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Clean Drinking Water in Community Provides Healthy Alternative to Sugary Junk Drinks

Sacramento, CA – More than one million Californians lack access to clean water in their homes and neighborhoods. California’s schools are falling short when it comes to providing healthy alternatives as 2.5 million students do not have access to clean drinking water during school mealtimes.

On January 7, renown chef, Jamie Oliver returned to Sacramento and the State Capitol to shine a spotlight on efforts to ensure that every day, Californians can make a healthy choice – and enjoy clean drinking water in their homes and in public schools.

Last year, Mr. Oliver engaged state leaders and challenged them to find solutions to bring a healthy alternative to Californians. Without access to clean drinking water, communities around the state turn to junk beverages every day.

By drinking one or two junk drinks a day, the risk for becoming diabetic increases by 26 percent. That rate skyrockets to 55% for children who have 2 junk drinks a day.

“Drinkable water must be available in our schools. This is California and we can do better,” said Jamie Oliver. “Access to clean drinking water ensures that every child can make a healthy choice and not be forced to choose sugary drinks.”

With more than 6 million children going to school every day in California, schools are not just a place for children to not just learn about math and history, but also to begin making healthy choices.

A newly announced project by The California Endowment to bring clean water to communities around the state will install 120 water taps – water purification stations – in communities and schools. The California Endowment and select partners will also launch a crowdfunding campaign to fund additional taps to bring clean and safe-to-drink water to more Californians.

“California is a national leader in health care and technological innovation. But some of our communities can’t even drink the water that comes from the taps, leading them to consume sugar drinks,” according to Daniel Zingale, senior vice president of The California Endowment. “More and more Californians support soda taxes, not because people like taxes, but because they understand the dangers of consuming soda.“

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About Jamie Oliver Food Foundation
The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (JOFF) is a California-based non-profit public-benefit corporation, 501(c)(3). The Food Foundation works to bring food education to schools and youth groups, businesses and communities. It does this by raising awareness in the media to galvanize policy changes at a local and national level, offering hands-on training to instill food skills and knowledge, and founding partnerships to enable to scale nationally.

About The California Endowment
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental affordable improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. Through its ‘Health Happens Here’ campaign and ten-year initiative for Building Healthy Communities, The Endowment is creating places where children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. At its core, The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The California Endowment’s homepage at