March 2014 Newsletter

The time has sprung forward and we are quickly moving into Spring. Check out what updates we have and activities we have planned for Spring below! 
HOPE Project Leader Spotlight: Chanel Williams, Healthy Corner Store Project Leader
This month, we would like to recognize Chanel Williams for her contributions to our collaborative.
Chanel Williams, Healthy Corner Store Project Leader


Chanel is a student in the Dietary Manager and Community Change programs at Laney and Merritt College, which is where Chanel was introduced to HOPE Collaborative. She wanted to support HOPE's work in improving access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food in Oakland's neighborhoods with the greatest health disparities. She began her involvement at HOPE as a volunteer for a class project in October 2013. Since then, Chanel has become one of the Healthy Corner Store Project Leaders.


As a Project Leader, Chanel's responsibilities include identifying and surveying corner stores, working with community partners and residents to promote the corner stores in the project, and providing nutritional resources and materials for store owners and customers. Chanel enjoys that she's able to conduct outreach to and provide resources for the store owners and residents. As a Project Leader, she is given the opportunity to encourage people to make healthier choices for themselves. Chanel has developed skills in community leadership, working in a collaborative setting, providing resources to community members, and facilitating meetings from her Project Leader role.


Building a Healthier Oakland, One Garden at a Time
Elmhurst residents planting trees in neighborhood for Earth Day 2013.
HOPE's Youth Action Board (YAB) conducted surveys last year that assessed family health history and its effect on young people's long-term health issues. Earlier this year, YAB members examined the results of over 130 surveys collected from Oakland youth. The youth who participated in the survey identified the most common factors that would have an effect on their long term health outcomes including lack of knowledge about where to buy healthy foods, lack of job opportunities, and lack of knowledge about long term health issues.  


Recently, the YAB members spent some time hashing through ideas and projects on how to address these concerns at the past few meetings. The youth want to support existing greening efforts while increasing youth engagement in these activities and landed on two ideas for greening projects as a group. The YAB has decided to either support the East Oakland Earth Day tree-planting activities, which is an existing greening effort that was initially launched by HOPE and community partners or adopt or build a youth-led community garden to increase access to healthy and fresh foods for youth and families in East Oakland.


Healthy Corner Store Project TA Providers
HOPE Collaborative is seeking proposals from prospective technical assistance providers to retailers in support of the Healthy Corner Store Project. Over the coming months, HOPE will pilot 3-5 store makeovers which will renovate stores, increase the amount of healthy foods they sell, and provide job training for Oakland residents. The ultimate goal is to create neighborhood-based food systems in Oakland where community groups and residents work with store owners beyond the pilot. The Healthy Corner Store Project will create substantial store changes beyond traditional marketing interventions and small product shifts. Each store will likely undergo changes on multiple levels, from diversifying product mix, store renovation, updating accounting and inventory systems, etc. For this reason, each store will need TA for multiple elements of the engagement, both physical and product-based. HOPE Project Leaders have assessed almost 60 Oakland corner stores to date and have selected several "top stores" who exhibit the greatest interest in participating in the program and highest likelihood for success. As part of the store assessment process, areas of training or technical assistance for store owners have been identified. The major TA areas are accounting/bookkeeping, customer service, marketing and merchandising, product handling, storage, and management, sourcing and supplier relations, store design, layout, and constructions, workforce development.  

HOPE will award multiple contracts to qualified Technical Assistance providers in the identified areas. 

The key "on-the-ground" partners in this project are merchants (corner or liquor stores), neighborhood-based community groups that are paired with stores, HOPE Collaborative staff and community volunteers, and TA providers.There is a high level of coordination and administration between all parties, and TA providers will be responsible for regular coordination and communication with all parties. The level of assistance needed by stores may vary, from weekly to quarterly assistance.

For more information about TA provider opportunities or to apply, please review the Request for Qualifications

Youth Minigrant Info Session
East Oakland Building Healthy Communities has opened their second round of funding for youth-led community projects! Youth ages 14-24 can apply for a minigrant up to $2,000 that will fund a project that has a positive impact on the East Oakland community, involve community members, addresses peace promotions, drug preventions, youth employments, or improved health, and incorporates the use of social media. Applications are due Monday, June 2, 2014.

Interested in applying, but have questions or need support? Join East Oakland Building Healthy Communities for an informational session on Tuesday, March 25 at Allen Temple Baptist Church (8501 International Blvd) from 4-6pm.

School Community Mobilizes for Safety in East Oakland

Since January 2014, 4 elementary school students have been struck by hit and run drivers at the intersection of 81st Avenue and Rudsdale Street in East Oakland. Families and students often cross this intersection, which is home to ACORN Woodland and EnCompass Academy as well as the 81st Avenue Branch Library. Fearful for the children's safety, parents, teachers, administrators, and students from Acorn Woodland Elementary and Encompass Academy Schools organized a community forum on February 20th to demand action to improve safety, in partnership with the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) Beat 26x/y. The meeting was attended by over 50 people including concerned parents, city staff, Mayor Quan, Coucilmember Reid, area police captains, and OUSD administrators. Moving testimony from students and parents was shared that highlighted the profound impact a lack of safety has on local residents. Elected officials and city engineers promised that an evaluation would be done to see what immediate measure could be taken. In the meantime, the city committed to increase police patrols in the area to increase safety and discourage reckless drivers. HOPE members and staff attended the meeting and continue to seek ways to support efforts to make the area safer by making connections to our existing neighborhood planning work.


There will be a follow up meeting on Thursday, March 20th from 6pm to 8pm at the 81st Avenue Branch Library, where city staff will report back to community residents and discuss next steps.


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

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In This Issue
HOPE Project Leader Spotlight: Chanel Williams
Building a Healthier Oakland, One Garden at a Time
Seeking Healthy Corner Store Project TA Providers
Youth Minigrant Info Session
School Community Mobilizes for Safety in East Oakland
Upcoming Events
Oakland Food Policy Council meeting on Thursday, March 20 from 4:30-7:30pm at 1000 Broadway, Suite 500, Room B

HOPE seeks Technical Assistance Provider for Healthy Corner Store project. Proposals are due Tues., April 1. For more information and to apply, click here.

Communities for a Better Environment, Acta Non Verba, and HOPE are co-hosting an Earth Day Clean Up, Green Up joined by Urban Releaf on Sat., April 26 at Tassafaronga Farm.
Alameda County Social Services Agency Farm Stand every Monday from 10am-2pm at Eastmont Self-Sufficiency Center (6955 Foothill Blvd.)

Every Saturday from 9:30am-2pm, get fresh and healthy produce in West Oakland at the Freedom Farm Stand behind Brother's Kitchen (300 San Pablo)
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221 Oak St. Ste. D, Oakland, CA 94607 | Office: (510) 444-4133 | Fax: (510) 444-4819

 HOPE is a project of The Tides Center