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“I Speak” Cards – An important resource

I often would accompany my mother whenever she needed to visit a government health insurance office. She didn’t feel comfortable in her English and needed me to clarify her words. However, as I grew older, I had more responsibilities in school and work. It became increasingly hard to find the time to go with her. Sometimes she wouldn’t even go because she didn’t feel confident in going by herself and speaking in a language that wasn’t her primary.

What we didn’t know is that it is a State and Federal law for the government to provide free language interpretive services and translation to non-English and Limited English Proficient individuals. What this means is that government agencies are required to provide services in the language that an individual is able to completely comprehend.

The first step is to print out an “I Speak Card”. These cards are offered in a variety of languages and are easy to fill out. Asian languages include: Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Mien, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. To use these cards you just need to print and cut along the border lines, glue or paste the two sides back to back, and laminate the card, too, if you want it to be more durable. The cards have space you can write the individual’s name, and can be used in accessing numerous government programs and services such as housing programs, home care services, cash aid, Calfresh, and the list goes on. There are so many useful tools that provide help to people who may need it. “I Speak Cards” are just one of these tools that I believe can be widely utilized if more people knew about it!

I will definitely be printing out one for my mom!

Written by APIFM Intern, Leon Foster

Leon Foster is a Cambodian American senior undergraduate student majoring in public health at California State University, Los Angeles. He grew up in Long Beach in a mixed household. Leon plans to attend graduate school in the near future for Environmental Health.

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APIFM Pop-Up Markets!

In efforts to make fresh and affordable produce accessible to our neighborhoods, APIFM launched pop-up markets at KYCC’s Menlo Family Apartments in Koreatown (July 10) and PWC’s Larry Itliong Village in Historic Filipinotown (July 24). Local residents selected from the fresh produce provided by local farmers who are part of Roots Food Hub, a food justice project of API Forward Movement. A variety of choices were provided to the residents including baby bok choy, cucumbers, carrots, grape tomatoes, nectarines and peaches. APIFM subsidized produce costs by 50% to help make these locally grown produce affordable! All produce was sold out at both pop-up markets with residents eagerly asking for more!

All vegetables were sustainably grown, pesticide free and sourced from Padao Farms located in Fresno, CA. All fruits were certified organic and sourced from Ken’s Top Notch produce located in Reedley, CA. For more information about the Roots Food Hub program please visit: www.apifm.org/rootsfoodhub

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Little Tokyo HEAL Festival

On Saturday, July 22nd, APIFM hosted a Healthy Eating & Active Living (HEAL) Community Festival in Little Tokyo at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) in partnership with Sustainable Little Tokyo (SLT) and the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC). The event opened with Tai Chi & Qi Gong exercises lead by Jacqueline Rice (who teaches free classes every Monday from 6:50pm to 7:50pm at Casa Heiwa) in the beautiful Japanese garden at the JACCC. This was followed by a healthy fruit smoothie demo, a brief nutrition education on how to read nutrition labels, and a healthy cooking demo lead by three amazing aunties of Little Tokyo (Patty Nagano, Amy Honjiyo, and Kathy Masaoka). The food demo included a simple quinoa summer salad with blueberries and a lemon vinaigrette as well as a healthier take on a Japanese favorite (onigiri or rice balls).

Instead of using white rice the aunties demonstrated how people could substitute sprouted brown rice for their musubi/onigiri instead and shared about the added healthy benefits of using sprouted brown rice over white rice.

The event also provided Japanese and Spanish interpretation. To be included in events like these, be sure to subscribe to APIFM and JACCC’s facebook page or visit our website: www.apifm.org.

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