Thousands of Georgians live in a state of food insecurity, lacking enough food resources to provide for the nutritional needs of their household. Low-income families often rely on federal support through the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), sometimes referred to as food stamps, in order to buy food. However, purchasing fresh, wholesome, locally grown produce still poses a challenge for them. Fresh produce can not only be higher in price but also more difficult to locate in many areas devoid of quality grocery stores or convenient farmers markets.

Wholesome Wave Georgia (WWG) works to increase access to healthy food, partnering with farmers markets to double the value of SNAP dollars spent there—every $1 of SNAP money can buy $2 worth of food at participating markets. These efforts provide more nutritious produce to SNAP beneficiaries, while also expanding the revenue sources for farmers. Founded in 2009, WWG has steadily increased its reach, putting a total of over $1.5 million back into local food economies by leveraging existing government nutrition programs to create financial incentives for low-income shoppers to frequent local farmers markets.

Rachel Bailey - BSA 0916

As they grow a network of participants and providers, WWG continually identifies new opportunities to further their mission. Some of the program developments in Atlanta include:

SNAP Screening—Partnering with the Department of Family and Children Services to conduct enrollment sessions and facilitate support for more people

EBT Technical Assistance—Setting up wireless technology necessary to facilitate SNAP at farmers markets

Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program® (FVRx®)—Connecting healthcare providers and farmers’ markets to those with diet-related illnesses

Wholesome Wave Georgia depends on donations and sponsorships to strengthen its resources. The largest annual fundraiser, the Southern Chefs Potluck, brings together premier culinary talent to serve a family-style meal for 250 guests at the Inn at Serenbe. This year’s event will be held on Sunday, September 11, with tickets starting at $150.

Details: wholesomewavegeorgia.org

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Grey and Green Sneakers - BSA 0916

Join Best Self Atlanta at the Healthy Living Expo—part of the 34th annual Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk at Turner Field on September 22. Race participants are invited to swing by for samples, giveaways and information from local experts in wellness, beauty, fitness, nutrition and home improvement. Don’t forget to bring donations for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Details: 2–9 p.m. at Turner Field; kpcorporaterunwalk.com

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Auspect Skincare - BSA 0816

Luxury Australian skincare brand, Auspect™ has made it stateside and presents all-natural ingredients with no mineral oils, parabens, artificial fragrances or animal-derived products. Try out a starter kit including a gentle cleanser, exfoliator, serum and an intensive hydrator. Plus, travel-friendly packaging means no worries about bottles exploding in your bag.

Details: Natural Body–Morningside, 1402 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306; auspectskincare.com

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Babiators - BSA 0816

A precocious toddler might be just as headstrong about their outfit as the most fashionable trendsetters on the catwalk. The folks at Atlanta-based Babiators thought it was about time someone gave these budding fashionistas some cool protective eyewear of their own. Babiators specializes in flexible rubber sunglasses for kids ages 0–14. Each pair offers 100 percent protection from UVA and UBA rays, shatterproof lenses and safety testing for parental peace-of-mind. Snag a pair for the coolest “babes” you know.

Details: Starting at $20; babiators.com

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Jeff Galloway - BSA 0816

While the Jeff Galloway Race Weekend may still be months away, the time to start training is now. For the first time ever, race participants can take advantage of a customized training program. To help make sure all runners have as safe and enjoyable a running journey as possible, newbie and experienced runners alike can benefit from incorporating a personalized training schedule for the upcoming race. The training program also includes drills for form improvement, a Jeff Galloway training e-book and weekly video chats with Galloway Training Directors.

Details: jeffgalloway.com

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Healthy Living Day - By Kim Kenney, Courtesy of The Atlanta Ballet - BSA 0816

It can start with a few slips, like opting for fries instead of fresh fruit or skipping that spin class, and before you know it the healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to create begin to lose their traction. Reinvigorate your passion for health at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s Healthy Living Day on August 28. Get inspired with food demonstrations, healthy living and nutrition seminars, a book fair and performances by the Atlanta Ballet’s own Wabi Sabi.

Details: Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre, 1695 Marietta Boulevard NW Atlanta, GA 30318; centre.atlantaballet.com

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Pat Conroy - AJC Decatur Book Festival - BSA 0816

Literary heavy-weights will celebrate the life and works of Atlanta native and renowned author Pat Conroy on September 2 at the keynote event of the 2016 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival presented by DeKalb Medical. Cassandra King Conroy and Rick Bragg, accompanied by friends and family, will share their favorite passages from Conroy’s works. A legend of late-20th-century Southern literature, Conroy penned, among many others, The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, which were both developed into Oscar-nominated films.

Details: Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University, 1700 North Decatur Road Atlanta, GA 30322; decaturbookfestival.com

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Don’t let those clanging weights at the new East Atlanta Barbell Club intimidate you.  Lead by USA Powerlifting Club Coach Lis Saunders, Savannah Weightlifting Team member Robert Hall, and local weightlifter Jim Chambers, the club provides a welcoming space for longtime lifters and those just getting started. They’ve settled into a great space and already plan future projects—including partnering this fall with physical therapist and movement specialist Lauren Polivka and her nonprofit, Lift with Passion, to launch a free strength-training program for young women.

Details: 530 Flat Shoals Rd., Atlanta, GA 30316; eastatlantabarbellclub.com

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Children's Museum of Pittsburgh - BSA 0816

The latest exhibit to come to the Children’s Museum of Atlanta encourages kids to explore their emotions and the many ways of communicating them. “XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness” features interactive technology such as a voice tone analyzer, facial expression interpreter and sculpture that responds positively to hugs.  Visitors also have the chance to do hands-on activities, like creating their own “love tokens” to give to friends, and releasing negative emotions by writing them down on a piece of paper and then shredding it.

Details: Admission $14.95; 275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313; childrensmuseumofatlanta.org

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Carol Martin - BSA 0816

Former model turned plastic surgery consultant Carol Martin knows a bit about beauty. After years of steering faces to beauty pros, Carol has created a new tool that puts the power of transformation in the hands of every woman. blendSMART™ is an automated rotating makeup brush system that features interchangeable heads for applying moisturizer, sunscreen, liquid foundation and even powder makeup, like blush and bronzer. Add this rotating brush into your beauty routine and take the guess work out of achieving seamless blending and flawless coverage.

Details: Woo Skincare + Cosmetics, wooskincareandcosmetics.com; Richie Arpino Salon, 326 Pharr Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

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