One of the things of which we are most proud at Leah’s Pantry is our ability to work well with others. Here are some examples of high-impact, collaborative partnerships we have developed over the years.
Leah's Pantry, Video in the Community, and International Rescue Committee San Diego
One of our most interesting projects in 2012-3 is Cooking It Up!, a collaborative video & cooking project funded by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. Video in the Community, led by Cal State San Marcos Professor & artist Kristine Diekman, teaches youth to create videos that have an impact on their community. The end result of this project will be four "cooking show" webisodes featuring recipes suggested and modified by students from Crawford High School. These students will also be learning video production - so they will both shoot the video and star in the show. Leah's Pantry is facilitating the nutrition education, recipe development, and supporting the logistics around the cooking show. We look forward to seeing the final product next summer! Check out the latest developments at http://www.facebook.com/cookingitupshow.
Leah’s Pantry and BRIDGE Housing Corp.
As the largest affordable housing provider in California, BRIDGE has a lot of properties that house all sorts of different people. When we met BRIDGE in 2007, we had a skeleton curriculum and worked only with homeless populations. They asked if we would be willing to work in multiple languages and different ages throughout California. We said yes, and to date, we have run workshops at over 30 BRIDGE sites, many more than once. We are so grateful they pushed us to expand our curriculum and gave us the opportunity to make it work with so many different people.
Leah’s Pantry and the San Francisco Food Bank
We began this partnership while running programming at Valencia Gardens, a housing site in San Francisco that hosts a bustling weekly Food Pantry. We reached out to SFFB to get advance notice of the foods VG would be receiving at their Pantry and soon started a friendship that has grown stronger every year. SFFB identifies sites that are eager for our Food Smarts Workshops, and we deliver the programming. They hosted the first Food Smarts Training Program in April 2011 and continue to host 2-3 per year. In 2012, we were awarded a large SNAP-Ed grant from the USDA to run a whole slate of collaborative programming for 19 months. We work seamlessly with their nutrition programming department, offering complementary programming and coordinating outreach as a team.
The Wellness Center has hosted all of our training programs but one in San Diego. As a result of the success of these training programs, we have started to offer collaborative programming with the Wellness Center going forward. Lisa Vandervort, the Center's director, is a RD and a Food Smarts-trained facilitator. We will also train several other individuals involved with the organization, and hold both training programs and regular Food Smarts Workshops for a variety of populations beginning in the Fall of 2012.
In January 2012, Feeding America San Diego hosted the first San Diego FSTP for ten of their partner agencies in an effort to jump-start their concept of turning many of their agencies into SuperFood Partners. These agencies began running Food Smarts Workshops at their sites and FASD hosted a Healthy Eats conference in March 2012 where over 35 agencies expressed interest in becoming a SuperFood Partner. This spring, SuperFood Drive, FASD, and Leah's Pantry have crafted their vision of the future of food banking, which includes not only offering healthier foods at Food Pantries, but also great nutrition and cooking resources and plenty of educational opportunities. This is one of our most exciting and ground-breaking collaborations!
Thanks to generous funding from Kaiser Permanente Diablo Area, we have offered Food Smarts Workshops at Mt. View Family Shelter, Pittsburg Family Center, and Lyle Morris Family Center for five years. We offer several workshop series, which include mid-range follow up, for both the kids and adults at each location. Part of the funding includes grocery gift cards for participants, which means that when families find housing they can immediately put their new shopping and cooking skills into practice.
After participating in a training in January 2012, John Lowther, a social worker at the Kroc Center, decided it would be a great program to roll out throughout his organization. He organized a training in March 2012 that included representatives from through the Center - Family Resource Center, Youth Ministry, fitness club, and after school programs.