Trust, had a bumpy road to success. Early on, several of our markets failed due to lack of shoppers or farmers–or both.
"The Food Trust is transforming the food landscape one community at a time, by helping families make healthy choices and providing the access to the affordable and nutritious food we all deserve."
From the New York Times
December 10, 2012 -- After decades of rising childhood obesity rates, several American cities are reporting their first declines.
The trend has emerged in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as smaller places like Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Neb. The state of Mississippi has also registered a drop, but only among white students.
“It’s been nothing but bad news for 30 years, so the fact that we have any good news is a big story,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the health commissioner in New York City, which reported a 5.5 percent decline in the number of obese schoolchildren from 2007 to 2011.
The drops are small, just 5 percent here in Philadelphia and 3 percent in Los Angeles. But experts say they are significant because they offer the first indication that the obesity epidemic, one of the nation’s most intractable health problems, may actually be reversing course.
Frustrated by lack of progress in the obesity fight, one of the nation's richest health charities will pay to build better stores and buy greener groceries itself, if it has to.
The Colorado Health Foundation has set aside $7.1 million for a loan-and-grant fund aimed at grocery stores and retail developers that need a subsidy to supply more nutritious goods in "food deserts."
From the New York Times
December 18, 2012 -- Mark Bittman's op-ed on the need for dietary seat belts.
"Philadelphia hasn’t allowed soda or sugary drinks in vending machines in schools since 2004, and its schools no longer have deep-fryers; the Food Trust (as I wrote in 2011) has pushed healthier food in corner stores. And New York has, among other things, banned trans fats from restaurants, made it easier for low-income people to shop at farmers’ markets and run a highly visible ad campaign that tells subway riders, for example, the number of miles they’d have to walk to account for that sugary drink.
Like Philadelphia, New York has come close to passing a soda tax, which has raised consciousness about the dangers of sugary drinks. The so-called Big Gulp Ban (which will not, sadly, affect actual Big Gulps) will be implemented in March; if it hangs around, New York’s obesity statistics may slide even further below the national average before too long.
These are dietary seat belts, and seat belts save lives. And only a jerk would say: “It’s a slippery slope toward telling me what to do. If I want to ride without a seat belt, it’s my right!”"