* The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) and the Eastside Riders Bike Club will partner to host the “Bridge the Meal Gap” Community Bike Ride, a seven-mile ride through the community of Watts to raise awareness about the issue of food insecurity in Los Angeles County.
Bridge the Meal Gap
The Watts area has been labeled as a “Food Desert,” where lower-income residents consistently have higher rates of obesity and rely on less expensive, less nutritious and higher calorie packaged and processed foods — not to mention the abundance of fast-food restaurants.
Following a brief address by officials to stress the public health issue, the bicycle ride will launch, led by the Eastside Riders.
The pre-ride briefing will include: DPSS Director Sheryl L. Spiller; Watts community activist“Sweet Alice” Harris; representatives with the offices of Assemblyman Mike Gipson, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino; Hector Hernandez with California Association of Food Banks; and Frank Tamborello with Hunger Action L.A.
Studies suggest that household hunger negatively impacts the intellectual, physical and emotional development of children, which puts them at greater risks for obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of Los Angeles County residents still in need of food assistance and unaware that they may qualify for CalFresh, the federally-funded supplemental nutrition food benefit administered locally by DPSS.
The bike ride is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, 2016 @ 9:00 a.m. The community bike ride will begin immediately following the media briefing at Ted Watkins Memorial Park 1335 E. 103rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90002
This seven–mile group bicycle ride through Watts, led by John Jones, III of the Eastside Riders Bike Club;
On-site vendors who are part of the Watts Healthy Farmers’ Market, where CalFresh beneficiaries can maximize their dollars through the Market Match program.
The blue-shirted DPSS Outreach Team, who will be onsite assisting attendees in applying for CalFresh and Medi-Cal Benefits.
James Bolden, PIO II