February 2016 E-News

posted by Fresno Metro Ministry
on 12 February 2016
Metro & Food Commons Working to Increase Access to Nutritious Foods in Underserved Neighborhoods
We are excited to announce our participation in the Fresno County Department of Public Health's Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) initiative. In conjunction with Food Commons Fresno, Fresno Metro Ministry is one of the lead partners in creating the Farm to Table movement. The purpose of Farm to Table is to connect locally grown food to community residents in low-income food desert areas of Fresno.
Food Commons Fresno's innovative new community food hub, Out of Our Own Backyards (Ooooby), is building local food system infrastructure to help improve access to healthy, high quality food for low-income residents. Ooooby began its full operation in May 2015 and currently delivers to 22 community sites in Fresno, Madera, Merced, Clovis, Coarsegold and Oakhurst.  Hundreds of families are receiving the boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables supplied by a growing number of local farms.
PICH is expanding Ooooby to include nine target Fresno Unified schools located in low income food deserts. The schools will serve as drop off locations where residents can receive affordable Ooooby boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as food recovery items on a weekly basis.  Food Commons Fresno is looking into ways that they can establish EBT as a payment option for customers and is exploring funding to support matching dollars for families who purchase the produce boxes so that they could receive double the amount of produce for their purchase.
Fresno Metro Ministry's place-based and community  development approach to creating healthier communities provides a valuable complement to Ooooby's operation. Through PICH funding, Metro will supplement the boxes of fresh produce by giving away additional produce at no cost. We are in the process of building a local infrastructure (Food to Share Program) to support food recovery efforts and are developing a food donor and food recipient network directed towards PICH Farm to Table neighborhoods and other Food to Share member sites.

Together, we are working closely with other key stakeholders, such as Every Neighborhood Partnership, the Humanics Department at Fresno State, CA Project Lean and Fresno Unified School District to build strong relationships with the nine target schools.
The Partnerships to Improve Community Health Initiative is made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention Initiative.
Team Transitions... Good Byes and Welcomes
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to parting staff members and welcome new talent to the Metro team! Thank you to Laura Hirahara who served as the Better Blackstone Project Manager for the past year. We appreciate the efforts she made to support new investment and revitalization of the Blackstone corridor and her overall commitment to a better Fresno. Laura relocated to the Central Coast to be with her family.

We also send well wishes to Mai Tue Yang, Metro Community Builder. Mai has been instrumental in building relationships with our community gardeners and conducting Cal Fresh outreach and enrollment. Mai has taken a position with Saint Agnes to conduct outreach and facilitate workshops on how to manage chronic diseases. Thank you Mai for your continued commitment to a healthy community.
And to our new staff... Welcome Rev. Sophia DeWitt, new Better Blackstone Project Manager. Sophia will be working to develop relationships with neighbors, businesses and other stakeholders along the Blackstone corridor in order to build support for greater economic development, transit and complete neighborhoods in the heart of Fresno. Sophia is a Fresno native who holds a B.A. from Mills College and a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She has over a decade of prior experience in community and civic engagement with diverse communities through her work with Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM, Inc).
We are also pleased to have Diana Ramirez Diaz, Better Blackstone Project Management Assistant. Diana's primary role will be to cultivate relationships with residents of the Better Blackstone project area to identify key neighborhood leaders that share an interest in community development and conservation. The goal is to build resident capacity to learn, connect and engage in a variety of community development activities- producing desired healthy community, environmental, economic and physical results. Diana has a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Fresno State and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State University.

 Join Our Team!
Fresno Metro Ministry is inviting qualified candidates to apply for the Community Builder 1 (Hmong-speaking) position within our three interrelated programs. The ideal candidate is fluent in Hmong and English with community outreach experience and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. Related experience in CalFresh enrollment is preferred, but not necessary, as training will be provided. Additionally, interest in community food systems (community gardens, access to healthy food, etc.), is a plus.  
The Community Builder needs to be a highly motivated individual with a passion for cross-sector collaboration, community development and multicultural community leadership in a high energy environment. The Community Builder will work closely with Project Managers to assist in the implementation of specific community building outreach projects and/or initiatives that support the organization's mission.
Fresno Metro Ministry is a multicultural, multi-faith community-benefit organization that 'Builds Partnerships for Community Well-being.' Our interrelated programs: Cross-sector Community Leadership and Innovation; Community Food Systems; and Resilient Communities build upon four decades of success in creating change in the areas of environmental health, hunger and nutrition and healthcare access, to achieve our mission/vision of 'Learning, Connecting and Engaging to Achieve Healthy People and Healthy Places.'
Click the Job Description link below for a detailed description of qualifications and duties expected of the successful candidate, along with instructions on applying. Review of applications will begin ASAP and interviews will begin late February. Applications accepted until position is filled.
Upcoming Events                               
WE Connect 10 Year Anniversary Event
Saturday, February 13
10am - 3pm
Southwest Fresno Specific Plan & EIR Community Workshop #3 (Rescheduled)
Tuesday, February 16
6 - 8:30 p.m.
National Career Fair Event (Register on Eventbrite for Free)
Wednesday, February 17
11am - 2 pm
Fresno Tzu Chi Medical Mobile Free Clinic
Saturday, February 20
9am - 3pm
Fresno EOC- Sexual Health and Adolescent Risk Prevention (SHARP) Education Sessions
Tuesday, February 23
4 - 6 pm
Neighborhood Markets Food Give Away
Tuesday, February 23
1 - 3 pm (Health & Wellness Workshop 12-1 pm)
2016 Kids Soccer Clinic
Saturday, February 27
8:30 am - 12 pm
Fresno Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade and Festival
Saturday, March 5
Fresno's Chinatown (F ST Between Kern and Tulare)

Do you have community events you want to share?  Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.by the 1st Monday of the month.
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