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July 2017 Newsletter
Nourishing Good Health

Newsletter

Delay in GHSMC Community Implementation Funding
As many of you are tracking, there has been much uncertainty in the federal policy landscape about the provision of health insurance and access to healthcare in the United States during the last few months. While the Congressional action early Friday morning suggests that the major components of the Affordable Care Act will remain in tact for the time being, the San Mateo County Health System is closely monitoring what’s occurring in Washington and taking careful note of the potential impacts on our residents. To be fiscally prudent and assure we meet the health needs of the communities we serve, we are delaying the release of our Get Healthy San Mateo County Community Implementation Funding opportunity as we gauge how changes in federal funding may impact our health agenda. We hope to be in a position to release the funding opportunity in September and will keep you updated on any changes. Please contact our staff with any questions.  

San Mateo County Low-Wage Worker Profile 
A key priority of Get Healthy San Mateo County (GHSMC) is a Healthy Economy. A strong local economy builds household financial security for all and promotes everyone’s health. An important aspect of financial security is wages—how much money a person or a family makes at their job(s). For most people, but particularly for low-income people, wages are the only source of income to rely on daily and monthly expenses with a limited cushion of savings and additional wealth to draw from. This makes even small changes in wages critical to a family’s financial security. In order to better understand the characteristics of the local low-wage workforce, GHSMC analyzed the demographics and industries of San Mateo County’s low-wage workers– defined here as those who earn $15 per hour or less. Read more here

Items to include in this newsletter

Staff Perspective Justin Watkins

A Vision for San Mateo County Food and Farm Bill

Get Healthy San Mateo County and its partners have a long history of working to ensure that all residents of San Mateo County have access to healthy and affordable fresh food. Get Healthy SMC has supported numerous projects to achieve this goal, while we’ve made great progress, there is still work to do. Get Healthy SMC along with the San Mateo County Food System Alliance recently embarked on an ambitious project to connect all of the various food related efforts underway in the county to maximize their impact in the community.

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Looking to the Future:  Plan Bay Area 2040 Adoption

Plan Bay Area is the region’s long-range transportation and land use plan. It allocates approximately $300 billion dollars in transportation investments over 25 years, and envisions future growth patterns. After over two years of public engagement, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) adopted the final on July 26.

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Taking Healthy Food Access to Another Level 

Health Policy and Planning staff, in partnership with Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE), hosted four community engagement forums to meet with local stakeholders and community partners to identify priorities in: 1)urban agriculture, 2) healthy food access, 3) local agriculture, and 4) farm to school. The meetings were attended by diverse stakeholders representing both the public and non-profit sector. The information gathered at the meetings will be used to inform the Vision for the San Mateo County Food and Farm Bill. We will share the results with you in the August newsletter.

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Shift Gears to Join the Bike Summit

The Silicon Valley Bike Coalition (SVBC) will be hosting the 7th annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit on August 8, 2017 from 9am to 6pm. Registration is still open and available to anyone interested in attending to hear and discuss the latest projects, policies, and issues around biking in San Mateo County and surrounding areas. More information and tickets can be found here

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Purchasing Resource for Farm to School Programs 

Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems recently released the Local Food for Little Eaters: A Purchasing Toolbox for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This resource helps support local food purchasing in the early childhood setting. The majority of Farm to School efforts have focused on reaching students in the K-12 and the college setting. Now early childhood providers have a resource to support local purchasing for their meal programs.

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Investing in Our Children Today to Secure a Better Tomorrow 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released the 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book. The Data Book tracks 16 indicators over four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The authors use the report to urge policymakers not to back away from targeted investments that help children become healthier, more likely to complete high school, and better positioned to contribute to the nation’s economy as adults.

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For Schoolchildren, Weights Rise Along With Summer Temperatures

Students’ summer learning loss, the loss of academic of skills and knowledge over summer break, has been well documented in recent years. New research shows that younger elementary students are also at risk for weight gain during the summer. This contradicts common perceptions that kids get more physical activity in the summer when they have more opportunities to be outside.

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Brisbane Baylands Meeting

The city of Brisbane has been in the process of planning for developing the area known as the Baylands since 2005. This is the largest developable land in San Mateo County and on the Peninsula. The current development proposal includes consideration for new businesses, open space, and housing. The City Council met July 13, 2017 to start the first of five scheduled meetings to deliberate the proposed plan. This could be an important opportunity to increase housing options and build a healthy community in San Mateo County.

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Home For All Champions Program 

The Home For All Initiative is preparing to launch their Champions Program. This program will be a volunteer group of individuals and public/private and non-profit organizations that will help support the Home For All Initiative through sharing social media content, participating in public outreach, and sharing information on housing in San Mateo County. Champions will be able to inform the public and share information on the housing needs and opportunities for San Mateo County. The program is preparing to launch in early August.

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Health and Small Businesses 

Small businesses play an important role in maintaining a community’s vibrancy, cohesion, and employment opportunities. Research also demonstrates that the number of small businesses in a county has a significant effect on local health outcomes such as mortality, obesity, and diabetes rates.

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