Support KC Urban Ag Code Changes This Wednesday!

May 10, 2010

Troostwood Youth Garden

This Wednesday, Kansas City’s Planning and Zoning Committee will have a hearing on proposed urban ag code changes. At the last meeting, the committee finally began to wrestle with the specifics of the ordinance, so we are hopeful that we have a chance at getting them to vote on an ordinance that makes sense and is workable.

City Ordinances Can Help Increase Access to Healthy, Locally Grown Foods

Did you know…?

  • In Jackson County, nearly 37,000 low-income people don’t have a car and live more than a mile from the nearest full service grocery store.
  • In bi-state KC, 63% of adults are overweight or obese.
  • In the states of KS and MO, 31% of kids are overweight and obese.
  • In 43 low-income schools in KCK and KCMO, 34% of kindergarteners are overweight or obese.  By fifth grade, that number jumps to 41%.
  • According to the Missouri Hunger Atlas, 16% of kids in Jackson County are food insecure, 28% are eligible for food stamps, and 47% are eligible free and reduced lunches.

There are too many neighborhoods in Kansas City where:

  • Liquor stores and fast food joints are easier to find than a fresh carrot, head of lettuce, or home-grown tomato.
  • The people who suffer disproportionately from diabetes, hypertension, and other diet-related diseases can’t easily follow the doctor’s orders to “eat more fruits and vegetables.”

In communities like these, the city ordinance that we have proposed which would allow a home gardener or someone running a garden micro-enterprise to sell fresh-grown  produce to their neighbors could be an effective strategy to help people get access to healthy food.

If you think that Kansas City, MO needs to support this small step to increasing access to healthy foods, please:

1.  Show up at the Planning & Zoning Committee Hearing on Wednesday, 1:30pm, at City Hall, 414. E 12th Street.  The hearing will be either on the 10th floor in City Council Chambers, or on the 26th floor, in the Hearing Room.  (Stop in at the info desk in the lobby to ask.)

2.  Email and tell them that you want them to support the ordinance because our city needs to support neighborhood-based access to healthy foods!

Kansas City needs to support healthy, lively communities where residents can grow food and feed their neighbors!


Sparkling Blueberry Soda

May 10, 2010

I brought the ingredients for this healthy soda to a recent SHNAK meeting. The student LOVED it! They said it was the best soda they’ve ever had. They said they would want their moms to make it for their birthday parties. Then one said “It’s good because you can’t taste the blueberries!”  Oh well, two-outta-three, right?!?

This blueberry soda doesn’t just taste great, it helps kids learn to enjoy the real flavors of fruit. It’s also easy enough for very young children to make. You can vary the amounts depending on the size of your cup or pitcher. In smaller cups, the blueberries can replace ice, in bigger cups or pitchers, add ice before adding the other ingredients.

Frozen blueberries
Cranberry juice made with 100% juice
Sparkling water

1. Put blueberries in bottom of cup or pitcher.
2. Fill cup or pitcher half full with cranberry juice
3. Top off with sparkling water.

You can find more healthy tips in this guide I created for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and KC Healthy Kids: “Healthy Alternatives to School Celebrations, Rewards, Fundraisers and Snacks.”