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Spokane Celebrates Access to Healthy Foods

Oct. 24 marks second national Food Day, launch of local Food Access Coalition Web site

For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539
 
SPOKANE, Wash. – Oct 22, 2012 – On Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, numerous contributors to Spokane’s food system will come together to celebrate the second national Food Day. In addition to many celebratory events across the city, Food Day is also an opportunity to reflect on the work being done each day in Spokane to improve healthy food access for all people regardless of income.
 
“We’re thrilled with the work that numerous local agencies, groups and individuals are already doing around our food system and have already seen an increase in farmers’ market revenues, community gardens and scratch cooking in public schools,” said Natalie Tauzin, MPH, RD, a health program specialist with Spokane Regional Health District’s (SRHD) Healthy Communities program. “October 24 is a great opportunity for more members of the community to join us and help us do even more.”
 
Food Day is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all types—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. This is done by:
 
  • Reducing obesity and diet-related disease by promoting access to healthy foods
  • Supporting sustainable family farms and protecting the environment
  • Promoting student’s health by offering them healthier foods
  • Obtaining fair wages for all workers in the food system.
Central to these efforts in Spokane is its Food Access Coalition (FAC), led by the health district. The coalition will receive mayoral proclamations from both the City of Spokane and the City of Spokane Valley. City of Spokane’s will occur at its October 22 City Council meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the lower level of City Hall, 808 W Spokane Falls Blvd. City of Spokane Valley will make its proclamation at 6:00 p.m. on October 23 during its City Council meeting in Council Chambers at its City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Avenue, Suite 101. Both proclamations reinforce the coalition’s goal to increase access to healthy food for all.
 
On October 24, FAC will reveal Spokane’s first-ever Web site dedicated to providing residents with a custom and interactive experience for learning about Spokane’s food system. Through the site, FAC members hope to raise awareness and engage community members on how to increase access to real, nutritious foods either on a personal, institutional, community and/or policy level.
 
“Leveraging Food Day to promote FAC and its new site makes perfect sense,” continued Tauzin. “Both are committed to the health and well-being of citizens and the critical role of real food choices as a key factor in improving citizens’ overall health.”
 
On the Food Day Web site at www.foodday.org, residents can find several local events and efforts promoted by Spokane universities and public schools, as well as gleaning and composting events, and where the hungry can access healthy, free food. Many of these hosting organizations are also FAC members. Current coalition members include Washington State University Extension, Second Harvest, Catholic Charities, Sunshine Disposal, local farmers, and representatives from local hospitals, restaurants and grocery stores.
 
FAC has been meeting for the past three years and contributes to the health district’s food assessment process, educates members on Spokane County’s food system, increases awareness of local resources, and encourages increased access to local foods. Everyone from food processing to food waste management; business owners including food retailers; school nutrition program directors; and city and county-level policy-makers and elected officials is welcome to join the Food Access Coalition. Contact Natalie Tauzin at (509) 324-1659 or by email at ntauzin@spokanecounty.org.
 
Again, more information can be found at www.foodday.org. Information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s Web site offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.
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October 22, 2014