HEAC-CCROPP - Baldwin Park Corner Stores
The City of Baldwin Park, 20 miles inland from downtown Los Angeles, began as an agricultural region in the 1860s. Today, this suburb of more than 75,000 residents is mostly young (two out of three are under age 35) and Hispanic (four out of five), and finding nutritious, affordable food is a challenge. According to the Retail Food Study by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, for every supermarket or farmers market, Baldwin Park has six corner stores and liquor stores, far exceeding the statewide ratio of one to four.
"Healthy Teens on the Move", an advocacy committee of students from two local high schools in Baldwin Park, have made it their mission to improve Baldwin Park's physical activity and food environment for local children, of whom one in three is overweight. Taking their concerns before the City Council and School Board, the teens were actively involved in bringing healthy changes to school cafeterias, where lunch time was increased and salad bars were brought in. Fresh fruit is now standard fare and the sale of junk food is banned, in accordance with State-mandated nutrition standards. Beyond the schools, Baldwin Park also passed the first city ordinance in California to ensure that 100% of foods and beverages sold in city-sponsored youth facilities, including a vibrant new teen center, complied with the same State nutrition standards (S.B. 12 and S.B. 965) that now regulated food sales in schools.