March 2016
Good Food, Healthy Food, 
Affordable Food
Last month, we celebrated Black History Month with our Heritage of Health event at One Stop, one of our Healthy Corner Stores.

This month, we look forward to supporting Abdu at another one of our Healthy Corner Stores, Three Amigos. An entrepreneur since the third grade and a survivor of war, Abdu now wants to provide more natural and fresh food to his customers, who he sees as family. He's fundraising to make this possible, and we hope you can support his dream by making a small loan through KivaZip today.

Also, you're invited! Please join us for a fun, youth-led cooking experience this Saturday, 3/19 from 12-2pm. Our Youth Action Board will be putting on a community meal based on FEEST, the Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team. Join us in the kitchen and at the table to learn, connect with new friends, and enjoy a tasty meal! Learn more here and RSVP to Jasmine at   
Food Systems
Heritage of Health Event at One Stop
Esther Goolsby of HOPE with Kelly Carlisle of ANV
The One Stop Black History Month event was a tremendous success!  Over one hundred community members  stopped by to celebrate one of three African-American owned corner stores in Oakland, One Stop, and to participate in food demonstrations hosted by various community based organizations. A huge thank you to Acta Non Verba, Alameda County Public Health Department, East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) , East Side Arts Alliance, and Native American Health Clinic who graciously volunteered at this event!

There were food tasting and cooking demos, as well as storytelling, zumba, and music performances! A big thank you to our speakers and performers who included Paula Beal of HOPE, Kelly Carlisle of Acta Non Verba, Mama Tureeda, and Square Boys. Community members were able to taste  grilled chicken, veggies,  smoothies, and coleslaw made from healthier food alternatives. People were genuinely  surprised  at how tasty the food was. But most importantly, it brought awareness of fresh, yet affordable food options right here in Oakland.  Special shout out to Esther Goolsby of HOPE Collaborative who held down the program, HOPE staff and members, the Healthy Corner Store Team, and Chelsea and Leonard Charles of One Stop  for their continued commitment to the community and selling healthy food.  Let's continue t o honor and support the ongoing community engagement and store improvement efforts at  One  Stop (8400 International Blvd)!

HOPE Spotlight
Sean Chow, Chef Challenge Winner

The results are in! HOPE has been hosting the Chef Challenge since the fall of 2015 to showcase tasty recipes that could be served up at our local healthy corner stores. We asked Bay Area chefs to develop meals that could be easily made, are both healthy and delicious, and are affordable. After starting off the Chef Challenge with a dozen talented chefs, and a round of finals at our healthy corner stores, a clear Chef Challenge winner emerged -  Sean Chow! His kale and pinto chili with Asian-inspired flavors stood out among the impressive six finalist dishes, and votes from local residents and customers declared him the winner. A big thank you to all the chefs who participated, and a hearty congratulations to our Chef Challenge winner.

A Bay Area native, Sean Chow has worked as a social entrepreneur, fundraiser, and strategy consultant for mission-driven startups. He currently caters events and hosts pop-ups through his two food businesses: Mighty Maki and Burma Bento.

His passion for culinary arts and food justice also inspired him to start Floreciendo -- an Oakland-based nonprofit that helps low-income refugees and immigrants achieve economic self-sufficiency through food entrepreneurship or employment in the food service industry.

In partnership with New Roots (International Rescue Committee), Floreciendo runs two training programs -- Bloom & Harvest. He hopes to increase the efficacy of these programs through future food projects including restaurants and other food businesses.  Learn more at
School Food
Visit to Capitol Hill
by Lianetta Taylor-Oliver, HOPE Project Leader
As a parent of an OUSD middle school student who qualifies for free/reduced school lunches I became interested in joining HOPE's school food team for support in my challenges and financial struggles as a low-income parent having to purchase and prepare lunches on a daily basis.  Over the years I've had so much frustration around the free/reduced school lunch program because of the poor quality of the meals and limited healthy options for students.
Along with HOPE partners Jennifer Le Barre (Director of Nutrition Services at OUSD), Sandra Muniz (former Youth Action Board member), Sarah Ting (adult ally to Youth Action Board Media Team), I attended a two day training last month in Washington DC on Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The first day of the training was a wonderful introduction to Child Nutrition Reauthorization beginning with The Pew Charitable Trusts' Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project team sharing their past and present work.  We also heard from the USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services who shared information on child nutrition integrity and access in 2016.
During the training I learned more about school wellness policies and programs, particularly the California Fresh Thursdays that I will encourage my son to participate in. There is also a new program that will offer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for participants in the free lunch program during the summer.
We also met with representatives of the offices of U.S. Re presentative Barbara Lee, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and U.S. Senator Barbara Levy Boxer. Legislative representatives were very welcoming, listened to what we had to say and were also in support of CNR. We all had a chance to share our personal and professional experience around school food and wellness and what we wanted Congress and the Senate to know about school food at OUSD and how the Child Nutrition Programs and school meals equipment can improve the program.

Speaking at the House and Senate Offices on Capitol Hill was a very big step for me and very important because supporting and requesting a push for CNR means healthy outcomes for students and ongoing support for affordable, accessible, healthy, fresh local foods across the US. I was also very inspired and empowered as a parent, Project Leader at HOPE and as an Oakland resident and community member.

Read the full story, and Sandra Muniz's story, in HOPE Voices on our website
Community & Youth Engagement
FEEST (Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team)
Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability (FEEST) is a youth-led interactive and improvisational dinner program that engages young people in issues of civic and social justice, food security, cultural expression, systems change and community development.  Founded in Seattle, the FEEST model has been adopted by communities nation-wide.  In 2014, FEEST Seattle came to Oakland to train HOPE's youth members in how to implement the program and in early 2016, they came to deliver a refresher training.  HOPE adapted the model for the local context of Oakland, which includes an interactive lesson on cooking skills and techniques, a participatory and improvisational cooking activity, and a community discussion about food justice.  HOPE's Youth Action Board will relaunch FEEST in 2016 on a monthly basis and provide participants with fresh and healthy ingredients, cooking tools, access to a full kitchen, recipes, and a communal dining experience.

Read more about the FEEST experience, by Erica Jackson, Youth Leader & FEEST Team Captain:

Youth Leaders and community members gather around the FEEST table.
I recently participated in the FEEST training on Feb. 20-21, 2016. One important thing that the trainers covered was proper kitchen etiquette. They taught us simple but effective methods for running a safe and functional kitchen. One method that they taught us was using the "Yes, And..." method which allowed for everyone to have input on the recipe instead of just one person running the whole thing. They also taught us how to properly hold a knife and where to place it on your cutting board when you are done. Another important thing that they taught us was how to effectively attract people to our FEEST events by using bright and colorful flyers with a catchy image.

Personally, I felt inspired and became more eager for our first FEEST event. As a member of HOPE's FEEST team, it made me realize how this event can bring people together and value who and what you have around you more. The beauty that was created in this event is something I hope to see in each and every FEEST event, because harmony is what Oakland needs.