El Amanecer * The Sunrise
December, 2019
The official newsletter of the Spanish American Center, Inc.
News and Notes From Neddy

 ·          We had an extra busy and very productive month of November.  As usual there were meetings and conferences to attend, and many community events took place at our spacious new Community Room.
I've have highlighted just a few of the many community events held at the Center this month. For more details, please click on the links to our Facebook, Website and YouTube pages!

  •  We partnered with Growing Places and The United Way of North Central Massachusetts and offered classes to demonstrate how to enhance fresh, nutritious foods by adding spices and other ingredients to keep everything tasty as well as healthy and economical. We have posted one of Growing Places' recipes which they demonstrated in a class held here at our Higgins Cocina. Our goal is to keep families informed about food choices which are affordable in every budget, without skimping on quality.

  •  SAC continues to benefit from our affiliation with the Worcester County Food Bank which helped us to provide holiday food items for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season for our Food Pantry clients. We continue to provide this vital resource which expands food security for our clients in need. 

  •  Mickey Guzman, our Elders Program Worker (who also does I & R service for the Center) attended an Energy Assistance Heating Forum at Great Wolf Lodge. This conference gave us valuable current information with respect to 2019/20 funding, eligibility and access to Fuel Assistance and heating programs in North Central Massachusetts. For help/advocacy with these issues, please contact Mickey at 978-534-3145.

  •  We received a much appreciated donation from The Northwest School student’s food drive. Thanks to the students and faculty for this fantastic effort!

  • We partnered with Leominster Police Department and had a successful homeless brunch on Nov. 18th. We appreciated the opportunity to partner with the LPD to focus on the theme of inclusion for the homeless: The Homeless Are People Too!

  • The Center is also positioning itself to be a resource and outreach provider for the upcoming 2020 US Census. This is important as we need accurate population statistics for Massachusetts to benefit from Federal funding, voter mapping, etc. We have applied and been selected for important grant funding for this expanded benefit to the community. Watch for more details in upcoming issues.

  • We had a visit from Congressman and candidate for US Senate, Representative Joe Kennedy, III, which took place at the end of November. We were happy that candidate/Representative Kennedy is fluent in Spanish and interested in learning more about issues and needs affecting our community.

We welcome two new donors to our family of supporters! Cummings Community Giving AND the employees and owners of ETM Manufacturing of Littleton, MA (Doug and Betsy Scheffel )! Both of these donors selected the Spanish American Center for holiday giving through employee recommendations. We thank these and all of our supporters, with special thanks and recognition to ALDI's Market and to Bruce and Lyn Man. . Links to their respective WEB sites can be found on our Donor Banner on our own web site linked below. We invite them to visit us at the Center at their convenience to learn more about us and the services we offer!

Have a safe and serene holiday season with Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza festivities and your own family and culturally-rich traditions that keep us all strong! See you all next year.

Feliz Navidad-


Neddy Latimer, Executive Director
Thanking Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and ALL the generous coat donors for 2019!
Despite an early December storm which left us digging out from 24 inches of snow, Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and his crew braved the weather to deliver his "sleigh full" of warm winter coats which were generously donated at drop off points throughout Worcester County throughout the autumn months. Here, as in several past years, grateful SAC Staff are preparing the coats for clients in need this winter! Thanks to Sheriff Evangelidis for another successful drive.

Leominster High School students enrolled in the Center For Technical Education Innovation are on site early in the morning at SAC. This talented group of students is constructing a new storage shed/annex for our busy kitchen facilities.  We thank them for selecting the Spanish American Center  for this challenging construction project. Watch for upcoming photos of this project on our Facebook page!
Community Education Program-
Cooking Matters at SAC, November 14, 2019
Jessica Caouette, Registered Dietician and Program Manager of Cooking Matters campaign at Share Our Strength was the speaker on Thursday, November 14th, 2019 at SAC's new (and popular) Community Room. A gathering from our staff, seniors, volunteers and others were treated to a message from Cooking Matters about the economics of food shopping, cooking, etc. Their WEB Page is:
The focus was was about teaching people how to shop and cook smarter with a low budget keeping in mind: quality, price per unit, fresh and frozen foods, calories per serving, reading back label etc.
Participants received literature about healthy choices and a $10.00 gift card from Market Basket. Below are some photos of participants and presenters. Thank you to Cooking Matters and Market Basket and U Mass Memorial HealthAlliance Clinton Hospital for reaching out to the Spanish American Center to bring this all together! Happy, healthy eating!
Leominster Hospital's MNA Sponsors Toy Drive for SAC Kids

"Forcing their way through the adversity they face as they fight to protect their patients and their practice, the NURSES of Leominster Hospital held a toy drive to benefit Leominster's beloved Spanish American Center at their Candlelight Vigil to Protect Patient Safety. The nurses delivered 4 GIANT sacks of toys to help the Spanish American Center make the holidays a bit brighter for families who could use a hand. To add to this stunning community effort - students from the Leominster Center for Excellence then sorted and wrapped those toys!! This is what COMMUNITY looks like. My heart is full. Happy, Happy Holidays.  
Want to know more about the Spanish American Center and how you can support the incredible work they do? Please visit  http://www.spanishamericancenter.org/ " - MNA's Facebook page /Sandy Ellis THANK YOU ALL AT LEOMINSTER Chapter/ MNA!
Collaborating to Combat Hunger

"The United Way of North Central Massachusetts recently partnered with the Spanish American Center and Growing Places to expand the use of the  Combat Hunger  meals through Combat Hunger RevvedUP , a program piloted in April at Aubuchon Hardware .
On November 14, the Spanish American Center served lunch to community members using the new kits, which feature Combat Hunger’s traditional dry meal packages along with canned goods and spices. Attendees ate lunch and were able to taste test meals prepared with multiple combinations of spices. Growing Places Executive Director Ayn Yeagle also spoke about making healthy eating choices and provided fresh seasonal lettuce and kale.
The Spanish American Center received a grant to collaborate with the United Way and Growing Places and host educational lunchtime events on a regular basis. Fran Longton, United Way of North Central Massachusetts Volunteer Center Manager, says the events are the perfect venue to test the RevvedUp kits and provide attendees with cooking options and guidance on healthy eating.
“We debuted the RevvedUp kits in order to offer more complete and customized meals for local community members, and these events have given us great feedback,” says Longton. “The attendees have told us they love the kits as well as learning to use spices to make a variety of meals.”
The United Way also recently distributed 200 RevvedUp kits each to the Leominster public schools and Our Father’s House." - taken from Fran Longton, UWNCM Facebook Page, December, 2019.
The Spanish American Center values its collaboration with UWNCM and Growing Places. We extend our thanks to AUBUCHON HARDWARE for funding this anti-hunger initiative, and we continue to thank the Worcester County Food Bank and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for helping to make our food security programs sustainable. Well done!
Growing Places Winter Soup Class at SAC
On November 17, 2019 several participants attended a Sunday morning Winter Soup making Class at SAC's industrial kitchen at the Higgins Cocina. You can watch a video clip on our YOU TUBE video postings.
Growing Places shared their featured recipe, below.. Please try t his one! It is a filling and taste-satisfying choice on these cold winter evenings.
(Editor's note: We love it - it has become a go-to recipe here. The fresh thyme really makes it work!)
Hannaford Grocery Store at 118 Lancaster Street in Leominster will donate $1.00 to SAC for each reusable shopping bag sold to shoppers during the month of January, 2020. Thank you Hannaford! Please keep them in mind during your shopping in the New Year January, 2020!
¡Muchas Gracias!
We continue to receive generous food donations from ALDI grocery store. Please keep them in mind during your holiday shopping this year -- and next! ¡Muchas Gracias!