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OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 130



Week #130

Join us this Friday for OneRouge Week #130 at 8:30am via Zoom. This week’s call will continuation of our series on the driver ‘Lack of access to foods to sustain a healthy life' featuring speakers:

  • Dr. Vincent L. Shaw - Program Director and family medicine doctor at Baton Rouge General Medical Center

  • Susan Hymel – Advocate, educator, renaissance woman

  • SK Groll - Baton Roots Program Coordinator of Operations

It bears repeating that malnutrition in this nation of plenty is real. I think we all know that poverty impacts food access, but do we make the connection that poverty impacts health? We should. The CDC has long touted “Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and avoid complications.” There is a link between health outcomes, food access, and food security, but what is that link exactly? And how do we even start to address the issue for ourselves, our communities, our Baton Rouge? Well, that is exactly the conversation we intend to have

Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!



SK Groll: So I'm SK Groll. I am one of the program coordinators for Baton Roots, one of the projects under the Walls Project. We have a four acre farm at Howell Park, which I know y'all have heard me talk about at before. And we also have 14 satellite sites at 11 of the housing authority communities across East Baton Rouge Parish, as well as three of the high schools. And our whole goal is to turn those spaces into learning labs where folks can access the knowledge on how to grow their own food, some resources/ tools to do that on their own as well as get fresh food when we have it available and just build community with other people around food production, and learning to garden and farm. I think the conversation that I was introduced to was framed as food access and health and the connections there, so in addition to my program coordinator at Baton Root's hat I am a critical scholar of health, and I think a lot about how health equity is really structured. So we talk about the social determinants of health and the social determinants of a lot of things in this forum. But over 70% of health outcomes are determined by those social determinants of health rather than health behaviors. And something that kind of grinds my gears whenever we talk about food is we forget that, right? We forget that the social determinants of health really determine health outcomes and we decide to focus a lot on food behaviors. We just talk a lot about nutrition and cooking and people making choices at the grocery store or in their own kitchen without thinking about what people really have access to. And I'm so excited about the places where we're really pushing that. But if we think about it like a world where people have access to land and access to resources, and access to finances is a world where people also have access to food, right? And so we live in a space where a lot of land ownership has been transferred out of Black and indigenous control. Where like a very small percentage of farmers are Black farmers. A very small percentage of farmers are being able to hand down family farms and be able to economically thrive. And so folks are getting farther and farther from the locations where their food is produced. They're also getting farther and farther away from seeing that process of food production and making spaces where people can get closer to their food being produced and learn more about it and become enmeshed in the process means that we get to also have these spaces of questioning Okay, how can we make more of this? How can we make land more freely available? How can we make this knowledge more freely available? How can we cook with more local ingredients or make sure that these ingredients are in our grocery stores and our corner stores, and in our, favorite businesses and restaurants? I really think that like our goal at Baton Roots is to bring people closer to that process of food production. We're not an industrial size farm. We're not even really producing at scale yet. But we are just one place where folks can learn and get closer to that process. And we're really excited about, working with our partners at Breta, working with our partners at, Three O'clock Project, working with our partners at Topbox and at AHA. All around the city, Geaux Get Healthy, we are to bring people closer to their food and just to make sure that everybody has access to food because it's a human, and so for me, you're never gonna hear me harp on like the nutritional content of food because the healthiest food is the food that people can eat and that keeps them alive. You can't have health and you can't stay alive unless you have access to some food. And so I never really care about the other parts of it, so I care about those of you who do. But I think that just having access to food is such an important thing that we need to really be thinking about on a structural level as well as that individual health and behavior level.

Pepper Roussel: It's crazy talk. Crazy talk. But I'm here for the crazy talk. So we will shift to Dr. Shaw. If you wouldn't mind giving us a an idea of how food and health work together.

Dr. Vincent Shaw: Good morning to everybody. I'm Vincent Shaw. I'm a family physician here in Baton Rouge. I work at Baton Rouge General at the Mid-City campus, I'm also in charge of the training program for the family medicine residents at our institution. So we're responsible for educating the next several generations of physicians that come out. But in addition to that I've done essentially my entire career at Mid City and in the Mid City area. And, in the process working and training physicians, there's been a bigger push for physicians to address social determinants of health as it involves our patients. And that includes being holistic in terms of the approach with regards to nutrition, food security, transportation access to affordable medications and such. And being within the mid-city area. We've seen that a large majority of our patients have limited access to quality foods because if you draw sort of a circle around mid-city I don't know if I shot a gun in any particular direction that I would hit a grocery store. I think the closest one, I think it's Albertson's and Government Street in the 7 0 806 zip code, but, If you look at housing in the 7 0 806 zip code, that's unaffordable for most. So a majority of our patients that we've seen have an issue with transportation. One, there's no food, but if they can get to the food how do they get to the food? So when you look at it, and I used to live off of Foster, which again, there was no grocery store close. It was the convenience store, the dollar. Dollar General. And if you look at it, those are, it's almost like a dollar store next to a fire a firehouse. They are that prevalent within the community. And so when you talk to the patients about, what are you eating? Because they have these chronic disease, and there was a study that was published in preventing chronic disease that talked about folks who come from, and it was focused on the Delta region folks that come from the Delta. There's a higher prevalence of Dollar Stores, which, when they use their SNAP benefits, the cost of food for healthier foods is like 48% higher than it is for, highly processed foods. So we fight that battle in terms of trying to get our patients with chronic diseases to eat properly. So we tell 'em, Oh, you need to eat a diet. But then at the same time, how do we help them secure that food. So as a physician, I'm trying to teach the next generation to assess and address those issues. But as a society, how do we help our patients so that they can eat properly so that, we mitigate these diseases, Because obesity seems to be the number one thing. Because all the foods are like high, caloric, highly processed which can be pro-inflammatory, but we go down that road. But from a medical standpoint, I'm fighting a battle on two, separate two or three separate fronts. One, allowing the patients to have access to get to the clinic because they have no transportation. Two, treat their disease states because some of them have poor health literacy and limited access. And then, When we try to use food as a therapy, they have no access to food because either they can't get there or it's just not available. That in terms of the medical side is how we have to work to address it, and we're constantly trying to teach the new physicians that are coming out that this is a part of not just treating the patient, but you have to treat the community as well.

Pepper Roussel: I will start by saying I wish I would've had that segment like very last, because next week we're gonna be talking about food and transportation, and that would've been an amazing cue up for that conversation. So thank you. I think that a lot of people don't necessarily understand that if you live in a place where you can't necessarily get to, say a grocery store, even if you do get to the grocery, how are you getting at home? How are you getting the food back to where it is that you need to eat it? And it's just it becomes this really vicious cycle. But I wanna unpack a couple of things around food access, food security. When we talk about folks who are safe, pedestrian, as in they don't have a car, they rely upon public transportation and maybe they are close to say a small box store, like a Dollar General or one of those a corner market where you can go and get survival produce like a banana, maybe an onion. What sorts of things would be possible for us to maybe encourage for them? Is it a shared Costco card where, somebody runs from the neighborhood,

Pepper Roussel: What can we do in order to encourage folks to, to get the food that they would need in order to live?

SK Groll: So I can start with the non-clinical answer. Dr. Shaw, you wanna follow up with things from your perspective? So we've been working with Geaux Get Healthy and Healthy BR for years. They've helped us to have the farm started and continue throughout this time, which has been incredible. And we've gotten connected to a wonderful group of partners, which includes Top Box Foods, who's been trying to do food deliveries. They are in New Orleans as well as some other markets and have been for a while in Baton Rouge. And I don't know if Anna or Connor is on this call, so if they are, please speak to that. But they're working now with Clinics Care South and expanding a relationship with Open Health, both in the mid-city area to screen for food insecurity for patients at those clinics. And then to set those patients up with food deliveries to their homes and using that EBT stat match to double the amount of produce that they're able to access through that or to reduce the price of those. That's great because Top Box will deliver directly to the homes and they've been working to figure out that model and pilot it with Our Lady of the Lake North and LSU Health over the last few years of Geaux Get Healthy work. So that's one option. But then I know that other folks on here, including the YMCA, Three O'clock Project, AHA and Top Box are talking about what are the other kinds of ways that we can do food distribution and Tracy and Chelsea from the American Heart Association have been doing some really great work with schools trying to get food pantries set up and food prescriptions set up for students who might be food insecure and that being an access point where there might be availability and transportation, they could happen for families. So there are some either delivering directly to the homes or to community centers and spaces that would be accessible and close to families is one of the options.

Dr. Vincent Shaw: From my time with the military when I was out in El Paso, they did have a in conjunction with the food pantry, they had what's called a food pharmacy where, if they had a chronic disease and their physician prescribed a healthier diet they could take the prescription and then get a sort of pre-selected box with healthier food options available. A lot of times it involved, fresh fruits, produce various sorts that required preparation, but also would lead to healthier outcome reducing sort of those higher processed, higher sodium containing foods. I think in conjunction with the partners that you guys have, working with the medical community to set up dieticians or something where if a patient has a particular disease, let's say diabetes, they can take this food prescription or they can fax it to one of the food delivery services and they can, in turn receive this box of healthier food options as a means of treating the disease. So you're addressing some of that social ill in terms of lack of access to food and lack of transportation, but also addressing that medical treatment using, nutrition.

SK Groll: I think the thing that really excites me about that Dr. Shaw, is the idea that, if it's a prescription, is there a way to leverage insurance dollars or other health dollars to make that affordable and accessible for patients? And I say this thinking about like patients that are on Medicaid and Medicare, but also, how do you make that affordable for folks who have a private insurance plan or maybe who are uninsured, right? How do you set up a safety net for that as well? But I love that idea so much and it excites me.

Dr. Vincent Shaw: In today's world it all boils down to dollars and cents. So if you can, basically approach Medicaid, Medicare insurances, basically level the playing field. Say, Hey, look, these are your outcomes that you're trying to get. If you're spending X amount of money trying to fix all these chronic diseases, if you put the money on the preventative side, then the money you're gonna spend on the back end of the pipe is gonna be a lot less if you spend it on the front end. All they care about is their bottom line. Not that they don't care, at the end of the day it boils down to dollars and cents. So if you can show them, Hey, look, this is the cost savings that you gotta get over the long term. I'm sure that they will be more than willing to sit at the table and say, Okay, what do you guys have? How can we approach it? How is this gonna save us money? And I think that's the bargaining chip that you have to use. And those folks without insurance should still be afforded that opportunity or limited resources. We have to figure out some way of catching national dollars or whatever that's available and using that to help supplement those folks who fall out of that safety.

Pepper Roussel: Because food should be a human right. But that's a different conversation. As we move back into the larger conversation around health and wellness, I am oversharing in this moment, mainly because I feel that it actually does have bearing on this conversation. So the end of August, I was diagnosed as diabetic and we still don't know what kind of diabetes it is. It may triggered by autoimmune issues and doing like tests after tests. But the thing is, my diet has never been the issue. My activity has never been the issue, and it is, I will say, wildly frustrating to have somebody tell me that I need to eat better. And it is also incredibly challenging when someone looks at me. I am smaller, I am thinner than I have been in years, and the first thing well a diabetic must need to lose weight. And so when we talk about food and wellness and I ask questions around how do we get people the food that they need, I wonder, if there is a way that we can be more sensitive to folks who are maybe doing the best that they can. Now, certainly, I'm not saying that everybody who is who is presenting as diabetic on any level hasn't earned it. Family who have it on my maternal side it was largely self-imposed; my father’s seems to be genetic. But what if they just cannot get to Quinoa, or dragon fruit or something else that might be the new hotness around food, What are the ways that, or is there a way that we can be more sensitive to how it is that folks not only interact with food so that it becomes less contentious, but also that we are cognizant that these are adults making adult decisions?

Dr. Vincent Shaw: Part of it is we also have to assess sort of cultural norms. And we all know we have our own sort of cultural norms and you stay with what is comfortable. So it's, you have to get folks to understand and be a partner in their own health with this. So if they have access to some of the things that they aren't familiar with, you have to try and work with them to, or negotiate with them so that they can see that, hey, look, this is not something you normally do. It's okay to go outside of your comfort zone and try it. Becasue we all feel comfortable. There's the comfort food aspect of the Sunday dinner, which is, usually, fried, sliced and laid out. But it's, high calorie and may not be the most nutritious foods or, if the grocery store offers quinoa, is anybody gonna use it? I don't know what that is. I'm not about to try that. It's introducing those types of foods, to the community and saying, Hey, it's okay. It's not Oh, that's not what we do, that's what they do. You have to get over that stigma that certain foods apply to certain people. And so I'm not sure how as a group we could address that the stigmatization of certain foods to certain, sort of culture or ethnic groups. But if they don't have that available, what is the closest substitution to that type of food?

SK Groll: So I, I think that idea reducing stigma around different foods, I think it's great. I wanna check go back to what you said, being oversharing or I think being just really vulnerable in front of all of us and say thank you for that and like grounding that question and your lived experience. I also think that The conversation around like weight and health is incredibly personal to me and it's personal to people in my family. It brings up things for me of like the first time that like a doctor told me to lose weight when I was a preteen. But you go back to literature and a lot of the medical discourse around weight and health is messed up. And I'm so sorry Dr. Shaw, cause I'm speaking as a non-clinician here, but as somebody who is a critical scholar, BMI is predicated on the research of a Northern European mathematician in the 1800s. So it was not ever meant to be this population level global metric to assess bodies like BMI is bunk. It should have been done hundreds of years ago. The fact that we're still using it and using it with any type of credibility and that we're reifying it and that we're re inscribing its validity or its truth in our discourse around medicine is absolutely garbage. It's one of those times when science pretends to be unbiased, but is absolutely biased. It's absolutely biased towards European and Eurocentric body norms. And that doesn't work for all bodies. It doesn't even work for white bodies like mine. And so I think that there's a real thing that we're missing here that I've learned a lot from disability studies. I've learned a lot from fat liberation. I've learned a lot from indigenous scholars that are talking about healing from eating disorders, but trying to undo conversations of white supremacy and how that gets inscribed into food discourse. And I think that there's one just for all of us, clinicians are not a lot of learning to do, to really think about how our conversations about food and bodies have been normed in a particular by white supremacy culture. It's a really hard thing and it requires all of us to go a little bit deeper and to think more critically about the ways that we're talking about bodies. I think about this too as a gender nonconforming person. The way that we talk about normativity in bodies. And we use particular things like blood pressure metrics that we use, things like weight and height and other kinds of particular biometrics. So measuring the body in any form has always been used in a particular way to reinforce what a normal body should look like. And we just know that there's not a normal that works for everybody. And so then it's what does health look like for everybody? And that means that we have to think structurally about people having access to resources and access to, the dignity, the autonomy, the power to self determine what works for them. And what works for me, what works for somebody else, are gonna be different. And that goes to our food choices. Also goes to how we might manage our medications. But really, I appreciate what you said of people, they're adults, sure, but even kids, right? They're gonna make choices that make sense for them and ultimately It doesn't matter whether or not I agree with that or whether or not the literature and the research endorses that. I want, I think that it makes sense for me to live in a world where everyone can do what makes sense for them with their bodies and have the resources to thrive within that. Because I know that's a world where I thrive a little bit better. And so I think that this conversation around food and health is what makes sense for you? And that's so hard because our health is individualized. When we have that meeting with a doctor where we're talking about Oh, this is the results of your blood sugar test. This is the results of this thing, this is what's happening with your medications. It's so individual. But so many people, when I talk to them about their health experiences, have some amount of shame or discomfort or that there is something there that is larger than an individual person. And it's that moment where like we get political when we start sharing those things with each other and being able to build from that collective experience or figuring out it's not just me. There's something that feels off here and it's more than one of us.

Pepper Roussel: Thank you for that, sk. I really appreciate it. And I have to apologize that I have not introduced Susan Hymel before now.

Susan Hymel: I'm wearing my hat as the Health and Taste Fair Coordinator, sponsored by the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge and scheduled for November 19th. It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and will be held at the BRAC Cadillac. The Federation has been serving a daily new meal in Zion City neighborhood since 1987, and had covid not come, the Zion city would've celebrated its 100th anniversary. It's the second oldest area in our city that had Black home ownership and it's therefore that Habitat for Humanity also started in that area. I'm speaking to one of the history graduates and two, as a non-profit leader and an entrepreneur, and I bring those passions to this. I grew up across the river on Highway 190 on 60 acres of land with a grocery store, bar and fillin station where my father walked through the living room door to go to work. I grew up in West Baton Rouge, and that's only six miles west of the old bridge. In part of my background, having worked for Lano and being the person who answered calls during Katrina seeing what needed to be done in 2016 in the Zion City and Glen Oaks area, and what has happened during Covid time. And part of this, I'm wearing my master gardener's hat, and I go back to that in eighth grade, I was president of 4-H at Holy Family School in Port Allen. I bring my business background as an entrepreneur, as one of the founding Women of Medal, the Micro Enterprise Development Alliance of Louisiana, and what we learned in that process, that bears on dealing with the nine points of poverty, is that we exploited, and I'm using that word on purpose, to take advantage of an opportunity, we exploited the fact that people learn about things by doing them. My mother as a home economist, graduated in 42, and all 12 of us then were raised on how to eat now what they call to eat the rainbow, which is part and parcel of what Pennington Biomedical research does. So in terms of where can you get food, when I went through the Master Gardeners program, my little committee had to create something that we are using in this health and taste fair on November the 19th, and it will be the third time we do this. And that is container gardening. Where did I even learn that? I grew up on 60 acres of land. Yeah, I could drive a tractor, a bush hog, but we weren't planting things in buckets. It came because of Katrina. And the USDA plus LSU ag, then started teaching people every day for about a year how to grow things in a container because it wasn't safe to grow in the soil of oils parish. So what our Master Gardner's program ended up doing was creating a project called Back Step Groceries. And in some conversation with the recycling program in East Baton Rouge, we learned that the largest non-usable plastic that's out there as a kitty little bucket. So we have been planting patio tomatoes in kitty litter buckets. If it gets cold, take 'em inside. We will give that away at our health fair. And we found too that people, depending upon the experience of their families, in an African American neighborhood, did they learn to do other kinds of things with vegetables and eat vegetables beyond what they knew and we found they didn't. So one of the things we have done using both the SnapEd person from Southern and the extension agent from with LSU Eva Davis, is we use Cane's dipping sauce for vegetables and we will be doing a variety of things, of tasting things, of seeing the way the LSU ag program has exploited, meaning to use the that for a purpose of, what can you do if you don't have a yard, if you can't plant in it? So we plant in containers. So in, in doing that kind of thing and giving it away. The flood of 2016 also taught us a lot in terms of what we need to know and how many people are still traumatized when they see water. And then the other thing is to point out that in my research background, both in terms of my graduate program in history, looking at the role that Victory Gardens and learning how to work around the kinds of things that you had to have stamps to buy butter and sugar and canned vegetables. Where does that figure in terms of using that information now? Micro enterprises is something that I was a part of. Metal Micro Enterprise Development Alliance of Louisiana. It then moved on to being taken over by the economic development program of our state. But here is where I think this has great possibility for the people who are part and parcel of Wanton Rouge. And it's that a microenterprise. And if you know the The name of Mohamed Un, a man from Bangladesh who went to Vanderbilt and then looked, took the basics of economics of how you start a microenterprise that's going to answer the needs of people. And so microenterprises are usually less than 25,000 that you start a business with five or fewer people and we emphasize ways that you can do it with food. And so we will be giving away tomatoes planted in buckets and we're working in conjunction with Cleggs in how to do that and working with both Ag schools at that time. Here's the opportunity to all this. We're the only state that has both Ag schools. In the same city. And when you look at the opportunity, Southern Ag Nutrition Program will be involved in our health and taste fair, as will LSU. And one of the hospitals is going to be giving flu shots. So it's how do we help with those kinds of things? What are the ways that we can build upon the strengths of our state, such an agricultural state? And such a variety. And I'll start from there. Ask me whatever question you want. Yes. This excites me because it's a way to feed people and to build upon what grew after Katrina in New Orleans with teaching container gardening of vegetables and because we've got two Ag schools with incredible research units, what we're able to do with that knowledge as we pass it on to people.

Pepper Roussel: That is fantastic. So those of you who have not met Susan before this morning, now you understand when I say she's a veritable Renaissance woman doing all of the things all of the time. SK, can you give me an idea since since you work in growing and Susan as well, maybe as a master gardener, can y'all help me understand, does everybody want to grow stuff? I just believe people do, that they want to be able to walk out of their door, pick their own things and bring 'em inside and eat them? Or have I really just, have I created this entire fantasy where that's just not true.

Susan Hymel: No, I'll tell you this from the Master Garden research of what happened as Covid began. It's the first time in the history of our country that seed companies sold out a seed. That was true even in Baton Rouge and in the New Orleans area. The biggest new venture that took place across our country was gardening. The second thing was bread making and the third was beer making. I'm not gonna go into that last one except that you can use beer to grow things other and do things other than that with, but because of that, there's a great amount of information. And we have 25% of those people who started gardening in all kinds of things during covid still do it, which is incredible.

SK Groll: Adding to what Susan said. Baton Rouge began in 2019 and I think I was not on the team at that time, but I think that Mitchell and Casey really expected there to be this kind of wall at the point that the pandemic happened. And for those of you that are on this call that weren't involved or on the team or in supporting in some way that we've been able gain a lot of momentum and steam since then. With expanding to different garden sites and receiving more volunteers than ever. And so I think we're still hitting that rhythm, but really folks got involved in gardening and outdoors in a different way than they had been for the years before that. What I'll say about that though is that not everybody who wants to come out to Baton Roots and volunteer or help us like plant or weed or harvest, wants to grow their own food at home. It is work. It's responsibility. It's also learning how to make that work for your schedule and your. Base in your capacity and then gathering the resources, supplies, knowledge to actually execute that. And I know for me if there's sometimes it's a new project and it's oh yes, this is my new favorite project and the thing that's bringing me that dopamine. And then sometimes it's Oh my gosh, this has 17 steps and I can't do something that has more than two. So it's something that has 17 steps and that's not gonna work for everybody I think. It will be interesting to see how people take in small bits of those hobbies that they had maybe more time to learn over time. But I also think that it's really figuring out what works for you. So we have somebody at Baton Roots who takes home seedlings every time we have extras and is growing them in five gallon buckets on her back porch and make some morning smoothie every day with those greens. And it's so awesome to see I love getting like picture updates and text updates of that, of how she's making container gardening work for her in a rental apartment. And then there's some folks who wanna show up here. I wanna do exactly what you tell me to, and I wanna take home some veggies at the end of the day so that my partner can cook them for me, but I absolutely do not wanna do this. And so I think with everything it's building in options for folks to engage at their level, at their interest, on their own terms. And so we try to do that with baton roots, like there's folks who come out all the time or get involved in our school gardens or in long term volunteering with us. And then there's folks who wanna just pop out once a month for Sow Good Saturday and see Chef Tracy Vincent and the American Heart Association cook something, or do a little bit of yoga and be in the pretty space of Howell Park, but not actually get involved with taking a plant home and trying to grow it themselves. And then there's folks who come and they're like, Okay, I actually, I have a city yard and a like house in town, but I'm growing on every square inch that I can and I've got this permaculture set up and this storm garden set up and I've got my pollinators here and this is how I'm structuring this. And have a very technical and specific question that they wanna ask Mitchell about composting and making their permaculture work. And I think that we wanna be a space where folks at all levels can engage as it suits them and making more options for engagement so that if folks wanna increase just a little bit, like they wanna go from Okay, I kept a tomato plan alive in a five gallon bucket, now I'm gonna try to like make a small raised bed. Or now I'm gonna try this other thing where I really wanna learn how to like, can and preserve this next year that they have like another option of something to learn.

Pepper Roussel: Brilliant. So I'm gonna ask that Dr. Shaw a question, and then I am going to confess that I'm having a really hard time seeing what's in the chat. So if you have already put a question in the chat, please come off mute or let me know that it's there in some way by raising your hands so that we can get the questions answered. But Dr. Shaw something that Susan said was about eating the rainbow. And I and you've mentioned earlier about culturally appropriate food. I am a huge fan of eating culturally appropriate food. For me, that means that especially in southern South Louisiana, that perhaps part of the things that you'll be eating will be the Trinity, and that's definitely culturally appropriate. But it also means that it may not hit all seven of the colors of the rainbow. So can you help give us a little bit of context around wellness, the colors of the rainbow, what that means for food and consumption.

Dr. Vincent Shaw: Okay. With regards to the Holy Trinity that's a South Louisiana staple. Obviously different foods have different nutritional values associated with them, and ideally when you eat across the rainbow, you're getting the entire spectrum of all the nutrients that are available in terms of eating culturally appropriate foods. Basically, there's nothing wrong with eating culturally appropriate foods. It is, it boils down to moderation at some point. If you want to go out and you want to eat something that's a traditional south, food biscuits and gravy, not a biscuit and gravy guy, but whatever. And that's stereotyping, but whatever it's okay to have that an intermittent, of basis, but for each one of those sort of processed, caloric dense foods, you wanna make sure that you counter that with one of the foods from the rainbow. So you want to, if you're gonna use the Holy Trinay, it's okay to. A food that has like beta carotene which gives foods that orange color. When we do a lot of assessments in terms of healthy eating, we look at folks and one of the biggest things that we find nutrition nutritionally deficit is vitamin D. Surprisingly, you would think, Okay I drink milk, I do all this other stuff. No, but that is one of the biggest nutrient or vitamin deficiencies that we find is vitamin D. So those come from a variety of foods. But obviously, you give and take. So if you're gonna eat something that's not necessarily the most nutritious, then you need to counter that with something from the rainbow. And in an ideal world, you gotta eat something across the rainbow, but none of us live in an ideal world. You've gotta take what you have and what's available and try to incorporate something that's, outside of that norm associated with that particular meal at that time. So the easiest is if I'm gonna get A, then I know I have to do B. And so A and B are gonna counteract each other.

Pat LeDuff: Good morning. I had something in the chat about the Harvest Grocery store that's in Texas. I brought that up before. I still think that's, it's a great model. They have a mini store that's in a trolley, and the trolley goes from neighborhood to neighborhood, like the ice cream truck. And I'm still waiting for someone to say that they're willing to consider bringing that that model here to Baton Rouge. We do have a store like Albertson's and we also have Rouses and then we even have Walmart. I don't know if that's something a big chain would consider, but that is a way to get access to food because they have a little bit of everything on this trolley. Also, I put in the chat that getting back to the basics of when your first, I think probably second, third graders would get an opportunity to, to just plant a bean or a potato and get that experience. But because of our curriculum that's in the school these days, a lot of that they've gotten away from, I know some teacher still implement it, but I think it, if we made it mandatory, that would help our future generations because they would've have experienced it before we get to a point where we're trying to make them experience it.

Pepper Roussel: Very good. So you grow the potato in the third grade and then you use it for electricity in the sixth. That's what I'm talking about. Sustainability.

Susan Hymel: Actually 25 schools that are part and parcel of the Master Garderner's program. And then in addition to that, Scotlandville Magnet has their own Ag program going on and it's pretty incredible as the climate changes, then what we are giving to schools for them to grow is pretty phenomenal. If you were to go to. Belfair Elementary, which is a Montessori school, this three year olds are taught by the five year olds how to put their boots on and what they need to do if they're going in the garden. And it's just incredible what the kids are learning about from tomatoes to beans and what they're growing themselves and at a meeting that was held at Pennington, but sponsored by the group called Farm to School that they pointed out, teachers tell you this, if they grow it, they will eat it. And I think that's part of what the Interfaith Federation is doing by giving away growing plants. And on the day of the Health Bay Southern University Ag and Nutrition program will actually be planting things with the children or the adults in containers for them to take home.

Pat LeDuff: That's awesome. I did not know. And to hear that fifth graders or actually teaching the third graders, they learned better from their peers. I think that's awesome. I knew about Istrouma and Scotlandville, but not just 25 schools, but every school. Yeah. But this is a start and so this is how we move to where we want our education to go in this area. Thank you.

Pepper Roussel: Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Rev. Anderson: , I had a question, and it may sound dumb, and I may be the only person who thinks this. The doctor mentioned about getting vitamin D, and I'm just confused, I thought the best source of vitamin D was sunshine. So maybe I've got my facts confused.

Dr. Vincent Shaw: So yes, you do need sunshine for vitamin D. We've all been led to believe, oh, get outside you get enough Vitamin D. The problem is, if you don't have the precursors available to make for the sun to turn it into vitamin D, then as you just getting, you're getting exposed to the sun.

Pepper Roussel: What are those precursors? What sort of food do you need to eat in order?

Dr. Vincent Shaw: So it's those foods that are rich in calcium. In addition to that some of the precursor foods are found in like some of your whole grains and some of your leaner proteins. It breaks those down into sort of those precursors, which is like a provitamin D and then sunlight cleaves it off and makes it active Vitamin D three. We tell some of our patients to supplement it with over the counter if majority of us, we are stuck inside and don't get a chance to be outside to get natural sunlight. So then you have to. Synthetic sort of vitamin D in the form of a multivitamin. But a closer balanced diet that involves more fruits, grain fruits and grains will give you more of those precursors if you like a majority of us who are lactose intolerant you can get a fair amount of a calcium from certain types of beans.

Rev. Anderson: Okay. And I know I'm still sound dumb, but, so if we were exercising more in the daytime, in the sunlight, in all those other things and combining that with good nutrition, would that be the optimum or would we still not have the right food, so this is not really as useful as it could.

Dr. Vincent Shaw: So again, that you more ideal would be if you were outside and you had the right diet, then you would not need to nutritionally supplement it. But, and in today's world, a lot of stuff is done inside, in front of a computer. When you look at our kids, they're inside for multiple hours sitting down either at a computer or looking at a chalkboard. They don't have the opportunity to get outside and exercise as well. Cause we talk about exercise as medicine. That's a whole separate topic. The diets that we think are hopefully nutritious going through the schools for those kids, are not as nutritious as we once thought. But yes, ideal world, if you were outside ate right foods you would not need to take vitamin D.

Marcela: Oh, I'm sorry. Yeah, no, I just I had a silly question. I'm not sure if you guys discussed about it. I don't know if you, if I missed it. Is there any entity or is there anyone, any organization that. Teaches you how to properly garden, so whatever you garden, don't die. Because that's usually what happens in my garden. I get excited about tomatoes, then I plant them and they die, and then I get excited about zumas. I plant them and they die. So I could never get, not even a small tomato, and it's the most frustrating part of planting and especially if you have to make the whole by yourself and you are making it excited to your kid and then you've got your four year old watching the plant died. So is there anyone who provides this kind of stuff?

Susan Hymel: I'll be glad to. I am a Master Gardener and we have an incredible master gardening program across our state, but especially in Baton Rouge since we have two Ag schools. They certainly go through and teach you that whole thing is have you had your soil tested? And if you're not gonna plant directly into the ground, the reason why we're doing container gardening is what Louisiana, especially South Louisiana, learned after Katrina, where the USDA and the Department of Health said, do not plant anything in the ground for a year. And LSU AG in conjunction with USDA taught container gardening. That's why even though I grew up on 60 something acres, I learned container gardening post Katrina in doing disaster response for nonprofits, for churches, and for families.

Pat LeDuff: I need to take it down, but I would like to I didn't get a discussion about the trolley, the grocery trolley. And is anybody entertaining that? Is that something new? I have brought it up before, but I would like to hear the speakers entertain something on that.

SK Groll: What I'll say is I know that there was a conversation with Healthy BR and Geaux Get Healthy the, and Baton Rouge, the first year maybe of that collaboration about putting a mobile like food truck, trolley, bus situation to take the produce around. I think that quickly, either wasn't the right fit. At the time for those programs or wasn't the right fit for what they were thinking about in terms of community work. And Kelly, I see a hand raised to talk it about that. I think that there's other like delivery services that have popped up in terms of like Top box or other things that are like, this can be mobile. I think it's a really interesting idea and I also don't know who has the capacity and the funds to pilot it and lift it off because that's also a thing. Manny is saying in the chat that it was him and a few others. There's a lot of insurance and licensing issues that we could not ever come. So I think that's like a real challenge. We're now having the conversations about like place-based work with YMCA's clinics, schools, as those like outposts or satellite locations that food can be accessed.

Kelly: I was just gonna speak a little bit to our experience in the first year of Geaux Get Healthy because we did have a partnership for a mobile grocery store mobile market. And as Manny referenced in the chat, there were a lot of licensing issues and beyond that, just a lot of driving issues consistent, being able to maintain a consistent staff to, to have that market available. Where it needed to be, when it needed to be. So yes, great ideas. But sometimes there are a lot of like really logistical things that kind of are barriers to that work getting done. At least that was true of a small non-profit running that venture. So Pat, I think to your point of, if there's a grocery store that would be willing to do something like that, I think that's always a great idea because you know, The Geaux Get Healthy work that we've done was really founded on overcoming those barriers, those transportation barriers and access barriers and making pathways available to people outside of just traditional brick and mortar grocery stores that they had access to through top box and baton roots and the work of all of our other partners.

SK Groll: I would love to see you out at the farm sometime in the next couple of weeks. It's a really great way if you wanna start learning how to grow vegetables and kill someone else's plants not yours, I invite you to come and try to kill the Baton Rouge plants Mitchell. Don't tell Mitchell I said that. If Mitchell, don't tell 'em I, I sacrificed our plants. But I would love to see all of you out there and it's a great way to tap and just get your boots a little dirty. But thank you so much for having me in this conversation. I'm so glad we're talking about this and I'm so glad we're gonna keep talking about this.

Dr. Vincent Shaw: I just wanna say thank you for the opportunity to speak. I'm pretty available if anybody has questions or anything like that. I'm always reachable. The person that probably has the best access would be Lauren Hebert. She beats me until my morale improves. Somebody has to do it. But there are numerous factors in terms of what goes on. This obviously gonna have to be more and more conversations, but, we need to make sure that our conversations lead to action. Words don't mean anything if it's not followed by action. I'm available, our residents are available to try and do some sort of outreach or, help with projects as best as we can. I will put in the chat how you can reach me via email or cell phone if anybody needs to reach me.

And the thing I would add is how might folks who are involved in One Rouge really learn about the absolutely incredible stuff going on at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and consequently how you take that nutrition information all the way down to how does food become medicine for what the malady is in your body or longitudinally or ancestrally? How do you counter that with what you eat?

Zoom Chat

08:29:11 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Good morning, One Rouge!

08:29:19 From Dominique Dallas to Everyone:


08:29:36 From Patrisha’s iPhone to Everyone:

Good Morning

08:29:53 From Chelsea Johnson to Everyone:

good morning!

08:33:12 From Caitlyn Scales to Everyone:


08:36:39 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Access is so critical.

08:38:35 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:

As Casey was updating us on the BRAC Canvas Trip, David was sharing the above picture with us. He said it was the backdrop for the YP panel, thought it was pretty cool, and he wanted to share with all of you.

08:39:09 From Chelsea Johnson to Everyone:

SK, it is awesome work you all are doing!

08:41:14 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Albertsons and Caladros

08:41:44 From Kim Mosby, Vera to Everyone:

Good morning all! Hope you're doing well this week.

08:42:40 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Zoning policy matters when you talk about any food access but particularly healthy food access.

08:42:51 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

I was delightfully surprised to see that family dollar now has a grocery section with fresh produce. I know that’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s a start.

08:43:37 From SK Groll to Everyone:

yeah! @morgan Geaux Get Healthy and HealthyBR have been working with dollar stores and locally owned corner stores on having a fresh food section!

08:43:53 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Transportation includes capacity. Can I physically get the food from where I purchase it to my home safely.

08:44:49 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

^indeed. Many of our solutions are still deeply ableist in structure

08:45:18 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Interesting article on the prevalence of Dollar Generals, etc

08:45:38 From Pat LeDuff iPhone to Everyone:

We have some what of a relationship with the Dollor generals with fresh fruits and vegetables

I have visited the chains that have a full grocery component

Are we working with them to bring that model to Louisiana

08:46:56 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Many of the mainstream solutions require so many fundamentals that many low or no wealth families simply don't have like internet or acceptable banking resources to do online access.

08:47:07 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW to Everyone:

Healthy food access is extremely difficult now with such highs inflation prices. Health is directed affected by poverty and skyrocking prices. It is very difficult to promote healthy eating when there is a limited budget to get monthly food.

08:47:11 From Kim Mosby, Vera to Everyone:

I'm currently hiring for a Senior Research Associate at Vera Institute of Justice to join the New Orleans office. Starting salary is $99K plus benefits. Hybrid work arrangement. For more info see: or email me at

08:47:44 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

@Pat it feels like policy would help make that happen for sure - that within stores selling food must have an x percentage of fresh foods

08:47:49 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Super awesome 💕

08:50:29 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Please also discuss cultural challenges to moving families to healthier food choices especially in the south.

08:51:52 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Thank you for saying that.

08:52:11 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW to Everyone:

Healthy food access is extremely difficult now with such highs inflation prices. Health is directed affected by poverty and skyrocking prices. It is very difficult to promote healthy eating when there is a limited budget to get monthly food.

08:52:21 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Or they absolutely hate those foods.

08:53:06 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone:

We are seeing an uptick in post COVID diabetes. I would check out a doctor who focuses on this if possible.

08:54:06 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

In the south we can make anything unhealthy and delicious 😃

08:55:13 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Two Points: Fat Politics and Being skinny healthy

08:55:15 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

08:55:20 From Verna Bradley-Jackson to Everyone:

Maybe we need to have a healthy food taste session

08:55:22 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

08:55:28 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

And don't get me started why foods in America seem to pack on weight way more than foods outside of America….

08:55:31 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone:

BMI is baseless

\08:55:38 From Dominique Dallas to Everyone:

Big Facts!

08:55:58 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Healthy vs nutritious food are different terms

08:56:00 From Ava S to Everyone:

our younger generation does not prepare cooked food, how do we re teach our youth to eat cooked food.

08:56:09 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:

Also based on only male bodies

08:57:04 From vincentshaw to Everyone:

We measure BMI but when I address the patient's I have them assess their efforts upon how their clothing fits and how they are viewing their body. At present Social media is feeding into the negative aspects of weight and body composition

08:57:05 From Dominique Dallas to Everyone:

Teaching youth to eat cooked food—> engage and expose to culinary experiences to retrain sugar-crazed taste buds

08:57:09 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

We continue to defund life skills in our education system.

08:57:56 From vincentshaw to Everyone:

I agree, there are no life skills available in schools. We need to address nutrition and food preparation.

08:58:06 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Learning nutrition is important but so is sustainable exercise and good mental health.

08:58:33 From Pat LeDuff iPhone to Everyone:

There is a Harvest grocery in Texas that provides a grocery store trolly like the ice cream truck model

We could consider reaching out to Albertsons Rouses or even Walmart about considering that model to partner with our access to healthy food initiative

08:59:32 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

We are not willing to consider the simple and doable but say if we can't have everything we will do nothing.

08:59:43 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone:

Hey Susan!

09:01:15 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Those are amazing facts I didn't know about Zion City.

09:01:26 From vincentshaw to Everyone:

Rev Anderson this is true. I think that we as leaders need to be willing to not only say what to do, but also need to do it as well. We have to be active participants in the activities and directives we propose.

09:05:34 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Use what you have!

09:07:14 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

I like the idea of giving renters the power of growing healthy foods within their housing circumstances.

09:07:54 From SK Groll to Everyone:

Yes! love a rental-friendly solution

09:08:23 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

It's so okay!!! A lot of us are technically challenged!

09:08:54 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Can we get the date of the health fair again?

09:09:22 From SK Groll to Everyone:

11/19 from 10a-1p

09:09:43 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Thank you SK

09:10:18 From SK Groll to Everyone:

Yes! Baton Roots will be at the Zion Terrace garden during the fair (across the street) giving garden tours and working with volunteers to plant and harvest!

09:11:43 From SK Groll to Everyone:

If anybody got into beer making over the pandemic, let me know. Baton Roots is looking for spent grains for our compost!

09:13:04 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:

I'd love to be able to grow my own food, but I've been known to kill every plant I try to grow. Even a cactus.

09:13:15 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

I think it can be a stress reliever for some people.

09:13:30 From Pat LeDuff iPhone to Everyone:

Starting with the babies, is still the way to go

We have gotten away from allowing the 2and 3 graders get the experience of just growing a bean or potato

Let's get back to that

09:15:23 From Ava S to Everyone:

If our babies eat foods that are naturally processed, as we grow how can we keep that processed food maintained in a natural way?

09:17:33 From SK Groll to Everyone:

@ Tristi! I deeply understand! Mitchell and I talk about this all the time. Our secrets to keeping plants alive are to start a LOT of seedlings (so when some don’t make it, we have some left!) and trial and error. I have killed SO many plants, but over time I am learning which ones I can feel successful with!

09:18:41 From SK Groll to Everyone:

@Rev Anderson- definitely agree! More school gardens and more education! Just watching something grow and being a part of it brings so many life lessons and is such a FUN way to engage young people in the process of their food

09:18:58 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Isn't the best source of vitamin D sunshine 🌞?

09:19:45 From Verna Bradley-Jackson to Everyone:

Say What

09:20:23 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Don't even mention gumbo!!!

09:20:56 From vincentshaw to Everyone:

Rev Anderson Vitamin D is activated by the sun, but at present, we don't consume enough of the precursor nutrients to make activated vitamin D

09:21:01 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Pat, we should talk with MM and Sherreta to see how that can be part of the JPM Project.

09:21:11 From Carl Motsenbocker to Everyone:

The Seeds to Success.Louisiana Farm to School Program has a lot of resources about growing food in school gardens, classrooms or greenhouses; sourcing local food for cafeterias, taste tests, and curriculum/education. This is a resource to teach young ones about eating healthy, growing food etc.

09:21:17 From SK Groll to Everyone:

Agree with that, Manny! Thats what I was thinking

09:21:23 From to Everyone:

The Boys & Girls Clubs build a community garden at Magnolia Woods Elementary last spring. The kids go everyday to work and pick things from the garden. They are so proud of what they have done! We use the kids to bring in parents to educate them.

09:21:29 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Also, wasn't there a Green School Bus that was a farmer's market in a bus?

09:21:43 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

I think we need to start with headstart.

09:21:44 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW to Everyone:

I tried to plant fruits and veggies at my home but all of them died.. We need some educational information about how doing it right...

09:22:40 From vincentshaw to Everyone:

I think we don't utilize the Ag programs enough. I was a member of 4H growing up and learned about planting and gardening, etc

09:23:22 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

Pennington Biomedical does have a Rolling Store

09:23:24 From SK Groll to Everyone:

We have volunteer opportunities over the next few weeks if anyone wants to practice their growing knowledge and skills with Baton Roots:

09:23:42 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW to Everyone:

Is there an entity that promotes this at the schools? Anyone who would like to donate to schools seeds?

09:23:52 From Carl Motsenbocker to Everyone:

09:23:55 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:


09:24:11 From Carl Motsenbocker to Everyone:

Here is the website for the Farm to School Program

09:24:20 From SK Groll to Everyone:

Baton Roots supports school gardens, so does BREAD, LSU Ag (the program Carl is talking about), Master Gardener’s (what Susan mentioned).

09:24:22 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

D is catalyzed with Sunshine

09:24:44 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

09:24:51 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Dark, leafy greans

09:24:54 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:


09:24:54 From SK Groll to Everyone:

There are a lot of orgs working in school gardens AND there can always be more because all our young folks have the right to learn about their food, plants, and the environment!

09:25:32 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW to Everyone:

Thank you! Do you have a direct contact info from these places?

09:25:44 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

IDK if it was mentioned -

09:26:02 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

09:26:24 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

09:26:44 From Melanie Henderson to Everyone:

Nonprofit registration for 225GIVES is open now! The community giving event will be held May 4, 2023. Registered nonprofits will have access to training and networking opportunities!

09:26:51 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

09:26:59 From Kim Mosby, Vera to Everyone:

Thanks for the great convo today! Have a great weekend!

09:27:05 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

09:27:44 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

09:28:11 From vincentshaw to Everyone:

Southern and LSU have extension offices that offer advice

09:28:16 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:


09:28:22 From Monica Guient to Everyone:

The LSU AgCenter extension agents can also help with planting. There's one in each parish.

09:28:59 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Talk with your local land grant universities and their local community programs... I am sure Carl and Pat Tuck plus BREC have some programs...

09:29:12 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Everyone has that neighbor that can grow anything. You might not like them but your garden will live.😂

09:29:37 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

The late Professor Kamran Abdollahi was also a great resource from SU too

09:30:06 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW to Everyone:

Thanks everyone for sharing this resources!!

09:30:23 From Caitlyn Scales to Everyone:

Need to sign off for another meeting! Hope you all have a great day. Thank you so much to our speakers! SK - thank you for the shoutouts for Three O’clock Project! We love working with y’all :)

09:30:42 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

@SK, it was me and and a few others but there were a lot insurance and licensing issues we could not overcome

09:31:06 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Chef Tracy was part of that conversation

09:31:08 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

The rolling store is a donor funded moving grocery store that PBRC does.

09:31:41 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

It doesn't happen as often as we want but we are always working to fund raise for it. It offers food, lessons and health screenings when it rolls

09:32:45 From SK Groll to Everyone:

Yes! Thank you for sharing that Lindi!

09:33:06 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

This was great. Popping to another zoom. Great conversation!

09:33:48 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone:

Thanks everyone! Have a great weekend.

09:33:49 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Pat, let's talk more

09:33:55 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Awesome job SK

09:34:37 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Did each speaker put their contact in the chat?

09:34:54 From Lauren Hebert to Everyone:

09:34:56 From Rev Anderson to Everyone:

Thank you

09:35:22 From vincentshaw to Everyone: (504) 451-3867 -cell

09:35:27 From SK Groll to Everyone:

email: cell: (724) 771-3642 - feel free to reach out!

09:35:36 From Lauren Hebert to Everyone:

Dr. Shaw is on medical leave so I’ll take his emails and field them please ❤️❤️

09:36:07 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

Tahnk you all

09:36:07 From Lauren Hebert to Everyone:

BRG loves to partner and participate in community events so please send them to me.

09:36:14 From Manny Patole (he|his, CCBR) to Everyone:

until next time

09:36:46 From Chelsea Johnson to Everyone:

thank you so much, this was my 1st meeting. I truly learned a lot, so happy to join in and looking forward to become more involved

09:37:10 From Pat LeDuff iPhone to Everyone:

Pray for Manny as he attempt to adjust his life without his Dad We are with you my friend

09:38:14 From vincentshaw to Everyone:

Thanks everyone.

Community Announments

BR Alliance: The enrollment period for applications to Baton Rouge’s top-performing schools is now available for the 2023-2024 school year. Parents, there are only a few weeks to apply to these schools. By applying during the priority window, you can be sure your child has the opportunity to best options for selecting schools.

For more information on the application process, visit for magnet school information or EnrollBR.orgfor Baton Rouge public charter school applications. Follow Red Stick Schools Guide on Facebook for tips on how to complete the application. If you need additional support or have questions, please contact our Director of Advocacy and Family Engagement at

The Baton Rouge Alliance for Students Action recently hosted a Candidate Forum for those running for the East Baton Rouge School Board in the upcoming election. An opportunity to meet those running, the Candidate Forum was a chance for the community to hear their policy priorities for the systems. With elections next month, the next four years should have members who focus on school quality and ensure student achievement throughout the district. We have outlined our policy prioritiesand subsequently evaluated those offering themselves for public service on the EBR School Board. Now it is Baton Rouge’s turn to ensure our students have the leaders they deserve.

Dr. Bell: Community People's Initiative. Southern University Law Center. We have two events going on. We have today from 1130 to 1230. It's a hybrid, virtual, or in person option. It's called, it's gonna be called Detriments of Health. And we have a three panel members who are gonna be discussing everything from mental health to physical health detriment since the pandemic. Tomorrow, Saturday the Southern University Heirship Institute is gonna be hosting a seminar talking about heir property and how the clear titles is going to be. Tomorrow from nine to three is gonna be at the Jewel Newman Community Center. They're limited to 30 families who come in with but from nine to 1130 it's gonna be educational park. And from 11 to 3:00 PM it's gonna be talking about successs and wheels and have the intake session. So if anybody knows anyone who has a cousin living in grandma house that never got the title clear please send him over and we'll see what we can do to help him out.

Marcela: I just wanted to share with you guys. We're super excited. We have our housing equity, affordable housing event at this in Baton Rouge this Sunday from 12 to 4:00 PM we are going to be hosting this event at the Ideal Market on 9301 Burbank Drive. We're also gonna have vaccinations on the ground of flu, covid and monkey. So I actually, I dropped off the the flyer on the chat. Please share it with everyone. We are bringing a lot of awesome resources and organizations that work with housing and we're promoting housing equity. In this amazing event and the resource materials have been translated into French, and Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic. So please share it with everyone you think it might be interested in coming. And we certainly appreciate your support and attendance.

Rev. Anderson: First and for foremost, it is the last day to get your absentee ballot. And if you pick it up today, you have to turn it in by Monday at four 30. Absolute no, no exceptions. Everybody, please remember to vote next week. Next, I would like everybody to save the date, November 15th at 1:00 PM. The 19th JDC Recovery Court will have its recovery graduation. It is a restoration event to behold. I, that's the only way I know how to describe it. You've never ever been to one of these. It is so worth it. On Saturday, and I apologize. I'll send this to you, Pepper, if I didn't get it. There's gonna be a jury diversity workshop at 11 o'clock. Apologize. I know it's gonna be at a church, but I will get that information. And last but not least, this past week Preach held its first Isaac, which is our Immigra, our incarceration program, traffic symposium. On the impact of traffic policy, fines and fees on low wealth communities. And we are going to be able to post that video of the event. It was very powerful, very impactful. But we'll have that on preacher's Facebook early next week. So we invite anybody to come in and watch that. It's really super important and that's it.

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