Cardenas Market teams up with Public Health to celebrate Latino Health Awareness


EL CENTRO – The Imperial County Public Health Department and El Centro Cardenas Market will collaborate for a special Eat Better Latino Health Awareness Month Community Resource Fair, to encourage shoppers to add more fruits and vegetables to their meals and snacks. The event will take place Friday, September 1 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Cardenas in El Centro and will feature a variety of demonstrations on meal planning and proper food storage from experts, including nutritionists and Cardenas Market Manager Gilberto Martinez. Shoppers will also receive free Champions for Change cookbooks and sample healthy recipes like healthy chicken tortas and peach cobbler.

“Healthy meal prepping increases the amount of fruits and vegetables families eat every day and it also can save money,” said Jorge Torres, Healthy Eating Active Living supervisor from the Imperial County Public Health Department. “We are excited to offer tools and hands-on learning to help families make small changes and good choices that will stretch the food they buy into a week’s worth of healthy meals for their families.”

Currently, 78 percent of adults and 44 percent of children in Imperial County are overweight/obese. Research has indicated that having a normal weight significantly reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes[i]. The Imperial County Public Health Department and Champions for Change continue to stem the obesity epidemic by giving residents the tools they need to make good health a priority.

Jorge Torres provided the following tips to eat better through meal planning:

  • Involve the whole family. Kids are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables they like, so be sure to include them in making the grocery list or take them to the store to pick what to eat.
  • Check what you have before you buy more. Use your cookbooks or visit websites like to find recipes that build on what you have in the house.
  • Use any calendar or create one on a piece of paper and write down what you will serve at each meal during the week. Be sure to add plenty of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Store food so it lasts until you need it. Proper storage will ensure fruits and vegetables do not go to waste before you can eat them.

The website features stories about busy families who are finding ways to be better every day, including eating healthier, getting active, and drinking water instead of sugary drinks. Imperial Valley residents can also follow Champions for Change on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for tons of creative ideas, helpful resources, and delicious recipes to support families on the path to better health.

As part of activities celebrating Latino Health Awareness Month, the Imperial County Public Health Department will host four community forums in Imperial County to empower communities to work together to improve neighborhoods to become healthier places to live, work and play. Forums will be held in El Centro, Brawley, Westmorland and Holtville. If you are interested in attending a forum, please contact Jorge Torres at 442-265-1377.  An official announcement will be shared in September.

For more information about the California Champions for Change campaign, or to learn how to become a Champion for Change, visit  For information on the healthy lifestyles program visit

i Reis, J.P., Loria, C.M., Sorlie, P.D., Park, Y., Hollenbeck, A., & Schatzkin, A. (2011). Lifestyle factors and risk for new-onset diabetes in a large population-based prospective cohort study. Annals of Internal Medicine,155(5), 292-299.