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Farm to Chopsticks Awardee: Ken Lee

By Kyle Tsukahira

We are so excited to honor local farmer Ken Lee this year at Farm to Chopsticks. We’ve had the pleasure of partnering with Ken for the past 2 years to source organic citrus and stone fruit from his family farm located in Reedly, CA called Top Notch Produce. We love working with Ken because of his passion for the food that he grows and his commitment to providing the highest quality produce to the community. Your support helps us continue to work with farmers like Ken to get fresh, sustainably grown, and culturally relevant produce to the communities and families we serve. For more info please visit: www.apifm/ftc

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Farm to Chopsticks Awardee: Lisa Thong

By Scott Chan

If you don’t know Lisa Thong, you really should. Smart, passionate, strong-willed…these are just a few words that capture the dedication Lisa has had to community advocacy and social justice. Oh and one more word: humble.

I say humble because Lisa has done so much for APIFM, without ever asking for nor accepting credit. She just genuinely cares about the work we do around API health and food access, and has been a silent partner over the past 6 years. Whether it was helping us explore new funding and networking opportunities for our work with farmers, or presenting us with alternative forms of social enterprise for Food Roots, Lisa has always been in our corner, pushing us to take our work to the next level.

Come hear more about Lisa and why we’re giving her a well-deserved award at Farm to Chopsticks this year. More info here. 

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Farm to Chopsticks Awardee: Jessie Sanchez

Written by Diyana of APIFM staff

It’s hard to remember where I first met Jessie Sanchez (whom our whole team fondly refers to as Miss Jessie) because she showed up to our Healthy Eating & Active Living (HEAL) workshops in almost every neighborhood in the beginning! Whether it was our Tuesday sessions at LA State Historic Park, Wednesday mornings at Chinatown Service Center, or Friday nights at Pilipino Workers Center, Miss Jessie would be there, ready to soak up all she could. She took public transportation all the way from Eagle Rock, rain or shine. Miss Jessie told us she first found out about our HEAL classes from a flyer, and had been intently looking for ways to improve her eating habits after being diagnosed with diabetes and other diet-related conditions that are unfortunately so common now in API communities. Her determination to get better is impressive on its own, but we also deeply admire her equal commitment to helping others in her neighborhood and cultural community to access healthier options. She always took home as many of our HEAL class cookbooks as she could, so she could pass them out to neighbors, church friends, and even mail them to family in the Philippines. Miss Jessie also likes to share with others how she takes advantage of Market Match as part of her CalFresh benefits to afford more produce at farmers markets. All of her hard work has paid off in a big way, but I hate spoilers, so you’ll have to come to Farm to Chopsticks to hear the rest of the story from Miss Jessie, herself!

You can find out more and purchase your ticket by clicking here.

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Meet the “Master Griller” Chef Pablo Kim!

Join us this August 23, 2018 for API Forward Movement’s annual fundraiser, Farm to Chopsticks! We’re also thrilled to bring you a demo and tasting from Korean-Argentinian “master griller” CHEF PABLO KIM, founder of Pablo Kim’s Chimichurri and one of the top 11 finalists of Masterchef Latino 2017.

Buy your ticket here

Pablo Kim was born in Argentina. The son of Korean immigrants, he was raised in a mix of European, Latino, and Asian culture. In Argentina there are two major passions: fútbol and asado. Pablo was a fan of fútbol but he was fascinated with Argentinian barbecue since childhood. Starting as a teenager, Pablo made asado at the beach, on the street, and in the backyard for friends and family, incorporating Korean flavors with traditional Argentinian cooking.

Buy your ticket here

Immigrating to the United States in high school, Pablo graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2007. Although initially working in finance, Pablo never forgot his passion for asado. In 2016, after observing that there was no widely-available brand of chimichurri in the American market, he decided to create his own brand: Pablo Kim’s Chimichurri. In 2017, Pablo was part of Masterchef Latino, making it into the top 11 finalists. After this experience, Pablo decided to start his catering service, with the intention to share the Argentinian Asado that he grew up with.

All proceeds from Farm to Chopsticks will support Forward Movement’s grassroots education and organizing for food, health, and social justice in AANHPI communities of Los Angeles County.

 

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Talking Pedestrian Safety in Chinatown

On August 2, 2018, APIFM held a Chinatown Pedestrian Safety meeting at Chinatown’s Fortune Gourmet Kitchen. Over thirty-five people from the community turned out! In an open discussion, attendees shared what they appreciate when walking in the streets of Chinatown, and discussed concerns about how it’s also unsafe. On the upside, Chinatown is “filled with Chinese culture” and “accessible services in diverse Chinese languages,” they shared. But residents are concerned about littering and “lots of trash on the streets.”

We planned to further discuss those specific concerns at future meetings, and will explore organizing a neighborhood cleanup day. The rest of our meeting that day focused on two campaigns: educating senior residents to not jaywalk and adding mirrors and multilingual warning signs at the narrow driveway of Peking Poultry.

After presenting evidence of the dangers of unsafe streets, APIFM asked the attendees to commit to the campaigns. Many signed up and we will meet weekly in the month of August 2018.

We’d like to thank the LA Chinatown Business Council and the California Office of Traffic Safety’s Go Human Local Community Engagement Program for their generous support of this pedestrian safety campaign!

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Resource: Rethink Your Boba by APIFM Intern Chris Hernandez

 

Many thanks to APIFM intern, Chris Hernandez, for creating this new resource on what’s in boba and how to make it a bit healthier! Download the full PDF here, and please feel free to distribute! Here’s a message from Chris:

My name is Christopher Hernandez and I am a 21-year old Filipino Nutritional Science student at California State University Los Angeles. I grew up in a predominately Asian neighborhood where drinking “boba” or “boba milk tea” was the daily norm. Being a student in the nutritional science field, I saw this as a learning experience during course of my education. I wanted to find out what exactly was in the average boba drink and relay that information to the surrounding community. This would allow an individual to “rethink their boba drink.” I understand that boba milk tea is a staple in many communities. I also provided ways in which an individual could make their drink “healthier.” I too am guilty of drinking boba as I work at a boba shop. My goal is to ensure that everyone makes smarter choices when ordering their next boba drink.Boba NutritionBoba 2

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Recap: Rethink Your Drink Outreach at WAPOW Launch!

Written by APIFM interns, Charlene Mendoza and Trang Luong

On Saturday, March 24, we were invited to the launch of WAPOW Magazine at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (LASHP). WAPOW Magazine is a new free, bilingual publication that focuses on news and culture in Los Angeles Chinatown for its community.

At their magazine launch, we hosted our Rethink Your Drink table in which we encouraged the guests to drink healthier options. We met some new faces and welcomed familiar faces who usually attend the Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Tuesday (LASHP) and Wednesday (Chinatown Service Center) classes from 10am – 11:30am. At our table, we offered water infused with strawberries, kiwis, and cucumbers. We also provided recipes for healthier drink options, brochures about the organization, and nutritional facts on common sugary drinks.

We also had a poster board as a visual as part of our Rethink Your Drink campaign for the guests that attended the event. We wanted guests to have an idea of how much sugar is in a drink by providing visuals of teaspoons of sugar (4 grams of sugar equal to 1 teaspoon), so we had a poster that displayed how much sugar is in common sugary drinks and asked people to guess how many teaspoons is in each drink. Then, we had visual under each drink to show about how many minutes of exercise should they be doing after certain amounts of sugar consumed. For example, a can of soda contain about 40 grams of sugar, and if we divided by 4, that would contain about 10 teaspoons of sugars. Then it is suggested that they should do about 33 minutes of walking/light exercise to burn off that sugar.

On top of our Rethink Your Drink table and materials, LASHP Park Ranger Kya-Marina Le led a tour around the park and shared the history of the park, how the park is rebuilding the local ecosystem, and how it is engaging within the Chinatown community. The launch also introduced an artist, Sara Chao who made “Edition Popcorn” in honor of the event. Sara’s popcorn was influenced by her Chinese roots and was a yummy treat for the guests.

It was a fun event and we hope to see the new faces we met at our classes!

About Trang and Charlene
Trang is a student at California State University, Los Angeles majoring in Public Health with a focus in Community Health. She is from Los Angeles and she’s doing her internship with Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement, supporting a number of healthy eating and active living workshops every week. She enjoys interacting and involving with the community members of Los Angeles and hopes to gain more experience in nonprofit work.

Charlene Mendoza is currently in her last year at CSULA, majoring in Public Health with a focus in Community Health. She resides in Duarte, home of the City of Hope hospital and research center. Due to her volunteer work at two local San Gabriel Valley hospitals, she encountered many people with various health ailments and she knew she wanted to make a difference. Charlene believes she can prevent the influx of patients coming into the hospital by being a Public Health advocate and promoting healthy lifestyles to those greatly affected. She knows she can take on this issue by reaching out to the communities and making a difference with the lives in the communities. During her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, attending concerts, spending time with her family, and going on adventures to new places. After finishing her B.S. in Public Health, Charlene hopes to further on her education with a Masters in Public Health to focus her studies towards Global Health and help developing countries live healthier lifestyles and prevent the growth of non-communicable diseases.

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Check it out! Chinatown Resource Map by APIFM intern Kayee Liu

APIFM intern, Kayee Liu, made this helpful Google map (below) of different institutions, services, and businesses in Chinatown. Thanks, Kayee!

Here’s how to use it.

  • In the top left corner of the map is a window. (It looks like an arrow pointing into a box.) Click that!
  • Click the checkbox selections to view the corresponding markers on the map.
  • Click on the colored markers to see their descriptions.

Want to zoom in quickly? Here are shortcuts:
Mac – Command()+Scroll(Two-finger)
PC – Ctrl+Scroll

Here’s a short summary of each category:

Chinatown border: Outer boundaries of what is currently Chinatown, Los Angeles
Produce and markets: Locations where at least 3 or more fresh fruits/vegetables are offered. Can range from supermarkets to informal outdoor vendors.
L.A. city services: Services provided by the city of Los Angeles
Chinatown services: Groups, organizations, and other entities that provide services and resources for Chinatown
Convenience stores: Locations that do not offer produce, but predominantly snacks and sugary beverages.
Health services: Various medical services including dentistry, medical doctors, optometrists, and pharmacists
Chinese medicinal shops: Locations of traditional herbal medicine shops located in Chinatown
Religious centers: Temples and churches in Chinatown

This data was collected through a walking survey as well as an analysis of existing community resources lists. If you would like to add something to this map, please email info@apifm.org.

Enjoy!!! And see below the map for a bio of Kayee!

About Kayee

Kayee Liu is an outgoing, driven, and fun-loving kid (at heart) who enjoys guiding people to find their own solutions. He is a dietetic candidate pursuing a Masters in Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity at USC Davis School of Gerontology. After discovering a natural pairing between his background in healthcare and his love for food and the culinary arts, Kayee believes that nutrition and dietetics will be on the forefront in the future of medicine and public health and hopes to seamlessly connect culturally relevant nutrition to people from all walks of life. With his off time, he enjoys playing/watching basketball (Let’s go Lakers!), eating at unknown restaurants, watching both fantastic/terrible films and connecting with his friends and family. Areas of interest include Nutrition Education, Retail Food Service, Bariatrics, Diabetes, and Sports Nutrition. Kayee holds a B.S. in Human Biology and Society from UCLA with a concentration in Medicine and Public Health and a sub-focus in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics.

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Launch of Foods Roots Produce Pantry with KIWA!

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our first Food Roots Produce Pantry project in partnership with Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance! Read more in the press release below (PDF):

API FORWARD MOVEMENT LAUNCHES FRESH PRODUCE PANTRY WITH KOREATOWN IMMIGRANT WORKERS ALLIANCE

Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM), a Los Angeles-based community health organization, is launching its first Food Roots Produce Pantry Project in partnership with Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), a multi-ethnic community-based organization focused on organizing low-wage immigrant workers in workers’ rights, equitable development, and immigrant justice.

The pantry will bring 1600 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, all sustainably grown by local small farms, to KIWA community members and affordable housing tenants from March 2018 through July 2018. The project will also include monthly healthy cooking classes where pantry participants learn to cook recipes using vegetables and fruits from the pantry.

The first Food Roots Produce Pantry distribution event will occur on March 6, 2018 at 6:00 PM at KIWA’s office, located at 1053 S New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006.

The project is made possible due to individual donors as well as funding from Capital Group and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Champions for Change – Healthy Communities initiative. APIFM and KIWA share a commitment to increasing access to healthy food and health justice for Asian Americans and other communities of color in Koreatown, a neighborhood where over a quarter of families live below the federal poverty line.

Learn more about APIFM at http://apifm.org, and its Food Roots social enterprise at http://foodroots.co. APIFM is a division of Special Service for Groups, Inc. Learn more about KIWA at http://kiwa.org.

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