Health and Well-being Initiative Hosted at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Targets Wellness Disparities Faced by the Latino Community

MALDEF’s Parent School Partnership, supported by Sodexo since 2009, expands to six more cities through support from the Walmart Foundation
Dec 19, 2016 11:25 AM ET
Press Release

GAITHERSBURG, Md., December, 19, 2016 /3BL Media/ -  MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), the Walmart Foundation and Sodexo, world leader in quality of life services, hosted a nutrition workshop at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on December 17th. The event was part of the Parent School Partnership (PSP) program, a MALDEF initiative that seeks to provide parents the tools they need to become agents of change in their communities.

In 2009, MALDEF expanded the PSP program, with support from Sodexo, to establish a health and wellness initiative. This year, the Walmart Foundation joined the initiative that aims to inform Latino families on the crucial topics of health and well-being, and works with them to improve their eating habits. So far, the health and wellness initiative has worked with families in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, and Chicago. It is expanding to other communities in Central Florida, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, as well as cities in North Carolina and Tennessee.

“Walmart is proud to support the expansion of the Parent School Partnership program because we believe in the initiative’s value in helping parents and their children make positive nutrition choices,” said Javier Angulo, public affairs director for Walmart. “Our support is grounded in the idea that no family should have to choose between food that is good for them and food they can afford.”

The workshop featured a nutrition education program and cooking demonstrations for Latino parents.  A registered dietitian and executive chef led workshops that cover basic concepts of health, nutrition, and healthy cooking techniques. The workshops provided a holistic approach to planning healthy family meals, shopping, and preparation.

“Research shows that Latino children are disproportionately affected by diabetes, obesity, and stress-related disorders,” said Sodexo Executive Chef Sterling Smith.  “The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimates that approximately two in five Latino children face nutrition-based challenges that often lead to chronic health disease. The collaborative efforts of MALDEF PSP and Sodexo’s Nutritional Wellness program underscores a shared vision for addressing such issues.”

Since the program was launched, PSP’s innovative health and wellness initiative has worked with more than 6,000 Latino families across the United States.

“MALDEF's health and wellness workshops have had a significantly positive effect on the lives of PSP parents, who report attaining increased nutrition knowledge and improved health behavior in their homes,” said MALDEF National PSP Director Adrian Sandoval. “Integrating a nutritional workshop into parent-engagement programming enables MALDEF to expand participants’ focus to include improving the overall health and wellness outcomes of their families, a critical factor in the overall goal of improving the educational outcomes of the Latino community more broadly. "

MALDEF’s PSP program also equips parents and community leaders with the knowledge they need to become advocates for school-wide reform that will benefit the entire community. Additionally, the program provides parents with the instructional tools necessary to improve their children’s educational achievement. Parents attend a free, 12-session program where immigrant and first-generation Latino parents learn how to overcome language and cultural barriers and gain an in-depth understanding of families’ rights and responsibilities in the public education system. To date, more than 11,000 parents and community leaders in 100 cities have participated in the PSP program since it began in 1989.

Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhances organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and food service operations.

Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.

Samuel Wells
Sodexo, Inc.
+1 (301) 987-4893