CFPA Hosts Screening of Weight of the Nation


11.26.12 Teachers, LAUSD families and students, and local community members in the east San Fernando Valley took part in a screening of Children in Crisis, the third episode of the Weight of the Nation documentary series. The screening, which was held November 17, 2012, depicted the many factors that drive childhood obesity in our country. Residents of the Valley connected with the families in the documentary, as San Fernando is one of the top 10 cities in Los Angeles County with the highest childhood obesity rates. Following the screening was a conversation about what the state is doing to improve residents' access to healthy food, LAUSD's recent role in shaping student's eating habits, and what parents can do to encourage healthy school environments.

From the state level perspective, Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes provided attendees with an overview of CalFresh and legislation he has sponsored to make the nutrition assistance program more accessible to people. Not only does CalFresh improve one's access to healthy, affordable food, it also helps generate economic activity. For every CalFresh dollar spent, $1.79 is generated in the local economy.

At the school level, David Binkle, LAUSD's Food Service Director, stated that despite many challenges, the district is committed to serving their students appealing school meals that exceed USDA's nutritional standards. The district is soon to launch a scratch cooking initiative. Binkle also sought parent support for a comprehensive nutrition policy that is headed to the school board for a vote on December 11th. Key to this policy is language that would give every student in the district enough time to eat a school meal.

Elizabeth Medrano, coordinator of the Healthy School Food Coalition, encouraged parents to get more involved in their child's school. Visiting their child's cafeteria, getting to know the cafeteria manager, and joining the school's wellness committee were some recommended steps that parents could take to make the healthy the easy choice in their child's school. The screening concluded with a sampling of some of LAUSD's new breakfast items, such as sweet potato pancakes, blueberry muffins, oatmeal breakfast bars, and of course, two choices of fresh fruit, pears and apples.

For more information on Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis. link


Pictured clockwise: LAUSD breakfast items; LAUSD Cafeteria trainer, Michelle Smith, assisting Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes select from the various sugar free muffins served by LA Cafe; audience members in attendance at Byrd Middle School.