January 2016 Newsletter
HAPPY 2016!
What's To Come This Year
Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed ringing in 2016 as much as we did. We certainly have a lot to look forward to in 2016, and these are just a few highlights of what we're cooking up this year:
  • Delis serving up fresh food will open in a few of the Healthy Corner Stores we've been working with.
  • Last Mile Foods, a food distribution enterprise that HOPE started in 2015 that brings healthy salads and sandwiches to neighborhoods in need of healthy options, will become its own independent business.
  • The Healthy Development Guidelines, a health equity planning tool to be used by Oakland City Planning as they approve proposed developments, will be completed.
We can't wait to do all this and much more, together with all of you in 2016!

Food Systems
Healthy Corner Store Chef Challenge: The Finals
As a follow up to our successful Healthy Corner Store Chef Challenge event in October, we have been hosting a round of Finals at our participating healthy corner stores. At the October event 12 chefs with 14 recipes competed to create delicious and healthy deli menu items that could be sold at the stores for $5 or less. The top chefs are now competing to see if their recipes can pass the real test - the tastes of the corner store customers. The recipes that get the most votes from customers will be featured on the menus of the new delis that are being installed at the stores.

In November, Chef Challenge finalists started their tour of the stores at Three Amigos Market where over 40 residents provided feedback on four dishes. In December, we took the challenge to One Stop on 84th Ave and International. At each event, we provided fun and educational activities for kids including information on choosing healthy beverages, hula hoops, and a bounce house. The store owners participated as well, tasting each recipe and asking the chefs questions about preparation. Our final event will take place on January 30th at Sunbeam Market (14th & Adeline) from 12-2pm. Once all the results are tallied, winners will be announced for each store and an overall Chef Challenge winner will be selected.
Community Engagement
HOPE Project Leaders are ALL IN!

On the 50th Anniversary of President Johnson's War on Poverty, County Supervisor Wilma Chan la unched the New War on Poverty in Alameda County entitled ALL IN - ALAMEDA COUN TY that addresses the areas of jobs, income equality, food, housing, education, wellness, trans portation and child care. In the fall of 2015, ALL IN released a Request for Proposals inviting community-based organizations and informal community leaders to conduct listening sessions in their communities to shape the ALL IN campaign.

A group of HOPE Project Leaders - Leon Davis, Esther Goolsby, Chanel Williams, Lianetta Oliver, and Paula Beal - applied to and were awarded a grant to lead liste ning sessions.  The group led three listening sessions at HOPE (with the Youth Action Board), St. Vincent de Paul, and Love Temple Baptist Church.  A total of 64 people attended the listening ses sions.  

Listening  session participants responded to questions about jobs, business, food access, food assistance, and community assets and challenges.  
Overall, participant s shared that they would like to see high er quality and higher paying jobs, especially full-time employment opportuniti es, more healthy food options, and better outreach and promotion of available programs and services.  This was the largest independent project that the Project Leaders ha ve taken on as a group, and is a demonstration of their elevated leadership.  
HOPE Spotlight
Lauren Greis, 
Healthy Corner Store Chef Challenge Coordinator
Since moving to Oakland almost 8 years ago, Lauren has been involved in a wide range of food justice , sustainable agriculture, community-building, and garden education efforts in the greater Bay Area.  She has partnered with organizations like People's Grocery, Soil Born Farms, Mission Community Market, and Albany Children's Center to help people connect and reconnect with food and community.  She helped found " Sunday Suppers", a series of fundraising dinners with popular restaurants in support of East Bay non-profits.  Lauren is constantly cooking, eating, and talking about food - she is interested in learning from her family and others about the different cultures, traditions, and stories that surround what we eat and why.  Lauren is excited to partner with HOPE Collaborative on the Healthy Corner Store Chef Challenge because the project  helps community residents to create access to healthier options for themselves and their neighbors, right at their local corner store.  She has most enjoyed meeting and working with HOPE staff, community members, and the awesome community chefs that have participated so far!
Join Us in Welcoming...
Susie Chang, Project Assistant
Susie Chang brings to HOPE over ten years of non-profit management experience supporting both local and 
international communities. Before joining HOPE she directed 
a non-profit in Southern California installing solar power for families with low incomes, helped high school  students get into college, and managed education and cross-cultural exchange programs in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. As the Project 
Assistant at HOPE, she is the point person for providing   communications and administrative support for the organization. Susie is also a writer and a certified life coach who helps people take leaps in life.
Jasmine Vassar, Temporary Project Coordinator
Jasmine   (Jazz) Vassar has a background in public health community-based projects related to: food justice, healthy schools, nutrition, and mindfulness with families from low income backgrounds.  She recently completed a Master's in Public Health and yoga teacher certification, and since was inspired to focus on youth development and education reform. She proudly identifies as a tree hugger, vegetarian chef, and loves to travel to places where passports are required. Born and raised in Pasadena, California, she moved to San Francisco for college and has enjoyed 10 years of bay area residency ever since.  Jasmine is coordinating HOPE's Community Engagement program including the Youth Action Board, Project Leaders, and other community member volunteers.
Brytanee Brown, Healthy Corner Store Community Engagement Specialist
Over the next six months, Brytanee will be working closely with youth and Project Leaders to develop, refine, and document an in depth strategy for engaging more residents and organizational partners in and around our Healthy Corner Stores.

Brytanee comes to us with a Masters in Urban Planning from Tufts University and most recently brings her experience working with small business owners and community through the Tenderloin Economic Development Project. She grew up in North Oakland and Berkeley and has a personal connection to the experience of food deserts and the need for healthier foods at corner stores. She has also been an active participant in developing a community plan for a public parcel on E. 12th St in Oakland that creates affordable housing options and community amenities instead of luxury condos. We are excited for the energy and ideas she will bring to the corner stores.