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The Sugar Season is Here….Beware!

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Halloween is around the corner, and that means the start of “sugar season.” With that in mind the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is sharing some advice to manage the amount of sugar you and your family consumes.

Sugar does not need to be eliminated completely; however those foods with a large amount of sugar should be “occasional” foods not “everyday” foods.

Follow these tips to help reduce the amount of sugar kids will consume this Halloween and during “sugar season”:

  • Make sure your kids have a healthy meal before they go trick-or treating. Full tummies may lessen the amount of candy consumed.
  • Avoid using a large pillow case to collect Halloween candy. Let your child choose a smaller, festive collection bag.
  • Encourage children to take only one piece of candy from each house.
  • Buy snack size Halloween treats, and if you are the one passing them out – hand out one treat to each child, instead of letting them take what they want. This will help control your Halloween budget.
  • Cutting back on sugary treats also includes soda and sugar-sweetened drinks. Offer a festive punch made with sparkling water, a splash of 100% fruit juice and some fruit.
  • Instead of using sugar to sweeten cider, use fruit and spices like cinnamon, cloves, cranberries and orange slices.
  • Some healthier Halloween treats to try are tangerines or small oranges decorated to look like Jack-O-Lanterns (with non-toxic ink), 100% real fruit strips or ropes, snack sized packages of pretzels, popcorn, dried fruit, trail mix, nuts or pumpkin seeds.
  • Stay active with a family walk around the neighborhood.

And, as the holidays approach, remember the three ¡Viva Health! messages:

1)    Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies, every meal, every day.

2)    For portion control, use a smaller plate.

3)    Drink water, not sugary drinks.

Eat well; feel great, every season of the year! For information and materials on the ¡Viva Health! Campaign, visit: http://www.sanantonio.gov/Health/VivaHealth

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Black Worship VIII Show Recording

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Air Conditioning on the Way for Vulnerable Residents

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A needed step was taken today to improve the dignity and quality of life of some of San Antonio’s most vulnerable residents.

The City Council’s Comprehensive Plan Committee recently approved a funding recommendation to install air conditioning in over 2,500 public housing units on San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) properties that don’t have them.

“Some of these SAHA housing units were built in the 1930s,” said District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee. “Two thousand, five hundred families in our city including children and the elderly have lived through scorching summers without air conditioning for generations because their housing is old – that needs to change.”

The recommendation, which is pending the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regulatory approval and will be sent to the full City Council for final approval, is to allocate $500,000 in CDBG funds that will be leveraged with private and non-profit funding to purchase and install air conditioning units at 22 SAHA facilities. The City’s CDBG funds will be matched by SAHA in the same amount of $500,000.

SAHA will work on a short deadline in order to install the air conditioners before the summer. If approved by Council, purchasing will begin in March and April with installation finished by the summer months.

According to San Antonio Housing Authority CEO David Nisivoccia, one-third of the residents of the public housing units that need air conditioning are elderly and disabled. Those units will be prioritized, followed by families with children.

State Representative Diego Bernal attended the Committee meeting to thank the members for their approval and commented that all concerned were racing against the summer to get the project going.

“This will help the most vulnerable in our City,” Councilwoman Gonzales said. “Public housing should not reflect a community’s poverty.”

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Sharing Stories of Racial Discrimination

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San Antonio residents of color are invited to share personal stories of racial discrimination for the third annual HBCU Oral History Project, hosted at St. Philip’s College Feb. 15-17, from 9 AM to 5 PM in the Sutton Learning Center, 1801 Martin Luther King Dr.

The HBCU Truth & Reconciliation Oral History Project is an endeavor that uses the power of spoken and documented words to heal and create spiritual and social change. These stories and, the related research, will be used to inform policy changes within the political environment and spiritual changes from a grassroots and common person’s perspective.

Under the direction of Rev. Steve Miller, the Project’s founder, digitized oral history accounts will be gathered by the HBCU academy which includes; Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College and Southwestern Christian College. Participating partner universities include, Austin Presbyterian, Baylor University and TCU.

Miller’s work has resulted in federal civil rights investigations by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the United States Department of Justice’s Community Services Division, primarily, within the Texas educational system. His work has brought increased equity to hiring processes, enlarged job opportunities, and fostered greater understanding of institutional partiality through education.

Miller has coordinated and won legal actions at the federal court level and has been the stimulus of rewrites of discipline policies, whose ends resulted in fewer minorities being exposed to and caught in the educational system’s disciplinary apparatus, which correlates highly with elevated juvenile justice and mass incarceration rates.

For more information, contact St. Philip’s Director of Student Success Dr. Angela McPherson Williams at (210) 486-2090, awilliams284@alamo.edu or Project Founder and Director Rev. Steve Miller at (713) 557-6520 – (512) 404-4800, stevemiller@usclo.com

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