To combat food insecurity and boost nutritional equity, iHeartMedia and Anthem Blue Cross are partnering with Common Threads to launch Food as Medicine classes at three LAUSD schools

To combat food insecurity and boost nutritional equity, iHeartMedia and Anthem Blue Cross are partnering with Common Threads to launch Food as Medicine classes at three LAUSD schools

LA Sparks Joins Free Food Giveaway Event and Cooking Demonstration at Manual Arts High School on Tuesday, October 18

LOS ANGELES, October 18–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the wake of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, iHeartIMPACT and Anthem Blue Cross continue their multi-year national partnership to address food insecurity and improve the health of marginalized communities by partnering with -profit Common Threads to provide hands-on culinary programming focused on food as medicine to underfunded schools in Los Angeles.

To support their continued commitment to the Los Angeles community, iHeartMedia, Anthem Blue Cross, and Common Threads will launch culturally appropriate, hands-on food programs as medicine programs at three LAUSD schools, including Manual Arts High School, Baldwin Hills Elementary, and Coliseum Street Elementary to ensure that students and families not only have access to nutritious food, but also learn the skills to prepare healthy meals that can help fight obesity and illnesses or diseases food-related chronicles. To mark the occasion, the partners held a produce distribution event with Chicas Verdes and Food Forward providing 250 families with grocery bags of fresh produce. Joined by Los Angeles Sparks, students were able to take part in a live cooking demonstration by Common Thread instructors and Anthem Blue Cross volunteers on how to create a healthy meal from the food provided.

“Last year, iHeartMedia and Anthem Blue Cross helped completely renovate and expand Manual Arts High School’s student-run gardening program, providing students with the opportunity to learn how to grow fresh produce. Now , we are doubling down on our ongoing commitment to addressing food insecurity in our communities across Los Angeles by adding nutrition education focused on food as medicine to our curriculum,” said Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartMedia Sports. “It’s not enough to simply distribute nutritious food, we want to ensure that students and their families are equipped with the skills to prepare healthy meals and empowered to make informed dietary decisions that can ultimately improve their physical and mental health outcomes.”

One in five deaths worldwide is attributable to suboptimal diets. Chronic diseases and conditions such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, and diabetes are major drivers of total health care costs in the United States. However, people with a diet rich in vegetables and fruits have a significantly lower risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Research also suggests that deficiencies in certain nutrients can contribute to or exacerbate conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Addressing the growing prevalence of diet-related illnesses in the United States depends on prevention efforts at the individual, community, and public health levels.

“We are excited to continue working with our community partners to address health-related social needs and promote health equity through access to nutritious food here in Los Angeles,” said Dr. David Pryor, regional vice president and medical director at Anthem Blue Cross. “We know that reducing barriers and making it easier for people to access everyday products, like nutritious foods, are among the best ways to help people live healthier lives. We’re doing that here today by helping to build practical knowledge about nutrition for students and families, which will help pave the way to health equity for future generations.”

Students with a healthy, balanced diet are more likely to have stronger immune systems, lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, and live longer. A healthy diet is crucial for optimal learning, as it can boost brain function and improve mood. The new partnership with Common Threads includes a year-round, hands-on nutrition education program for students and their families that will roll out in late October. Elements of the program include emphasis on affordable and healthy ingredients, integration of culturally relevant educational content and practices, increased vegetable and fruit consumption, emphasis on whole grains and lean protein, reducing sugar intake, and ultimately increasing knowledge and skills to cook at home to use healthy foods. foods that have been shown to improve physical and mental health.

“Food is an essential part of our lives, and the nutrition we need to thrive comes from making good food choices. Providing hands-on training as part of the classroom curriculum is one of the most powerful and effective ways to ‘have an impact early in life that can translate into better physical and mental health outcomes,” said Linda Novick O’Keefe, Executive Director of Common Threads. “Often a minor tweak to a traditional recipe can turn a high-fat meal with empty calories into a deliciously nutritious meal that will fuel and nourish your body. Our mission is to teach children and their families easy and affordable ways to buy and prepare their favorite meals, encouraging behavioral changes that last a lifetime.”

About the iHeartIMPACT & Anthem Blue Cross Partnership

iHeartIMPACT is a division of iHeartMedia that focuses on aligning brands with nonprofit organizations. Anthem Blue Cross and its affiliates are working with iHeartIMPACT to support a series of nutrition education programs at a total of six schools in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Indianapolis. This partnership with the national health and wellness organization, Common Threads, is an extension of the companies’ multi-year commitment to addressing food insecurity and overall health for communities across the country.

About common threads

Common Threads is a national nonprofit organization that provides food and nutrition education to children and families, working to provide communities with the information needed to make affordable, nutritious and appealing food choices wherever they live, work , learn and play. By December 31, 2029, they have committed to distributing 1,447,000 nutritious meals and snacks and 1,228,500 hours of nutrition education. They aim to address the critical issues of limited access to healthy food and nutrition-related health disparities in communities by reaching more than 260,000 participants in low-income households across the United States. United, to provide culturally relevant nutrition education and practical cooking skills to the community. centers including schools, community organizations and health care providers.

For more information on Common Threads, visit

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Rachel Tochtman
(916) 212-7461

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