Los Angeles County Grassroots Teams
Score Successes on School Nutrition
- Identified community needs and concerns through Town Hall Meetings and neighborhood surveys
- Organized local projects and events to raise awareness among community residents, the media, and policy makers
- Educated legislators by sharing information, research findings, and policy recommendations
- Town Hall Meetings. Teams identified state and local policy priorities through a series of eight Town Hall meetings in 1998 and 1999 attended by 500 adults and 200 youth. Attendees’ primary concerns centered on issues relating to school nutrition and physical activity.
- Unhealthy Foods/Beverages in School Vending Machines. In 1999, the 54th Assembly District team found that 99.8% of foods and 85.2% of beverages sold in vending machines in seven middle schools and seven high schools in the Long Beach Unified School District were considered unhealthy based on the state nutrition standards in the Education Code as of 1999. These findings helped spur efforts to improve the quality of school foods throughout California.
- SB 19 (Escutia, 2001). After the 58th Assembly District Team presented information to Senator Escutia about diabetes deaths in Senate districts of Los Angeles, she introduced what became a landmark piece of legislation that established nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold in California elementary schools.
- LAUSD's School Food and Beverage Motions. Building on momentum established by SB 19, the 45th Assembly District Team educated Los Angeles Unified School District board members and the general public about the need for LAUSD policy reforms. This campaign contributed to the School District’s watershed decision in 2001 to ban the sale of unhealthy beverages on school campuses. In 2003, CCPHA in conjunction with the 45th Assembly District team assisted school Board Member Marlene Canter in developing and successfully passing a motion to ban the sale of all junk food on school campuses.
- SB 19 Grant Funding. In 2002, the 47th Assembly District Team secured $750,000 in SB 19 grant funding for LAUSD to implement the statute’s standards for competitive food at two high schools and a middle school.
- Baldwin Park Healthy Foods Resolution. In 2003, the 57th Assembly District Team (San Gabriel Valley), with leadership from its Youth Subcommittee, led a successful effort to convince the Baldwin Park City Council to adopt a citywide ordinance requiring that only healthy foods and beverages could be sold in youth facilities in the city of Baldwin Park (population 75,837). This policy was the first ordinance of its kind in the state.
From 1998-2004, CCPHA directed a Grassroots Nutrition and Physical Activity Campaign funded by The California Endowment in six legislative districts in Los Angeles County. Through the Campaign, teams of local residents educated legislators and other community leaders about the importance of nutrition and fitness for children and adolescents through the following activities: