‘Food as Medicine': LAUSD Teams Up With Groups to Combat Food Insecurity

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LAUSD is teaming up with community groups and local businesses to teach students about the importance of nutrition.

The new “Food as Medicine” program is part of a multi-year partnership between Anthem Blue Cross, I-Heart media, Food Forward, Common Threads, Chicas Verdes, and the L.A. Sparks to combat food insecurity and improve health in marginalized communities.    

The program has been introduced in four states including California, Indianapolis, Georgia, and New York. 

Tuesday students at Manual Arts High School in South Los Angeles received donated bags of fresh produce and learned how to cook healthy meals for their families.  

Some of the teens say their neighborhoods are full of fast food restaurants and low quality food has led to illness in their families.

“My grandpa is having health issues because he doesn’t have a good diet," said 16-year-old Australia Pastor.

“One of my family members also has diabetes and had to get a better diet…. but it’s hard to find healthier foods with the places we live in," Kaylin Martinez added.

“We are thrilled to continue working with our community partners to address health-related social needs and promote health equity through access to nutritious foods here in Los Angeles. We know that lowering barriers and making it easier for individuals to access everyday items, like nutritious food, are some of the best ways to help people live healthier. We are doing that here today by helping build hands-on nutrition knowledge  for students and families, which will help open paths towards health equity for future generations," Dr. David Pryor, Regional Vice President and Medical Director at Anthem Blue Cross said.

Pastor and Martinez say they’re surprised at how tasty the healthy recipes are and they look forward to trying them at home.

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