CALFRESH FUNDED PARTNER DEMONSTRATES SUCCESS IN BUILDING HEALTHY HABITS IN SCHOOLS
Faced with the complex issue of food waste and food insecurity in their community, students at Santee Education Complex and Thomas Jefferson High School partnered with National Health Foundation (NHF) to find a solution. After months of conducting research, students and staff piloted what is now the gold standard for addressing food waste and insecurity – Share Table.
Through National Health Foundation’s Health Academy program, NHF partners with schools in South Los Angeles and works with students to develop sustainable solutions to address health barriers in their community. NHF collaborated with students at both schools to discover what issues prevented students from accessing healthy foods in their schools.
“Through the funding we received from the CalFresh Healthy Living Program, we were able to implement the Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) model, where students were challenged to think about health issues they faced in the context of food waste and food access,” shares Director of Community Initiatives, Chad Monk.
The results gathered from the data collected indicated:
1) High levels of food waste on campus
2) Many students experienced hunger at home after the school day ended
In considering various options to address food waste and food access at school, they decided to pursue the Share Table model. Under this model, students can use a table or other hard surface to place uneaten and unopened food items and beverages in an open space where students can pick up additional food items at no cost. Acceptable items include milk cartons, fresh fruit, and other healthy snacks.
After the initial pilot, students gathered data gathered from confidential surveys indicating that 35.9% of students reported using the Share Table one to five days a week and 55% reported that they felt the Share Table made a difference in their schools.
As a result of the incredible success of the program, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and CalFresh Healthy Living proceeded with the inclusion of NHF’s step-by-step guide in this year’s CalFresh Healthy Living Share Table Implementation Guide. In addition, local and state policies that directly support the use of Share Tables in schools have been instituted, including SB 557 Food Donation and Pupil Meals: Schools.
If you are interested in covering NHF’s success with the Share Table model, please contact Stephany Rodas at (213) 538-0723 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1973, National Health Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that works within communities to eliminate barriers to health, address the root causes of poor health, and advocate and empower under-resourced communities to find solutions that lead to lasting change. Embracing the guiding philosophy that health begins where we live, learn, work and play, the organization’s advocacy and work focuses on four key areas: housing, food access, built environments and education.