Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 Charity of The Year: The Food Trust

Seasons Greetings Shine & Sparklers!

It is the holiday season. People are rushing around frantically acquiring gifts for their loved ones. They are primping and preening in front of mirrors for holiday parties, shopping trips, and other festivities. While lots of beauty bloggers are posting about the perfect holiday look and the perfect gift for him/her/mom/dad/puppy/goldfish, I want to take this time to draw some attention to those less fortunate.

I think part of being a beautiful person is appreciating what you have. The holidays in the Western world seem to emphasize consumerism. Thus, I started the December tradition of posting The Shine and Sparkle Report: Charity of The Year. 

Like all my images, I will gladly take them down if asked/someone throws a hissy fit.  That being said, common! It's for charity dude/dudette!

I would now like to introduce to you, to THE FOOD TRUST!

So, why The Food Trust?  While I have highlighted international oriented charities such as Project Peanut Butter and Free Rice!, I wanted to turn this year's focus on issues in my home country of the United States.  I was motivated this year by the idea that there are many people who simply do not have access to healthy foods which are the building blocks of not only beauty, but overall health and well-being.  Many families struggle to put food on the table and often the foods that are affordable/available are not the quality foods needed to fuel bodies.  Children especially need healthy foods to ensure they can concentrate and do well in school.  The following information was taken from The Food Trust Website.

The Food Trust's mission is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. Working with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers, we've developed a comprehensive approach to improved food access that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food.

Programs and Activities
For more than 20 years, The Food Trust has works with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers in Philadelphia and across the country to change how we all think about healthy food and to increase its availability.The Food Trust's comprehensive approach includes improving food environments and teaching nutrition education in schools, working with corner store owners to increase healthy offerings and helping customers make healthier choices, managing farmers' markets in communities that lack access to affordable produce and encouraging other fresh food retail development in underserved communities.

Nationally, almost one out of every six children between ages 2 and 19 is obese.  The number of people suffering from other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, is also high.  Thousands of communities, both urban and rural, all across the country that lack access to healthy, affordable food. And nearly 30 million Americans, the United States Department of Agriculture reports, live more than a mile from the nearest grocery store.

Research has shown that you are where you eat, that the neighborhood you live in has a profound impact on the food choices you make. In partnership with PolicyLink, The Food Trust published Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters: A Review of the Research, a new report that provides an up-to-date review of the research. Three years after The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters, the large volume of new research demonstrates that improving healthy food access in low-income communities and communities of color continues to be an urgent need.

Research also demonstrates the economy of lower-income communities is positively influenced by improved food access. For example, the development or presence of a grocery store can create jobs, stimulate investment in the neighborhood and anchor complementary retail.

Support The Food Trust

There a lots of ways to GET INVOLVED WITH THE FOOD TRUST.  This can be as simple as a monetary donation to volunteering/interning/working for The Food Trust. 

This holiday season, while you are enjoying family, friends, and partying it up, perhaps take a minutes to consider the less fortunate.  While I love everything that shines and sparkles, the most important place for you to do so is on the inside.  

Happy holidays and as always,

Shine & Sparkle

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