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!
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
Enjoy!!! And see below the map for a bio of 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.
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):
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 https://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.
The following post was written by intern Maggie Su as part of a series of profiles of API members of the community.
Mike Murase, Director of Service Programs at Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), has come full circle. As one of the original founding members of LTSC, Murase served as the board president from 1980 to 1985. He did not return until 2006, when he was charged with helping LTSC bridge the gaps between their different departments using his native understanding of the Japanese-speaking sector.
Murase, currently in his 70s, was born in Japan and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 9. It was during his time as an undergraduate at UCLA that he and his peers noticed the lack of an ethnic studies curriculum — including Asian American studies — in the education system. They then sought wisdom from elders in ethnic communities such as Little Tokyo, realizing in the process that many of them needed social services that the government did not provide them with. LTSC was founded with the goal of establishing a support system for these elders.
“Many monolingual first-generation immigrants in their 60s, 70s, 80s had no support system. They needed social services. In reality, those services should have been provided by the government,” Murase said. “But because most of these agencies didn’t have Japanese speakers or various languages that we have in L.A., we started providing these services ourselves.”
After serving on the LTSC board for five years, Murase spent over two decades outside of the Little Tokyo community working in law, politics and community organizing. He held positions such as state campaign manager for presidential candidate Jesse Jackson and district director for a member of Congress, working closely with the black community. A particular passion for him was working in the anti-apartheid movement, which gave him the opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela twice — once in Los Angeles and once in South Africa.
The new year is upon us and many of us have resolutions to make this a happy and healthy 2018. We got your back here at Forward Movement!
Below you will find 5 easy ways to keep those resolutions!
1. Join the Walk the Walk competition
To help encourage healthy behaviors in this new year, we’re bringing back the beloved Walk the Walk Challenge! During the month of February, we’re asking folks to join us in a friendly competition of steps.
2. Attend a free Healthy Eating/Active Living class
Each week we offer free health classes throughout downtown Los Angeles. Tai chi, stretching, cooking, gardening and more! Click the link below to see what classes are in your neighborhood!
Produce Pantry Project | Online application due 1/15/18
Download this application information as a PDF
Thanks for your interest in the Food Roots Produce Pantry! Food Roots is a project of Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM), a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant API communities through grassroots organizing. Our team advocates for healthy eating, food access, active living, environmental justice, and other issues that make good health possible.
Through Food Roots, we connect our communities to culturally relevant, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables while supporting California farmers of color. The Produce Pantry is a special initiative of Food Roots, made possible by the individual donors and foundations committed to ensuring that low-income community members have access to fresh, local produce.
What am I applying for?
This is an application to bring a Food Roots Produce Pantry to your site for five (5) months, twice a month. In addition to the Pantry, our team will offer a monthly healthy eating class at your site, including a recipe demonstration that provides examples of how your community members can prepare/cook the produce they receive from the Pantry. We’ll also work with you to explore how you can keep this effort going beyond the scope of the partnership.
- 1/15/18 Applications due by 11:59pm
- 2/5/18 Winner announced
- 2/6/18-2/28/18 Planning for produce pantry and class launch
- 3/2018-7/2018-Produce Pantry (twice a month) on the following Monday dates: March 12th & 26th; April 9th & 22nd; May 7th & 21st; June 4th & 18th; July 16th & 30th. Monthly classes occur throughout; dates/times to be determined during planning phase
Is my site eligible?
To be eligible for Food Roots Produce Pantry, your site must:
- Primarily serve those living at ≤185% of the Federal Poverty Level (especially those who are eligible for, or participate in, CalFresh).
- Be located in or near Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, Koreatown, or Little Tokyo, and have an emphasis on serving Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.
- Be able to allocate staffing or volunteers on a consistent basis who will: 1) receive training from us and work with us to run the Pantry and support classes, 2) conduct regular outreach to your community to ensure turn-out at the Pantry and classes, and 3) be able to interface with your community in relevant language(s).
- Have storage space for two (2) large coolers, where the space is room temperature or lower.
- Have an appropriate, accessible location for the Pantry and monthly classes, including tables and chairs.
Preference will be given to sites/organizations that can demonstrate a clear community need, as well as a commitment to expanding access to healthy food in the long-term.
What exactly is the Produce Pantry? What does it look like and how does it run?
It’s pretty simple. We will come to your site twice a month (on Mondays) and work with your staff/volunteers to set up two (6-foot) tables and lay out the produce on those tables. That’s the “Pantry,” and we’ll keep it “open” for about two hours each time we come. We will work with your staff/volunteers during those two hours to distribute the produce to your community members. Before we actually launch the Pantry days, we will meet with you to determine scheduling and outreach.
Where does the produce come from? How much does each Pantry give out?
All the produce comes from small California farms run by Asian Americans and other farmers of color who use sustainable growing practices. Our donor base has contributed money so that we can purchase produce from our Food Roots farmers and distribute it to low-income individuals and families. If your site is selected, we will use those donations to cover the cost of produce from our Food Roots farmers, and bring it to you on Produce Pantry days. Our team will need to deliver the produce in coolers earlier the day of the Produce Pantry, and then return later to set up and co-run the Pantry with your staff/volunteers. Each Pantry will have 25 lbs of produce available for distribution, and each Pantry will have a different variety of produce. For example, one Pantry might offer 10 lbs of oranges (about 20-23 oranges), 10 lbs of bok choy (about 30-40 individual bok choys), and 5 lbs of carrots (about 25 carrots). Depending on the size of the community you serve and expected turnout, we will help you determine the maximum that each individual/family should receive.
What are the monthly classes about?
To be eligible for the Food Roots Produce Pantry, you must be able and willing to host monthly healthy eating classes at your site. We are able to conduct these classes via funding from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Champions for Change initiative, which seeks to promote healthy living for SNAP/SNAP-Ed/CalFresh-eligible people. Your site would host five (5) classes total, one during each month of our Produce Pantry partnership, and each class would be between 60 and 90 minutes long. The class agenda typically involves at least 30 minutes of education about basic nutrition, about 30 minutes for a recipe demonstration, and some physical activity if time allows. For your site’s class series, we would demonstrate and discuss healthy recipes that use vegetables and fruit we provide at the Produce Pantry, and share the nutritional benefits of those produce items.
We’re excited to officially unveil the new name, brand, and website for our food hub: Food Roots! Check out the press release below to learn more. Shout out to Whole Cities Foundation and Giant Robot Media for making this revamp possible, and to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the national food hub expert consultants that helped us create a comprehensive plan for continuing to expand this area of our work.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2017
API Forward Movement Launches Rebrand of Roots Food Hub to Food Roots
(Los Angeles, CA) – Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM), a Los Angeles public health community-based organization, today unveiled the new brand of its food hub program: Food Roots. The mission of Food Roots is to connect local and sustainably grown Asian specialty foods to communities and businesses in the greater Los Angeles area while supporting Asian American small farms and other farmers of color in California.
“The new Food Roots brand is a culmination of our team’s efforts to deepen the accessibility and sustainability of this work,” said Scott Chan, APIFM Program Director. “We’ve been supporting local farmers and bringing their produce to Los Angeles communities since 2012. With the Food Roots vision and plan, we have a clear path for growing our farmer network, consumer base, and the community impact of this local food system.”
Formerly called Roots Food Hub, Food Roots started in 2012 as a volunteer-run Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, where volunteers and farmers worked together to bring bags of sustainably grown, local Asian produce to a small subscriber base of individuals and families. The project, managed by APIFM Program Manager Kyle Tsukahira, has expanded since then from 12 to over 100 subscribers across 10 CSA drop-off sites, and now also supplies produce on a wholesale basis to local corner stores, restaurants, and community centers. The corner store distribution work occurs in partnership with Leadership for Urban Renewal Network, Inc. and Los Angeles Food Policy Council as part of the the Community Markets Purchasing Real and Affordable (COMPRA) Foods project, which distributes fresh produce to small stores in “food desert” neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
With the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, APIFM worked with national food hub experts from the Wallace Center at Winrock International to produce a business and food safety plan for Food Roots in 2017. The new Food Roots brand was produced in collaboration with Giant Robot Media, with funds from Whole Cities Foundation.
Read more about Food Roots at http://foodroots.co.
About API Forward Movement
APIFM cultivates healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant Asian and Pacific Islander communities through grassroots organizing. Our programs focus on healthy food access and nutrition education, active living and community-informed transportation, culturally-responsive community health work, and environmental justice. We are working towards a world where Asian and Pacific Islander communities–and all communities of color–have full power to access good health and a healthy environment. APIFM is a division of the nonprofit Special Service for Groups, Inc. Learn more at www.apifm.org.