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Oregon Farm to School bill would benefit health through job creation, study finds
Date:5/11/2011

th an economist to analyze the bill's impact on employment in the state.

The HIA concluded that HB 2800, if enacted as introduced, would:

  • Create at least 800 new agricultural jobs over the next five to 10 years in both urban and rural areas of the state. Research shows that employment improves health because it helps people afford safe places to live, buy adequate amounts of food, pay for health insurance and cover health care costs.

  • Have the potential to increase students' satisfaction with school meal offerings, which research shows can increase student participation in the federal school meals program. This program provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free breakfasts and lunches to children each school day. In 2009, 14 percent of households in the statenearly 500,000 people, including working familieshad to cut back on food or even regularly skip meals because of economic hardships. The legislation could mean more children in these families would get nutritious meals at school. Hunger can affect health by causing chronic illness and developmental delays.

  • Have the potential for a small to moderate, long-term impact on childhood obesity by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and increasing physical activity because more children are participating in school-based gardens.

"We found that this bill would offer the state of Oregon an economic benefit and, at the same time, provide a number of important health benefitsfor example, shaping children's preferences for healthy food," says Tia Henderson, Ph.D., research coordinator at Upstream Public Health and co-author of the report.

The Upstream Public Health HIA is one of 13 demonstration grants funded by the Health Impact Project. The other HIAs address a range of decisions, including a light rail corridor connecting the Twin Cities in Minnesota and a plan to re-develop an old automobile factory site in Atlanta, which would result in ove
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Contact: Alex Dery Snider
aderysnider@pewtrusts.org
202-540-6590
Pew Health Group
Source:Eurekalert

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