El Sol Latino – October 2009: Lou Dobbs, Latina dropout rates, Festival de la Cosecha, McDonald’s & more

Screen shot 2009-10-07 at 1.37.22 PMPick up your copy of this month’s El Sol Latino, or download it here (24-page PDF).

A story about a new McDonald’s opening up in Holyoke, with great fanfare, caught my eye (see El Sol photos and captions below).

It’s great to see small and minority-owned business owners like Jorge and Eleni Gómez expand.

That said, Holyoke is an epicenter of an obesity epidemic. According to data assembled by the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council and the Holyoke Health Center:

  • 24% of Holyoke 5th graders are obese.
  • Hospitalizations for Holyoke Latinos for diabetes is almost triple the state average.
  • The mortality rate for Latinos in Holyoke is more than triple the state average.

In a Valley Advocate piece about a new locally grown salad bar at Dean Technical High School in Holyoke, Nuestras Raices Executive Director Daniel Ross explained: “We are facing a crisis in the country and in the city of Holyoke, and that crisis is obesity. This causes chronic diseases that have children dying at early ages, and as a result there is low self-esteem and students are missing school. Holyoke is on the cutting edge of this public crisis… We want to make sure all have access and can afford healthy food.”

And then there are the economic factors:

These factors make the fanfare, symbols, and youth marketing (i.e., Ronald clown, public high school marching band, American Legion “United Forces,” slender beauty queen, and the mayor) a bit of a surprise.

DISCLAIMER: When opinions are expressed on this web site, they are only the opinions of the contributors themselves (see their photos at left), not the opinions of The Springfield Institute as a whole or any other organizations or individuals.

Screen shot 2009-10-07 at 2.29.20 PM


One Response

  1. […] Community coalition responds to food desert in East L.A. Posted on October 19, 2009 by Aron Goldman A Christian Science Monitor piece from last week (“Inner-city L.A. hungers for good grocery stores,” 10/10/09) describes circumstances a lot like those in the North End of Springfield–depicted by our recent series of focus groups, and this MIT food map. And according to a friend, East L.A.’s got about the same child obesity rate as Holyoke. […]

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