Teaching healthy eating to our clients promotes nutrition as well as knowing where our food comes from. Encouraging community members to make their own food and learn new skills gives them the opportunity to take control of their health and wellbeing. The year two VISTA was able to work with cooking and nutrition through the “demo kit” project. There were community members and clients of the CAC who came into the community kitchen at the CAC to test their recipes and teach them to other community members during food bank distribution in the same building..
The gardens at the Koppel Community Garden in Pullman and at the CAC office building can be used to teach clients about how to grow their own food which promotes self-sufficiency. The gardens are also a great place to host large groups of volunteers for work days during the summer. From the Community Educator program, the director of the Community Food department wanted to take the information presented in the cooking and gardening demos and create “demo kits”..
Engaging the community in gardening, cooking and nutrition education has been about continuing the dialogue with key community stakeholders and members from the Palouse Tables Project. Maintaining and engaging those relationships as well as cultivating new relationships are all key components of community engagement. Cultivating community engagement was a key component of the Community Educator Program..
The Community Visioning Process is a grassroots approach to planning with community input. Community input is valuable because it provides insight that organizations may not be aware of, builds relationships, and invites collaborative approaches to solving regional issues. After the initial data collection phase of the Palouse Tables Project, there was an analysis of the data phase..
Mapping is a great way to communicate data, especially at the regional level. It makes a diagram out of data that correlates spatially, making information easier to grasp. In the initial stages of the Palouse Tables Project, mapping was used to communicate statistics about the Palouse region..
Facilitating Community Engagements is all about starting a dialogue with potential key community stakeholders and members, maintaining and engaging those relationships, and working together where needed..
The second year VISTA took on the role of creating handouts, flyers and posters through Microsoft Office for the classes and demonstrations that were offered by the Community Food department. The templates for all these advertisements were saved to the host site’s server so that they can be replicated and reused for future programs..
The team of volunteers that was created prior to the 1st year VISTA, called the Food Assessment Collaborative Team (FACT), consists of members from the Community Action Center, Backyard Harvest, Washington State University Center for Civic Engagement, Council on Aging, and various other community members..