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January 2017 Newsletter
Room for Health


What we’ve been up to
We hope you are proud of the work we accomplished last year to advance your vision of healthy, equitable communities. Here’s a quick summary of some of our efforts to advance the GHSMC priorities. Always know you can contact us and let us know how we can continue to support your goals in 2017.

Announcing our 2017 Funding Recipients
We’re excited to announce the six projects selected to receive 2017 Get Healthy San Mateo County Community Implementation Funding to help advance healthy, equitable communities across San Mateo County! Welcome aboard to: 

  • Community Alliance of Family Farmers -  
    Farm to Cafeteria: Expanding local produce in San Mateo County (Healthy Schools – Healthy Food Access)
  • Faith in Action
    Protect and Expand Healthy Housing in East Palo Alto (Healthy Housing)
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
    San Mateo County Healthy Business Project (Healthy Economy) 
  • Pie Ranch Pie Ranch
    CSA 2.0 Farm to Family (Healthy Neighborhoods -  Healthy Food Access)
  • San Mateo County Office of Education
    School Climate Train-the-Trainer (Healthy Schools)
  • Youth Leadership Institute -
    Transportation Equity Allied Movement Coalition (Healthy Neighborhoods – Healthy Transportation Opportunities)

We look forward to sharing milestones of their great work with you! Find more information on their projects here

Items to include in this newsletter


Small Changes, Big Impact

Access to Healthy Foods

San Mateo County is one of the most affluent counties in the nation. However, many low-income, displaced and homeless residents don’t have access to healthy meals. We know that the food around us influences how and what we eat. People who are homeless face additional barriers to accessing healthy foods, where the healthy choice is rarely the easy choice. The 2015 Census determined there were 1,772 people who are homeless in San Mateo County, 141 in South San Francisco and 178 in East Palo Alto.

Staff Perspective Maeve Johnston

Home for All

We know that housing and health have a strong connection. When people have access to safe, affordable homes, they experience better health. That’s why we’re excited to be part of San Mateo County’s Home for All initiative. Home for All is a Countywide effort to build more homes in the county to meet the needs of residents and the demands of a growing workforce.


The Homeless Count 

This month, the Human Services Agency and homeless service providers participated in a nation-wide Homeless One Day Count to capture a snapshot of the number of homeless people and families in San Mateo County. Counting people in shelters, vehicles, encampments and on the street, gives us a deeper view into the scale and scope of homelessness in San Mateo County, which in turn helps us allocate the right amount of resources and interventions to address the challenge. Local counts are submitted and processed by the U.S.


Growing up in Growing Inequality

Access to income and wealth are important predictors of a person’s health, and yet American kids are far less likely to out-earn their parents, as inequality grows. A recent study dives into the widening gap between rich and poor Americans that have pushed the chances of children earning more money than their parents down to around 50%.


Cultivating a Local Food and Farm Bill

The San Mateo County Food System Alliance wants your help improving the County’s agricultural economy and ensuring healthy food access for all. As part of developing a local Food and Farm Bill, the Alliance is holding four forums this year, the first on 2/16 from 2-3pm in Half Moon Bay on Succession and Transition Planning for farmers, ranchers, agricultural land owners and people who provide professional support services to agricultural clients.


A Strong Dose of Nature 

Spending time outside can increase physical activity, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and improve children’s emotional wellbeing. In this podcast from the National Institute of Environmental Health, learn how health professionals and initiatives are prescribing nature to improve the health of children and their communities.


Lessons Learned 

The San Mateo County Office of Education is hosting the third County Achievement Gap Summit and Zap the Gap conference on March 9 in Redwood City. This special event will feature speaker Bernard Kinsey and The Kinsey Collection- a collection of African American art and artifacts that combines art and history to tell the often untold story of African American achievement and contribution.


Racial Equity in Education

This month’s School Wellness Alliance meeting drew over 60 people with Speaker Milton Reynolds of San Francisco Bay Area Facing History and Ourselves leading the discussion on racial inequity in education. What more can we do to create a more equitable school environment? You can bring the Facing History and Ourselves resources and curriculum into your school to teach students about topics such as race in US history, democracy and civic engagement, among other engaging topics.