cheney school district

USDA proposes healthier food recommendations for adult and child day cares

We were excited to find this article in the Washington Post detailing a step in the right direction for federally funded meal programs in adult and child day cares working toward healthier kitchens.  The USDA has proposed changes to nutritional requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, including eliminating reimbursements for grain-based desserts like cookies and cake, and no longer offering juice to children under 1 year of age.  Nationwide, this program serves nearly 4 million people per year, so it is crucial that this system incentivizes day cares to provide healthy, wholesome food.  According to one expert, "food choices people make in early childhood are the building blocks for the healthy habits of their lifetime,” which is why we have chosen to partner with school districts in our region convert to healthy scratch cooking as part of our obesity prevention work.

The USDA was also attentive to the need for these changes to be financially sustainable, proposing "requirements that wouldn't boost costs since providers won't be paid more."  Sustainability is also a lynchpin of our work -- in fact, Cheney School District, our first obesity prevention partner, was able to achieve net positive financial results within the first two years of the scratch cooking program, making this a truly sustainable systems change!

You can download the entire Washington Post article here:

EHF Thanks Partners for Moving the Needle!

Our Grand Opening on Monday, June 15 gave us the opportunity to thank some of our key partners for moving the needle on a variety of initiatives.  Without their patience, dedication, and tireless work toward transforming Eastern Washington into the state's healthiest region, we would not see the results in decreasing obesity, reducing uninsured, and increasing graduate medical education in Eastern Washington.

Sustainably moving the needle on Obesity

In 2011 we partnered with Cheney and Othello School Districts to launch our first initiative to reduce childhood obesity rates.  The first two years showed both a decline in the percentage of overweight/obese students and an increase in revenue for the school districts' nutrition services.  A sustainable switch to healthy scratch cooking and a variety of calorie-out strategies have continued to move the needle toward a healthier Eastern Washington!

Building on the success of our first three years of the obesity prevention program, we partnered with Spokane Public Schools starting in 2014, bringing the number of scratch-cooked meals in our 10 partner school districts to over 3 million per year!