Thankful for Healthy Friends and Family

FMLA_LatinoFamily_2015During this time of the year, many gather with family and friends and spend quality time over a nice meal, conversation, and maybe the search for a great bargain. It’s also a time when folks reflect on the blessings of the past year, including the health and well-being of loved ones.

We know that taking care of our loved ones is extremely important and at NCLR we continue our work to ensure families across the country have every opportunity to lead a healthy life, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much they earn. One of the ways we are doing this is by connecting as many individuals and families as possible with health insurance and the security it can provide. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, 17.6 million Americans, including four million Latinos, have gained quality, affordable health coverage.

Thanks to the law, more people have the chance to live healthy and happy lives. For example, young adults can remain insured through their parents’ health plan and people with preexisting conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and cancer can no longer be denied health coverage. In addition, more adults and children in working families can sign up for free and low-cost insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Not only does the ACA increase opportunities for health coverage, the law improves the quality of that coverage, providing 72 preventive services for free. These services include screenings for chronic diseases and conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Access to preventive services can make sure certain health conditions don’t occur in the first place or lower the risk that they do.

So as we spend time with and give thanks for our family and friends, we are reminded that access to health insurance is an important part of taking care of ourselves and our loved ones and at NCLR we are committed to shaping a healthier and brighter future us all.

Together We Can End Child Hunger

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With Thanksgiving on the horizon, food is top of mind for millions of Americans. Across the country, families are planning who will bring what and who gets to make their famous dishes. Thanksgiving is a joyous time for family and friends to reflect on all we have been given.

Unfortunately, for a significant number of many American families, food will be a central focus for different reasons. For the millions of children suffering from hunger, especially Latino children in the U.S., their thoughts around food and the holiday will be the same this week as they are every other week—namely, how to get enough of it.

At NCLR, we understand the plight that many Latinos, especially children, face when it comes to hunger. Through our Institute for Hispanic Health and our Health Policy Project, we work on creating programs and fighting for policy changes that will lift Latinos out of poverty and into homes with food security. ConAgra Foods, a longtime partner, also recognizes the challenges that families face in putting wholesome, healthy food on the table, and we have teamed up with them to help end child hunger in America. ConAgra Foods has been a generous supporter of programs like “Reflejos de mi comunidad,” which gave cameras to young people and asked them to photograph what they saw as challenges to healthy eating in their local neighborhoods. Programs like this help us all better understand the obstacles Latino families face and what we need to do to make a difference.

Of course, NCLR and ConAgra Foods alone can’t put an end to childhood hunger in the U.S. It takes collaboration from all sectors of society, including everyday Americans. To spread awareness of the cause and the significant impact among Latino children, NCLR joined ConAgra Foods’ “Child Hunger Ends Here” program for a Twitter chat around the issue. We were joined by 2014 NCLR ALMA Award recipient and Hollywood star María Canals-Barrera, who took questions from NCLR and Twitter users about what they can do to get involved. Below are highlights from that chat.

The chat included some great comments from the Twitterverse:

We moved on to our last couple of questions for Canals-Barrera:

Our contributors had some other helpful tips:

And with that, our chat came to a close.

The chat may have ended, but that doesn’t mean the conversation around child hunger should. We strongly urge you all to keep talking about this. Together, we will end child hunger.

Show Your Thanks to Farmworkers for Your Thanksgiving Day Meal!

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Take a moment to show your support and to say thanks to farmworkers everywhere for bringing food to our tables on Thanksgiving Day and every other day of the year! Click here to send your thanks!

A Lesson in America’s Rich History of Immigration

By Kathy Mimberg, Media Relations Manager, NCLR

Immigration FamiliesHappy Thanksgiving, America!

As we reflect this week on the things for which we are thankful, I think of the terrific teachers at my son’s public school who have strengthened his understanding of our nation’s history as a community of immigrants.  Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in a yearly event that his Social Studies teachers developed that truly brings America’s “salad bowl” history to life for their students, who represent a diverse mix of race, ethnicity, religion and family income levels.

After weeks of investigating where turn-of-the-century migrants came from and why they left their home countries to start a new life far from everything that was familiar, the students had chosen their roles and were ready for “Ellis Island Day.”  They adopted new names, researched and wrote narratives, and memorized details of background, family, and religion in order to answer questions from immigration agents and gain U.S. citizenship.  Their work culminated in a full school day devoted to the Ellis Island experience, during which teachers and parent volunteers acted as agents, doctors, and judges who reviewed their documents, assessed each immigrant’s case, and decided whether to approve or deny citizenship applications. Continue reading

Weekly Washington Outlook – November 25, 2013

White House at Night

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

The House: The House is in recess, returning December 2nd.

The Senate: The Senate is in recess, returning December 9th.

White House: On Monday, the president will travel to San Francisco for an event on immigration at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center as well as an event for the DNC. In the afternoon, he will travel to Los Angeles where he will take part in two DCCC/DSCC events. On Tuesday, the president will attend an event for the DNC followed by an event on the economy at Dreamworks Animation. The President will return to Washington on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey at the White House. On Thursday, the President will celebrate Thanksgiving at the White House. No public events are scheduled on Thursday or Friday.  Continue reading