March 28, 2018

On today's show our editor, Mark Marshall, takes us back to look at three amazing organizations we've highlighted on earlier shows...Cookie Cart, Ben's Fund and Variety of Southern California.

March is National Nutrition Month®, an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Initiated in March 1973 as a week-long event, "National Nutrition Week" became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition.

Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future.

Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.  Make healthy food and beverage choices from all five of the food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy to get the nutrients you need. A healthier eating style can help you avoid overweight and obesity and reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.  Always read the Nutrition Facts labels and ingredient lists of the foods and beverages you choose.  Eating fewer calories from foods high in saturated fat and added sugars can help prevent overweight and obesity. 

Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.  Start with a few small changes – make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.  Make half of your grains whole grains. Move to low-fat and fat-free dairy.

Cookie Cart
Cookie Cart

While in Minneapolis, Adrian and Bev visited Cookie Cart, a fantastic organization that provides teens 15 to 18 years old with lasting and meaningful work, life and leadership skills through experience and training in an urban nonprofit bakery.  We spoke with Matt Haley, the Executive Director, as he gave us a your of Cookie Cart, located on West Broadway Avenue, right in the heart of North Minneapolis.  By the end of 2016, 200 teens were engaged in 30,000 hours of job experience and classroom job readiness training.  

The first stop for Cookie Cart teen employees is the Bakery Program — the very foundation of our youth employment training. In this hands-on, job-training program, they teach essential employment skills to every teen coming through the Cookie Cart kitchen.

Young people who show responsibility and initiative are promoted to Cart Captain. In this role they take leadership in directing youth employee teams, training new youth employees and managing work assignments.


Adrian and Elizabeth O'Neil
Adrian and Elizabeth O'Neil

Adrian visited the Seattle Seahawks’ Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) where he talked with Traci Schneider about Ben’s Fund

Established in 2012 by Seahawks General Manager John Schneider and wife Traci, and in partnership with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Washington, Ben’s Fund was named in honor of their son Ben, who has autism. The Fund provides grants to families in order to help cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies and numerous other aspects of supporting a child, or children, on the autism spectrum. It also connects families to FEAT so they will be established in a larger community to receive ongoing guidance and assistance as they continue their journey with autism.

An Adaptive Bike and a Smile...
An Adaptive Bike and a Smile...

Adrian visited Variety - The Children's Charity of Southern California and sat down to talk with Elizabeth O’Neil, Executive Director of the organization and Erica Lopez, Executive Director of Variety Children's Charity of the United States.  Among its many other programs in the Southern California chapter, Variety supports a wide range of neo-natal intensive care equipment for hospitals in under-served communities to ensure that the tiniest of children receive the best care possible.  @VarietySoCal

The Southern California Chapter of Variety was formed in 1941 and has raised over $60 million for children in Southern California. Long considered “The Heart of Show Business,” Variety finds its roots in the entertainment industry. Variety was originally established by eleven Vaudeville showmen and still exists today for one reason: to help children in need.

Variety of Southern California focuses on three major areas of funding: Healthcare, Education, and Mobility. Within each of these three areas, Variety works hard to make sure that they get the greatest benefit possible from every dollar they receive.

Children battling illness need relief from the pain and chaos of treatments. Variety supports camps and programs for kids affected by HIV/AIDS, Cancer, and other life threatening illness.  They also support organizations which provide safety, help, and hope to children who are victims of abuse, neglect, and homelessness.

Variety’s Mobility Program steps in where insurance and other funding step out because no child should miss out on the simple pleasures of childhood when his or her family cannot afford the necessary equipment.