Enhancing Local Food Systems in the Placer County Region

In northern California, the month of May marks the beginning of the season of abundance. Cultivated fields spring to life with succulent strawberries, peas, and asparagus. Tomatoes and peppers make huge gains in their vegetative growth. Stone fruits begin to softly ripen. Our local farmers ramp up their operations to keep up with harvesting their booming crops and prepare their products for market. Most seasonal farmers’ markets begin in May or early June when farmer vendors have a nice selection of items to make available to eager shoppers. Anyone who has shopped at a farmers’ market can attest to the distinct difference in the experience compared to shopping at a traditional grocery store. The chance to speak to the person who has grown the food you will eat, the hustle and bustle of shoppers, the relaxed atmosphere, and the beautiful displays of incredibly fresh food all lend to the unique experience. Not to mention that purchasing produce at farmers’ markets can oftentimes be less expensive than shopping at the grocery store.

Unfortunately, many local residents have historically been excluded from partaking in the benefits and delights of farmers’ market shopping because they rely heavily on government nutrition assistance benefits, which farmers’ markets may not accept. The Center for Wellness and Nutrition is proud to be a part of changing this paradigm. Through a synergy of funding from the Placer Get Fresh Project and the Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grant, CWN staff is able to facilitate acceptance of SNAP benefits at two farmers’ markets in the region:

Auburn DeWitt Center Farmers’ Market

Richards Dr. at B Ave.

Auburn, CA 95603

Wednesdays, 10am – 1pm

June – October


Truckee River Regional Park Farmers’ Market

10500 Brockaway Road

Truckee, CA 96161

Tuesdays, 8am – 1pm

May 24 – October


These efforts will improve SNAP shoppers’ access to fresh and healthy foods as well as expand the customer base for farmer vendors. Our team will be joined by staff from the Placer Food Bank to conduct CalFresh (California’s name for SNAP) eligibility screening, to bring even more benefits to shoppers and farmers. If you work with SNAP-eligible populations in the Placer County region, please help spread the word about the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally grown produce at these farmers’ markets. Please contact Courtney.Cagle@wellness.phi.org for more information.

PHI Embarks on New Program Area Focusing on Child Trauma

The Public Health Institute (PHI) is expanding its role in the area of child trauma and the long-term effects of Adverse Child Experiences (ACES) on chronic disease later in life. Research shows that these early adversities negatively impact health behaviors and, subsequently, worsen health outcomes in adulthood. Currently, we are working in the rural north of California to establish a collaborative comprised of multiple counties. The collaborative will identify the training and technical assistance needed to institute a platform of services and evidence-based interventions. These services could then be used through multiple channels within county organizations and their community partners. For more information, please contact Lisa Tadlock at Lisa.Tadlock@wellness.phi.org.

Free Webinar: 3 Perspectives for Healthy Policy and Practice Change in the School Environment

Join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 at 10:00-11:30 am.

Catalysts for Change: 3 Perspectives for Healthy Policy and Practice Change in the School Environment webinar

To advance school wellness policies and practices takes time, guts, and vision for real efforts to take place. The Public Health Institute’s (PHI) Center for Wellness and Nutrition and California Project LEAN are pleased to invite you to participate in learning from three school stakeholders– an adult ally working with youth, a parent leader, and a district assistant superintendent– about their efforts to advance successful school wellness policy and practices in their district. Guest presenters include:

  • Raymond Diaz, Senior Program Coordinator, National Health Foundation
  • Jennifer Lux, Parent, Caleb Greenwood Wellness Committee Chairperson, Coordinated School Health Council Committee Member, Sacramento City Unified School District
  • Sandon Schwartz, Assistant Superintendent of Administration & Support Services, Madera Unified School District

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the 3 various stakeholders’ perspectives and the types of partnerships needed to advance school wellness policy and practices.
  • List at least 2 strategies that support realistic district and/or school site wellness activities.
  • Recognize the importance to have clear goals and outcomes to achieve a common goal, especially when related to creating healthier school environments.

Register for this free webinar here: https://publichealthinstitute.webex.com/publichealthinstitute/onstage/g.php?MTID=e83c6385d3354fdc0bddea0c18849bf14

For more information, please contact Katherine.Hawksworth@phi.org

CPL logo



Free Webinar: Promotional Strategies for Healthy Retail Programs


Working with retailers to provide shoppers with adequate access to healthy foods is an integral part of public health efforts to prevent obesity, reduce certain chronic diseases, and enhance community vibrancy. Join us for a free webinar on how public health professionals can work with food retailers, from large chain grocery stores to corner markets, to increase shoppers’ access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables. In this webinar we will:

  • share best practices for recruiting retailers to participate in your program
  • explore available tools, marketing and promotion efforts and how store staff can further these efforts
  • highlight emerging healthy retail strategies within SNAP-Ed programming

Wednesday, April 20th, 10:00 – 11:30 AM (PDT)

Register for this free webinar here.

Engage with the CWN LinkedIn page and win a $100 Amazon gift card!

The Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN) is happy to announce that we will be hosting a promotional contest via LinkedIn. One lucky winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card! The more engaged you are with the CWN’s LinkedIn page, the greater your chances of winning. Participants can earn an entry into the raffle by:

  1. Following us on LinkedIn
  2. Liking, sharing, or commenting on a current post

You can earn an additional entry for every like, share and comment. It’s that simple! Contest ends April 15, 2016. View official LinkedIn contest rules.

LinkedIn graphic

ENACT Day March 30th

Californians, join our partners at ENACT Day on March 30th! This annual event brings community members and advocates from all over California together in Sacramento to educate their state representatives and advocate for nutrition and physical activity legislation. All you need is your passion, and an optional donation. Can’t travel to Sacramento? Register for Virtual ENACT Day! Event registration and details here.


SNAP-Ed Toolkit Features Healthy Retail Recognition Pilot

In January the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service released the latest update of SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions: An Obesity Prevention Toolkit for States, commonly known as the SNAP-Ed Toolkit. The Toolkit is designed to help SNAP-Ed implementing agencies identify evidence-based and emerging intervention programs and strategies to help low-resource residents achieve healthy lifestyles and prevent certain chronic diseases. Choosing to implement evidence-based and emerging interventions ensures the greatest return on investment of public funds.

The Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN) is proud to announce that the Healthy Retail Recognition Pilot is featured as an emerging intervention in the new SNAP-Ed Toolkit. CWN staff developed and implemented the pilot through a contract with the California Department of Public Health in partnership with the local health departments of Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties. The pilot explored the effectiveness of a program to motivate and enable small, independent retail stores in low-income areas to identify and achieve changes to their store that increase the community’s access to healthy food. Participating retailers would receive a program decal to provide recognition to the business owners and serve as a cue for consumers to easily identify stores that stock healthier foods and beverages.

CWN staff is available to answer any questions you may have about the pilot and can even provide assistance in implementing a Healthy Retail Recognition Program in your communities. For more information, contact Courtney.Cagle@wellness.phi.org.


CWN’s New Training Catalog

CWN is happy to announce the release of our new training catalog. We offer customized webinars and in-person trainings to meet your organization’s requests. We also offer training and technical assistance packages to help you set up a new initiative or intervention. With over 15 years of experience in training and capacity building, our trainings are interactive, firmly grounded in adult learning principles and adapted to meet your organization’s needs. We look forward to connecting with you and making your next training a truly memorable experience. Please contact us for more information about training options and fees at info@wellness.phi.org


From Clinics to Community Change Agents

Dedicated Champion Providers from throughout California recently met in Los Angeles to brainstorm on how they can influence health beyond clinics and into communities of need. Volunteer doctors and dentists are making a difference in communities across California. One doctor has established a Reverse Food Truck that collects food donations at farmers’ markets and redistributes fresh produce to schools and food banks. Another doctor has started an Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Action Group in her county and another doctor provided testimony to fight against a fast food drive-through in her community. 

The Center helped to launch the Champion Providers initiative in 2013 and since then has worked in collaboration with faculty from the University of California, San Francisco to provide training and technical assistance. Champion Providers are encouraged to work with partners such as local health departments that may need the voice of a physician to advance policy, systems, and environmental changes to support nutrition and physical activity. This work is sponsored by the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch in the California Department of Public Health. For more information contact Susan.Lopez-Payan@wellness.phi.org.

Staff Present at Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Meeting

Amy DeLisio, Program Director for the Center for Wellness and Nutrition presented information on the Healthy Diva Beauty Salon Pilot Project at the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Annual Meeting on July 26, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA. Amy shared the results and innovative approaches in technology that were used to engage African American women in San Diego to increase their physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption. For more information on this project, contact Amy DeLisio.