March 5, 2015

March is a special month for us at Alliance Healthcare Foundation.

fridge with food

First, it’s National Nutrition Month, so organizations all across the nation will focus on healthy eating and living strategies that can greatly affect their communities’ health and wellness. There are plenty of advancements to be made in this field, and National Nutrition Month will shine a spotlight on the progress we can and will make.

Secondly, we’re rapidly leading up to the announcement of our 2015 Innovation Initiative (I2). We will support system change through a $1M award to an organization or collaboration with an innovative way to make this change happen by reducing costs, increasing capacity and or improving quality.

To make the most of these two themes, let’s take a look at innovation in nutrition!

Year by year, it seems like the general public becomes a little more aware of the food they’re putting into their bodies, and that’s a good sign! But there’s still room to grow, and there are organizations spread across the U.S. committed to keeping the pedal to floor in their search for innovative, adaptable nutrition strategies for our citizens.

Heinz, a Pittsburgh-based company most noted for its tomato ketchup and “57 varieties,” actually operates its own Global Innovation and Quality Center. At this center for nutrition research and development, more than 200 chefs, food technologists, researchers, and experts in nutrition work to create healthier, safer meals for their customers across the globe.

That’s exciting work, and it’s exactly the kind of commitment we need from the “big players” in the industry to see real, widespread change.

That doesn’t mean local organizations can’t do anything, though! In fact, it should inspire us all to make a change in our own corner of the country.

SolutionsFarmsJust last year, Solutions for Change won our Innovation Initiative award for their aquaponic farming operation, Solutions Farms. With Solutions Farms, the organization turned a vision to raise all-organic, natural vegetables and fish to help feed the homeless and to teach soft job skills to their clients in San Diego County into a reality.

These are just two examples of innovation in nutrition and health happening around us on a daily basis. What can you do to change the way you and those around you eat?

Here’s an exercise for you to try: For the month of March, don’t drink soda or eat fast food. Take note of how you feel today versus how you feel on April 1. I think you’ll be happy with the result.

Make National Nutrition Month Count this year, and be sure to keep us updated on what you’re doing to advance health and nutritional awareness in your community!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Nancy Sasaki, Executive Director
Alliance Healthcare Foundation, Executive Director

About Alliance Healthcare Foundation

Alliance Healthcare Foundation is a San Diego-based nonprofit which works with nonprofit, government and community agencies to advance health and wellness throughout the San Diego and Imperial Counties. AHF works to serve the most vulnerable – the poor, working poor, children and homeless by providing grants, advocacy and education to support its region.

To learn more about AHF visit:   AHF on FacebookAHF on LinkedinAHF on Google+AHF on YoutubeAHF on Twitter

To learn more about our grantees visit here: AHF’s Grantee Page 

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