Midtown Community Connector Network enjoyed the sound stylings of Frank Sinatra (aka Perrish D’Andrea) with one another. Community Connector Nikki Trasvina hosted with food, holiday spirit and lovely picture collages of neighbors. Take a look below![Not a valid template]
The most recent San Francisco Food Security Report found that one of every three San Franciscans is food insecure. If you are food insecure, you sometimes run out money before you can buy the nutritious food you and your family need. This makes for hard choices between food and other necessities. San Francisco’s high cost of living is pushing more and more people on fixed incomes into food insecurity.
CLC has weekly grocery delivery programs that brings nutritious food to seniors and adults with disabilities in the Bayview, OMI and other southern neighborhoods. Once a year, we are proud to help organize a special delivery of turkeys and fixings to 1550 household. It comes with happy greetings from their neighbors. This is possible, first and foremost, with generous support from Glide Memorial, the S.F. Department of Public Health, and A. Phillip Randolph Institute.
In the OMI, CLC Community Connector Deb Glen and her team along with Patty Clement-Cihak help organized distribution in the OMI and Cayuga. In the Bayview, Veronica Shepard and her colleagues in the SF Department of Health, CLC Grocery Delivery Coordinators Chester Williams and Vernice Ross and members of HPUNITI for helping bring this special holiday gift to those in need. Chester is also a member of the San Francisco Food Security Task Force, co-chaired by Paula Jones, DPH Director of Food Security. This Task Force works to address food inequities by helping to strengthen the food safety net and expand access to food programs. Take a look at their most recent report here.
Take a few minutes to see the hard work of the people and organizations who are tackling food insecurity during the holidays and all year long.[Not a valid template]
St. Francis Square Co-op was the first neighborhood network, inaugurated with the support of CLC and the Board of St. Francis Square Co-op. The Community Living Campaign Committee of the Board and network members celebrated their first ten years with a special event on December 8th. Early founders greeted many new neighbors and remembered those who have passed on who helped create the community ties. Music, poetry and a visit from Supervisor Valli Brown highlighted the afternoon. A photo collage brought back memories of activities over the past 10 years that helped weave community. Take a look below…[Not a valid template]
Cayuga Holiday Potluck is an annual community gathering rich with food, fun raffle prizes, music and of course, Santa. Thanks to Patti Spaniak and all the leaders and neighbors who pitched in to make this a grand gesture of community living. Enjoy the pics![Not a valid template]
Before we opened the doors last October 22nd at St. Anne of the Sunset, we had hoped 15 people might attend our our Monday and Thursday afternoon exercise/community building program. Instead 35 appeared, ready to enjoy the Always Active exercise program. Though most of us lived in the neighborhood, few of us knew one another. The number of participants, and our friendships have only grown from those early days.
But we don’t only exercise when we come together. About a month into the program, Marina Lazarra, the community connector from the Community Living Campaign, began offering after-exercises activities. The first classes were on gardening and healthy herbs – Marina’s interests – an ongoing memoir writing class, classes on “finding your style,” earthquake safety, how to get most out of your cell phone, a three-session series on Stroke Awareness, and an evening meeting on Loneliness and Social Isolation engaged participants and brought in new members. More than 10 of us participated in a letter exchange with the fifth graders at the SF Friends School, and were thrilled to attend the children’s dramatization of our life stories.
The Annual Good Neighborhood Event brought together an even bigger group of leaders on Saturday, June 8 as we gather at the ARC. Each year, staff and participants in each of the CLC programs picks a community member who has gone above and beyond to help their neighbors and provide leadership to the community. We are pleased to present this year’s list of honorees. They include:
- Mary Crenshaw, Bayview
- Deb Padilla, Cayuga Community Connectors
- Esselene Stancil, Computers & Access
Marlene Olivencia , Inner Sunset Community Connectors
- Reiko Hatakayama, Merced Extension Triangle Community Connectors
- Evernease Cook, Midtown Terrace Community Connectors
- Guido Van Rijn, Miraloma Community Connectors
- Leroy Lindo, OMI Food Network
- Judy Goddess, Community Catalyst
- Rose Sharkey, St. Francis Square Network
- Alice Guidry, Sunnyside Community Connectors
- Michael S. Silver, Vision & Hearing Program
- Robin Evans, SF ReServe / Senior Beat
See these and other “good neighbors” in the photo album below.[Not a valid template]
CLC’s Food Networks in the OMI, Bayview, and beyond into Parkmerced and Visitacion Valley were recently honored with the “Keeping the Spirit Alive” Award. We want to tell you why.
Team leaders Deb Glen, Chester Williams and Karen Holt have built teams of drivers and loyal volunteers who care about the well-being of their neighbors. They show this with regular “check-in” phone calls and weekly delivery of fresh fruits, vegetables and staples to their homes. We know that these regular connections are an antidote for isolation and loneliness. They let individuals know they are appreciated and that their health, well-being, and history of helping others is important. Over the past year, they delivered 9,000 bags of groceries, made 7,800 visits, and provided 890 hours of support to 205 neighbors in the Bayview, OMI and Parkmerced neighborhoods.
Regular Connections Reduce Isolation
And the regular contact with almost 200 people weekly helps volunteers know when someone needs more help – from more formal services or just from a neighbor who brings the garbage can to the curb or helps change a lightbulb.
As good neighbors, it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure older adults and adults with disabilities receive the care and support they need to age with dignity in their own homes and communities. But what is really remarkable is the commitment of these neighbors to be a kind and reliable source of connection – no matter what. This program was started by Deloris McGee in the OMI in 2008 and expanded as a model for other neighborhoods – Parkmerced (2011) and Bayview (2013), has not missed a single delivery. Personal health challenges, the death of a loved one, bad weather and all the other things that could have gotten in the way did not. They have pulled together so that no one misses their delivery – no matter what – ever.
A Successful Partnership
The Dept. of Aging and Adult Service, in partnership with the San Francisco and Marin Food Bank, has looked to this model program and funded similar efforts in other parts of San Francisco. Because it is about more than just the food. A survey last year of the recipients reported that:
- 94% of recipients say the food they receive helps them stay in their homes,
- 97% have more access to fruits and vegetables,
- 81% feel they can get help when they need it, and
- 91% feel less isolated.
Everyone benefits from Having Good Neighbors
A sense of purpose and belonging is also key to successful aging. Deb Glen underscored this when CLC and the Grocery Delivery Teams received the “Keeping the Spirit Alive Award” from the Recreation and Park Department. Deb stated “Not only do we have a responsibility towards our fellow human beings, but it is our privilege to bring blessings and joy to those around us to make a difference in the lives of as many people as possible. It’s extremely beneficial to the volunteers as well because they also have the opportunity to be active with a sense of community fellowship”. Chester Williams stressed how in the Bayview, the organization HP UNITI offered their resources and took up the challenge in a big way over the years. Their committed team of drivers and volunteers has grown to meet the task as more and more neighbors in need came to learn about the benefits of this program. With expansion to the Visitacion Valley/Geneva Terraces areas, the host site at George Davis Senior Center has supported a wider delivery distribution network. They reach both seniors and people of any age with a disability that prevents them from standing in food pantry lines. This expansion reaches other 10-20 participants in those communities and provides a greater source of balanced nutrition.
We are so proud of this home-grown, neighborhood-based effort that continues to serve under-served communities in San Francisco.[Not a valid template]
Good neighbors gathered around in the OMI and Bayview neighborhoods to deliver turkeys and fixings to those in needed – almost 1,300 household received this holiday blessing. This would not have been possible without the generous support of the Glide Food Program. Yet it marked the annual event where a broad cross-section of groups and individuals pitch in to identify families in need and help support in a multitude of ways. Special thanks go out -in the OMI, to Deb Glen and the CLC team, Patti Clement and Catholic Charities and all the organizations that help arranged delivery to 600 households in the neighborhood. In the Bayview, this would not have been possible without support from the SFHealth Department – Veronica Shepard, Tracy-Shaw Senigar, & Dr. Paula Jones; the CLC Team led by Chester Williams, Beverly Taylor and Jerry Mixon, Having Pride UNITI, Dr. Emily Wade Thompson, Joseph Lee Recreation Center and the Bayview Opera House, and the Faith Based Coalition. And we stretched to meet the extra need, thanks to A. Philip Randolph Institute and San Francisco Health Department for extra turkeys and Meals on Wheels for helping round-up turkeys to deliver to the site.
With this, we wish you and yours a happy, healthy, food-filled holiday season![Not a valid template]
Breast Cancer Groups Celebrate
On Oct. 11, the Breast Cancer Group of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, and the Bayview Imani Breast Cancer Support Group held their annual celebration luncheon.
Though African-American and white women are diagnosed with breast cancer at roughly the same rate, African-American women are 42 percent more likely to die from the disease. There seem to be several reasons for this: African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed at later stages of the disease, and experience delays in treatment. They are also more likely to be diagnosed with a triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive subtype that is linked to poorer survival.
The OMI breast cancer group meets the third Thursday of the month, from 11 a.m.– noon. The group takes on different projects – murals, paintings and placemats – some of which were on display at the church. Their primary task, explained Barbara Tate, program director at the LCOS, is supporting one another and the newly diagnosed. “When we hear of someone who’s been newly diagnosed, we try to visit and talk with them. We go with them to the doctor if they want us to do that. We listen to their story and tell our own. Whatever the person wants, we’re available.”
October 11, however, was a day to greet old friends, enjoy good food, celebrate and listen to inspirational speeches from Pastor Evered Cohen of the Lutheran Church and the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Ransom-Scott
If you are looking for support or want more information, call Barbara Tate, 415-586-7890.[Not a valid template]