Outcome 1: Community Engagement by training 10 Community Leaders to become Eat Smart Champions, who, in turn, will lead 100 community members to engage in Healthy eating activities beyond PICH Kent year 2 projects.
Deliverable 1: Engage 10 Eat Smart Champions and 100 community members to participate in healthy eating projects.
- Identify and Recruit 10 Eat Smart Champion.
Starting out this project, we had a short amount of time to recruit community leaders and begin the scheduled programming. In order to launch the project successfully from the beginning, we leveraged the expertise and longstanding, trustful community relationships that Coalition of Refugees from Burma and our consultant, Colleen Fulp, had from years of working in these communities. This long history of community engagement work was critical in making this program a success.
Our goal for recruiting CLs was to be as inclusive and representative of the Kent overall population as possible. We began by brainstorming communities residing in Kent and their known Community Leaders. As a result, we started outreaching to the diverse community leaders to share information about the LWK Community Engagement Project and offer the Eat Smart Champion role to them or someone they recommend from their community. The outreach approach included phone calls, emails, referrals and follow ups.
The list of diverse communities that we outreached to include:
- Sikh Community
- Congolese Community
- Congolese Youth
- Iraqi Community (Iraqi Women’s Association)
- Iraqi Youth
- African American Community
- White American Community
- Latino Community
- Sudanese community
- Somali Community
- Somali Youth
- Cambodian Community
- Burmese Community
- Tanzanian/Kenyan Community
- Ukrainian Community
Of these diverse communities, 11 were interested, available and ready to join the Eat Smart Champion team.
- Develop Training Materials for Eat Smart Champions (ESCs).
Alongside our outreach and recruitment efforts to create the ESC team, we were simultaneously creating the materials that would go into the training. We very mindfully created modules for the training to cover the following key topics:
- Opening and Welcome to LWK and Community Engagement (CE) Project
- Introduction to Healthy Eating
- Introduction to Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change
- Community Engagement Best Practices
- Eat Smart Champion Toolkit
- Deeper Dive into Healthy Eating
- Deeper Dive into PSE Change
In addition to these training modules, we designed and created a toolkit for each Eat Smart Champion, so that they would be able to take it out into the field and train their community members on healthy eating practices. These toolkits included over 25 resources on vitamins and minerals, how to read nutrition labels, the USDS’s MyPlate food group guide, sugars in drinks, calendar of events, community engagement plans, training guides and 4 game boards for training community members about these healthy eating topics in engaging and interactive ways.
- Coordinate/Train CLs to become Eat Smart Champions (ESCs)
Our Eat Smart Champion training program consisted of a 2-day training held at Coalition of Refugees from Burma’s Kent Office location (515 West Harrison St., STE 213, Kent, WA 98032), on August 26th and 27th.
Throughout the 2-day training, we presented PowerPoint presentations and small group work sessions on each of the modules discussed above:
- Opening and Welcome to LWK and CE Project
- Introduction to Healthy Eating
- Introduction to PSE Change
- Community Engagement Best Practices
- Eat Smart Champion Toolkit
- Deeper Dive into Healthy Eating
- Deeper Dive into PSE Change
In addition to the training presentations, we spent time going through the whole Eat Smart Champion Toolkit in-depth together, practicing leading and learning each of the 4 healthy eating game boards, reviewing the handouts in detail, and understanding the training process that each ESC would go through with their 10 each respective community members. This prepared the ESCs for their individual community engagement work that they would undertake between the conclusion of this training and the ending of the project- August 28th-September 28th.
- ESCs recruit 10 Community Members (CMs) each (total 100 members) from their respective communities. Share information on LWK collaborative and its work so far, relationship of health disparities to policy, systems, and environment of the city, introduce nutrition information and healthy cooking information.
Our 11 Eat Smart Champions went out into their communities during the month of August 28-September 28 and each engaged at least 10 of their respective community members on a wide variety of topics. Their work centered around healthy eating, with an eye to PSE Change, Nutrition Facts, Healthy Eating Tips and Facts and engagement with each other.
In order to train their community members, ESCs utilized their toolkits and took careful documentation of each person they trained. Each ESC community member training followed a guideline developed by the Community Engagement Team, which walked the ESC through the list of important topics to cover in each meeting: vocabulary, training on healthy eating practices through hands-on learning with at least 2 of the 4 game boards, and a discussion of all upcoming healthy eating activities and community forums to attend.
Each ESC compiled sign-in sheets and individual training sheets from each of their trainings, and submitted these documents to the Community Engagement Team at the conclusion of the project.
- ESCs work with CMs for engaging in 3 Healthy Eating activities.
- Activity 1: Food Matters pop-up tour of a grocery store for all 10 ESCs. (ESCs can then coordinate future pop-up tours for their communities)
August 30, 2016. The Community Engagement Team partnered with Food Matters, a program administered by Solid Ground on this first Healthy Eating Activity. We coordinated with two trainers from Food Matters to come to Kent on Tuesday, August 30th to provide a guided grocery store tour for our Eat Smart Champions. These two trained specialists provided detailed tips on several important topics including: what to look for when comparing brands and types of foods in each section of the store, how to read ingredient lists on food labels, how to mindfully shop for all 5 food groups, and how to compare unit pricing to get the best deal. At the end of the training, the ESCs were challenged to go into the grocery store with a $10 gift card (provided by the Food Matters team) and purchase 3 items from 3 different food groups to make a meal for 4 people. They had a great time doing this challenge and all ESCs came up with delicious looking, healthy meals. ESCs then took this new knowledge out into their communities and shared tips on how to best shop for healthy groceries.
- Activity 2: Cooking class for all 10 ESCs and each bring 1 community member to learn cooking with healthy ingredients. (ESCs disseminate information out to the community)
September 13, 2016. This first cooking class was a great success. The Community Engagement (CE) Team partnered with a local caterer, Nadia Mahmood, to meet our ESCs and community members and provide a demonstration on how to prepare 3 healthy recipes. We contracted with Kent Lutheran Church to use their large commercial kitchen space and the attached hall.
The healthy cooking demonstration took place on September 13th from 5:30-7:30pm. Training covered an appetizer (fatoosh, a chopped veggie salad), an entrée (rice with fava beans), and a dessert (vermicelli), as well as a detailed demonstration of how to create a fun and healthy salads from 15+ healthy ingredients based on 5 food groups. We went through all steps of the food preparation together as a group, from preparing the ingredients, chopping, measuring, and the cooking process for each.
After finishing the preparation of these healthy dishes, we all sat down together as a community to enjoy the meal and discuss how to utilize these cooking techniques in our homes and community events in the future.
- Activity 3: Food preservation class for all 10 ESCs and each bring one (different) community member to learn pickling and other food preservation techniques. (ESCs disseminate information out to the community)
September 27, 2016. As our last training of the project, we offered demonstrations on food preservation. This included making quick refrigerator pickles from a variety of vegetables, fresh strawberry freezer jam, and two varieties of applesauce. We provided training on why one might want to consider preserving food, the cost effectiveness of buying fruits and vegetables in bulk to preserve, and the time the benefits of having healthy foods ready to eat all year round.
The types of food preservation that we taught were pickling, freezing, canning and drying. We included discussion of what types of foods you might want to preserve using each of these styles of food preservation.
- Submit final report on community engagement through healthy eating activities.
Outcome 2: Communication Plan for Place-based Healthy Eating/Active Living Initiatives
Deliverable 2: Communication plan for engaging the Kent residents on Healthy Eating project.
- Work on materials to update the LWK Website
We created weekly updates of the ongoing activities to be included on the Living Well Kent website. Working with the LWK Steering Committee Coordinator, we ensured that there was a separate webpage for the Community Engagement Project, so that all materials could be posted.
- Design and Develop Community Engagement Team Kits and related marketing materials.
The Community Engagement Team Kits were designed and included as part of the toolkits that each ESC received at the beginning of the project. We designed guides for how to engage and train community members, how to track the trainings, and provided ongoing support for the ESCs in their community engagement throughout the project.
- Develop Healthy Eating community event outreach materials (flyers, Social media, surveys, etc.)
We designed flyers each week for the community forums and posted them on the LWK Facebook page as well as shared them with our listserv of community members. These flyers included the relevant details of each event- date, time, place, covered the topic for each event, and what attendees could expect to learn by attending.
- Communications Plan
The Communications Plan includes how to effectively communicate with ESCs, for ESCs to communicate with the community members, and for Community Engagement Team to communicate with LWK Steering Committee Coordinator.
ESC Communications: The ESCs received communications tools in their toolkit on how to communicate the LWK messages and the healthy eating messages to their community member trainees. We also conducted a workshop in the ESC training for community engagement and best practices. At the end of the training, the CE Project Lead asked each ESC how they would prefer to receive communications on mentorship and ongoing support throughout the project.
CE Team with LWK: The CE Project Lead met with the LWK Steering Committee Coordinator weekly to update communications of all healthy eating activities, community forums and ESC achievements. Our final week meeting also included a strategy session with the Food Policy Council Project Lead on how we can continue these efforts into Year 3, with FPC continuing to engage the community members that have come on board in this Year 2 CE Project.
After each weekly meeting, the CE Project Lead sent written communications from the CE Team to the LWK Steering Committee Coordinator with updates from ongoing deliverables.
Outcome 3: Community Forums for engaging the general public on Healthy Eating activities and Food Policy Council initiatives.
Deliverable 3: 2 Small and 1 larger Community Forums for engaging Kent residents
- Plan, outreach, coordinate and deliver Community Forum 1. Nutrition Forum I- information on sodium, sugars, fats and other harmful ingredients to consume in moderation. Attended by ESCs and 5 each community members (goal 60 attendees)
On Friday, September 9th, the Living Well Kent Community Engagement Team hosted the first of the three community forums, designed to engage the larger Kent Community. We were overwhelmed with the attendance of over 60 community members with their Eat Smart Champion teams. At the forum, attendees learned about smart shopping, reading nutrition labels of packaged food products, understanding ingredient lists on food products, and saving money by checking unit costs of groceries. Community member attendees worked in small teams to actively engage with the material they had learned and started to list out healthy food options for themselves and their families.
- Plan, outreach, coordinate and deliver Community Forum 2. Nutrition Forum II- information on how to shop and cook for high nutrient and mineral consumption. Attended by ESCs and 5 each of community members recruited by the ESCs. (goal 60 attendees)
On Friday, September 16th, the Living Well Kent Community Engagement Team hosted the second of the three community forums, to engage the larger Kent Community. Kent community members were invited by the Eat Smart Champions, and they learned about Vitamins and Minerals, and how they help our bodies. They actively participated in the individual and group activities to identify vitamins and minerals in food, and designed meal ideas for them to get more key vitamins and minerals into their family’s meals. We are grateful to Ishtar Iraqi Restaurant, Costco, and Grocery Outlet for donating some of the food for the event.
- Plan, outreach, coordinate and deliver Community Forum 3. Final presentation of Healthy Eating Initiative Year 2. Attended by all 10 ESCs, all participating community members and other partners. (goal 100+ attendees)
Community Forum 3 on September 23, 2016 was a huge success. We had 126 attendees, greatly surpassing our goal of 100. All 11 Eat Smart Champions brought the 10+ community members that they had trained throughout the course of the project, some Food Policy Council members and LWK Steering Committee members were also in attendance.
We presented on PSE Change and then conducted a small group simulation for each ESC team to work together to design either a Policy, System or Environmental change that is important to their community. Presenters from each team came to the stage after the simulation to share what they had designed. The evening was filled with very rich ideas and energy of excitement for PSE Change going in to Year 3 of Living Well Kent projects and activities.
Throughout the 3 forums, we were able to fundraise a total of $473.57 in donated food. This included: $25 from Safeway, $25 from Cash and Carry, $43.57 from Trader Joes, $80 from Ishtar Restaurant and $300 from community members. However, CRB had to match with over $500 in food costs for the entire project.
- Submit final report on activities to the FPC and other PICH teams.
Overall CE Project Summary:
This project was made a success by the committed individuals that came together: Coalition of Refugees from Burma staff including Executive Director, Mona Han, and Youth Program Manager, Siobhan Whalen and Tara Moran, Youth Program Coordinator; consultant Colleen Fulp from Idera Consulting; the 11 Eat Smart Champions that took the information and went out into their communities, and all of the over 200+ community members that actively participated and were influenced by this project to spearhead actions for a healthier Kent community.
Each deliverable listed in this report had many hours of thoughtful designing, planning, outreach, coordination, ESC mentorship, and logistics execution leading up to the day of the event or activity. We worked closely together in the Community Engagement Team, planning weekly to look ahead to the next upcoming deliverable and ‘check all of the boxes to ensure successful delivery of the expected outcomes. We are very proud of the results that we have been able to present to the Living Well Kent Steering Committee and the PICH leadership team, and are thankful for the opportunity to be part of this impactful work.