March 2013 Newsletter

Thank you for your continued interest in the HOPE Collaborative. The Collaborative has been busy working on many projects such as establishing an Oakland-based food hub, facilitating our Leadership Institute workshop, and community engagement activities during the last few months. We would like to share with you our updates for the month of March. 

Program Updates


Establishing An Oakland-Based Food Hub

HOPE Collaborative has been working with Community Alliance for Family Farms (CAFF), New Venture Advisors, and Farm to Table Food Services on a feasibility study for an Oakland-based food hub.  The idea for an Oakland-based food hub emerged from a two year community-based planning process HOPE underwent from 2007-2009 during which community partners identified the need to strengthen the links between food system sectors in Oakland and the greater region, providing improve connectivity between sustainable farming and wholesaling, processing, and distribution sectors, in order to increase access to high quality, regionally produced foods for underserved communities in Oakland through sales to institutions, independent retailers and other entities servicing high-need areas and communities.  Other goals of an Oakland food hub are to support regional growers by connecting them to urban markets, create wealth and asset-building opportunities in Oakland, strengthen Oakland's food economy, and help local institutions meet their local food procurement goals.


Although the term "food hub" is relatively new, gaining currency within the past several years, the functions of food hubs--aggregation, wholesale, logistics coordination, processing, and distribution--have existed for centuries.  New food hubs aimed at building value-based supply chains have been increasing in number across the country, and Oakland has long been identified as a strong potential site for such a facility due to its proximity to major transportation channels, rich agricultural regions, and strong markets.

After several months of research, during which we surveyed or interviewed 63 growers within 250 miles of Oakland and 42 potential buyers, focusing mainly on distributors, institutional purchasers, and Oakland food retailers, we are nearing completion of our feasibility study, which will include an operating model for an enterprise that we believe will address the needs expressed by the growers and buyers we heard from and be financially viable as a local business.

To find out more about this project or to get involved, please contact


HOPE Collaborative Partners with Elmhurst Residents to Plan A Healthy Neighborhood

During Spring and Fall of 2012, HOPE Collaborative worked with Elmhurst residents as well as community partners such as
Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Merritt College,
 and New Highland/RISE Elementary to document neighborhood conditions between the blocks of 81st to 92nd Ave. and International Blvd. to G St. 

Some of the challenges we noticed include: illegal dumping
 , vacant lots, and blighted properties due to foreclosures; unsafe side-walks and walking conditions; gaps in street trees; and street flooding and pollution of street drains into the Bay. Though there were challenges to the neighborhood, we documented neighborhood assets including beautiful gardens, places where there are street trees, Tassafaronga park, Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm, and several home grown restaurants and markets.    

Now that we have finished collecting data, we are developing a plan for the neighborhood that outlines the changes we want to make, and present it to city officials. We are also looking for resources to implement some of the projects we identified, including street tree planting, storm water retrofits to decrease flooding, converting vacant lots into urban gardens and/or spaces for mobile markets, and creating traffic circles to slow traffic and increase green space. We are also working with HOPE's Project Leader, Esther Goolsby, to plant edibles and flowers in the city-owned planting strips on 82nd.  

For more information or to get involved in this project, contact Rebecca Tumposky at (510) 444-4221 

Edible Parks, the New Community Gardens

HOPE Collaborative members have been working hard to transform Oakland's urban agriculture landscape.Urban agriculture first emerged as a priority for HOPE Collaborative during our planning process. When asked what would help Oakland flatland residents eat healthier, 74% of the flatland residents surveyed said a community garden, 57% said a farm nearby, and 55% said gardening classes or services.  Since then, HOPE has collaborated on a study entitled "Cultivating the Commons: An Assessment of the Potential for Urban Agriculture on Oakland's Public Land," conducted by Nathan McClintock and Jenny Cooper, and worked with the Oakland Food Policy Council on passing zoning updates in urban agriculture policy, which currently allows people to grow and cultivate their own food. We support further efforts that allow communities to take control of their own food supply like building community gardens.


Community gardens have been effective in reducing urban blight by growing foods on neglected land, especially in neighborhoods like East and West Oakland. Edible parks are emerging as a way to utilize public lands as community gardens do, which is why we are excited to announce that the Collaborative endorses Oakland Climate Action Coalition's (OCAC) Edible Parks Program. We hope to see as many Edible Parks as community gardens in Oakland in the near future.


Last year, the Food Justice and Land Access Committee of OCAC worked with the Oakland Office of Parks and Recreation (OPR) and Public Works Agency (PWA) on creating an Edible Parks program. The Edible Parks program will map out areas with underutilized neighborhood parks to plant fruits and vegetables in hopes of increasing access to healthy foods, park use, and opportunities for park stewardship.


Read more information about the Edible Parks Program here. If you are interested in signing-on to the proposal, contact Max Cadji at  


HOPE Collaborative Launches New Project Leader Roles
Community members have always been central in leading and supporting the vision of HOPE Collaborative. HOPE's resident participation is a key element of our work, differentiating our collaborative from other policy advocacy efforts. This year, HOPE is engaging community members  in new and exciting ways. 

HOPE has launched a new community engagement process grounded in the vision that leadership development and capacity-building will create the necessary conditions for increased economic and civic community ownership. 


We would like to introduce and congratulate our Project Leaders for this quarter: 


Elmhurst Neighborhood Leaders - Esther Goolsby and Eliezer Mendoza

EOBHC Leadership Institute Training Assistant - Alma Blackwell

YAB Youth Leaders - Veronica Slater and Aaliyah Carney 

EOBHC Leadership Institute Participants - Danielle Douglas, Esther Goolsby, Deborah Carney, Aaliyah Carney, and Redana Johnson


Young People Keep on Growing!


The Youth Action Board (YAB) has grown from a group of 7 members to a body of 15 youth from all over Oakland. The growth of the YAB membership has been made possible from the Collaborative instituting a dedicated Youth Coordinator to manage youth engagement activities. 


This year, the YAB will be working on some key food access initiatives affecting young people in Oakland. The youth leaders will be examining Oakland Unified School District's (OUSD) School Wellness Policy while planning possible implementation and educational programs. They will also be advocating for healthy snack policies at youth serving organizations engaged in East Oakland Building Healthy Communities (EOBHC). YAB members will also be planning and engaging in a Youth Participatory Action Research project supported by our community partner I-SEEED.


New Faces At HOPE Collaborative
Mario Balcita
Youth Program Coordinator
Mario was brought on to the team in September 2012 as a Youth Program Coordinator. Mario brings his background in Public Health and extensive experience working with youth to help us lead the Youth Action Board (YAB) group. He facilitates weekly workshops every Thursday and mentors youth to help them develop skills in leadership, advocacy and community engagement.

Anita Wong
Project Assistant

Anita recently became a part of HOPE Collaborative in February 2013 as a Project Assistant. She is the point person for providing communications and administrative support for the collaborative. She is excited to apply her background in Health Education and experience working with Community Food and Justice Coalition (CFJC) to provide logistical support. Anita looks forward to increasing HOPE's social media presence.


Stay tuned for more updates from the HOPE Collaborative. You can also visit us at, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to find updates.

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HOPE Collaborative
Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
Establishing An Oakland-Based Food Hub
Neighborhood Planning Process
Edible Parks, the New Community Gardens
HOPE Collaborative Launches New Project Leader Roles
Young People Keep on Growing!
New Faces At HOPE Collaborative
Upcoming Events

3/12 - Monthly Steering Committee Meeting

4/4 - Co-hosting "Healthy by Design: Creating Neighborhoods that Promote Wellness", CPEHN's Spring 2013 Convening at The California Endowment in Oakland.
Click here for more information and to register. 
Ongoing Events
Spring 2013 - EOBHC Leadership Institute Workshops

View more pictures from our first workshop on our Facebook page.
Partner Updates
HOPE Collaborative is running for food justice on Sun., March 24. Help our relay team reach our fundraising goal by donating here. Proceeds benefit Oakland Food Policy Council.
EOBHC is hiring a Media SpecialistTo apply, please provide a resume, cover letter, a writing sample, and salary requirements 
to by Fri., March 29.

California Pan-Ethic Health Network (CPEHN)
Spring 2013 Convenings: Thurs., 4/4 in Oakland, Tues., 4/9 in Fresno, Fri., 4/15 in Los Angeles, and Tues., 4/16 in San Diego.
Click here for more information and to register.
CBE is having their 5th annual Love Yo' Mama Celebration. This is a 2-day Earth Day celebration, happening on Fri., 4/19 at ACORN Woodland Elementary at 4pm and Sat., 4/20 at Tassafaronga Recreation Center at 10am.

Urban Releaf and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) are hosting a garden work day on Sat., April 20 at the Tassafaronga Recreation Center Read more.

Get Involved!

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� 2013 HOPE Collaborative


221 Oak St. Ste. D, Oakland, CA 94607 | Office: (510) 444-4133 | Fax: (510) 444-4819

 HOPE is a project of The Tides Center