Weekly Roundup: Safe Routes, Grocery Stores and Better Grades

Officials across the country announced plans this week to bring grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods, with the goal of increasing access to affordable, healthy food.
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Don’t Forget: The 2012 Summer Olympics are almost over — but together, we can make the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games healthier! Tell NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee to set the highest possible standard for Olympic sponsors.

Fewer Schools Sell Soda, But Sugary Drinks Remain

As we first reported in the Inside Track this week, new research from our friends at Bridging the Gap finds that fewer secondary schools offer regular soda to students. However, other sugary beverages remain largely available, including fruit drinks and sports drinks.

Healthier Kids Get Better Grades, Research Finds

Researchers at the University of North Texas find that fitter middle students do better on reading and math tests, WebMD reports. The study tested 1,211 students from five Texas middle schools, finding that “cardio respiratory fitness has the strongest effect on academic achievement.”

Illinois Gov. Announces “Food Fund”

A new public-private partnership in Illinois will provide financing to independent grocery store operators and developers to bring grocery stores to underserved communities, the Chicago Sun Times reports. Gov. Pat Quinn says the Illinois Fresh Food Fund will help bring affordable, healthy food to neighborhoods that lack access to nutritious products.

Philadelphia Neighborhood Finally Gets Grocery Store

After years of political wrangling and multiple false starts, a new supermarket is finally being built in an underserved Philadelphia neighborhood. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Brewerytown neighborhood has been without a grocery store for about 15 years.

Detroit Includes Safe Routes as Part of Revitalization

As Detroit looks to reinvent itself following years of economic decline, officials are also providing much-needed support to the city’s youngest residents. The Detroit Free Press reports on a $10 million plan from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to demolish hundreds of abandoned houses to create safe walking routes to schools. Officials also plan to fix broken street lights and make other repairs to make it safer for students.

More Safe Routes for Arizona Students

The Arizona Department of Transportation awarded $4.5 million in 27 grants to organizations as part of its Safe Routes to School program, the Arizona Republic reports. The money will help fund construction and education efforts that encourage students to safely walk or bike to school.


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Inside Track

Healthier Drink Options Head to the Hill in Maryland


IN THIS ISSUE: At least one Leader is especially eager for this year’s session of the Maryland General Assembly: There will be votes on two bills aimed at giving residents more access to healthier drink op

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Send a Valentine to Smart Snacks Sweethearts


Dear Supporters,

This Valentine's Day, instead of chocolates, I'm hoping you will help me send Valentines to Smart Snacks Sweethearts—people doing outstanding work to make sure that all snacks in schools are healthy ones.

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