On Thursday, June 15, the participants from the Community-Led Engagement Initiative (formerly known as the Ambassador Program) held their held their Community Health Advocate presentations at the Kate Gleason Auditorium. The Community Health Advocate presentations were an opportunity for the ten participants to share what they’ve learned as well as their vision for a healthier community where they live and work. Each participant was tasked with creating an action plan and implementing a health advocacy-related goal at their Curbside Market and/or Summer Meals site, utilizing new and existing partnerships with Foodlink and other local organizations.
These ten Community Health Advocates are the second cohort to participate in a workshop series created and facilitated by the Foodlink Community Engagement team, called “With Us! A Community Health Advocacy Training”. This series is designed to empower and inspire residents that serve Rochester with us to engage in discussions that encouraged them to think deeper about their own communities. They further developed their existing skills and strengths to become great community health advocates through their work with the Curbside Market and Summer Meals Programs.
Over the course of the workshops, the CHAT team worked together and with Foodlink staff to draft, refine, and implement action plans for goals related to their site and improving the Curbside Market as a whole.
Meet the new Community Health Advocates!
Luvene Ford, Curbside Market Champion (Team Lead)
Luvene has been part of Foodlink for so long, she can’t even remember when she began! Luvene is a Curbside Market Champion for Keeler Park. For her project, Luvene worked with Lindsey Horton, Regional Manager of Conifer Realty to issue a check to Foodlink to help those effected by the reduction of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Currently, she is working to create her own workshop to teach other ambassadors how to build strong, working relationships with key individuals in order to request services and resources to support tenants’ health & wellbeing.
Annie Pearl Reed, Curbside Market Ambassador
Annie joined Foodlink after her step-daughter, Aleaha Reed began working for Foodlink. Annie is a Curbside Market Ambassador for Edna Craven Estates. For her project she would like to have a Nutrition Awareness Classes on fruits and vegetables for residents of Edna Craven. These classes would take place in July, and Annie would work with Lora Downie, Community Health Educator for Foodlink to hold these classes. The goal is to host these classes once a week in tandem with the Curbside Market.
Benita Westbrook, Curbside Market Advocate & Summer Meals Ambassador
Benita has been with Foodlink for two years. She is a Curbside Market Advocate at Harriet Tubman Estates. For her project she worked on adding Harriet Tubman Estates to the Curbside Market schedule. She successfully did that this month. She is also working on bringing awareness to the Curbside Market and Summer Meals program to her location. Beyond that, Benita is working on brainstorming more outreach methods to gather interest from the community.
Candace Cabral, Curbside Market Advocate
Candace began working with Foodlink in 2018 when she started participating with Healthy Moms. Now she is a Curbside Market Ambassador at Unity St. Mary’s. For her project, Candace would like to host a family resource event. The event will give the Lyell-Otis community a chance to come together and reconnect. She’s hoping it will be a yearly event, allowing the community to learn and meet the needs of the people who live there.
Doreen Young, Curbside Market Champion (Event Planner)
Doreen is a Curbside Market Champion at Plymouth Gardens. This year, Doreen advocated to bring the Summer Meals program to Plymouth Gardens. Although it is mostly comprised of residents 55+, many older adults care for their grandchildren. There are also many parents with young children in the Plymouth Ave/19th Ward. For her project, she plans to put resources and outreach tools to use to create an atmosphere of fellowship, centered around all families.
Joyce Pettway, Curbside Market Champion (Team Lead)
Joyce was introduced to Foodlink when her daughter, Aleaha Reed began working at Foodlink. Joyce is a Curbside Market Champion at the Jordan Health Center. For her project, she plans to host a community fair this summer where teachable resources will be available for an all-encompassing healthy lifestyle.
Kenny Reed, Curbside Market Advocate
Kenny was introduced to Foodlink when his daughter, Aleaha Reed began working at Foodlink. Kenny is a Curbside Market Advocate at Edna Craven Estates. For his project , he has recruited a number of neighborhood agencies and county resources to help improve life for families in the northeast district of Rochester. He will be hosting a resource fair in mid-July at Edna Craven Estates.
Renee Marshall, Curbside Market Advocate
Renee became a part of Foodlink when she met Flo Clemmons about five years ago. Renee is a Curbside Market Advocate for the Hamilton Apartments. For her project, Renee is working to encourage surrounding corner stores to offer more fresh produce, through partnerships with the Curbside Market. Currently, the closest chain grocery store is 10 minutes away. Renee also hopes that she can encourage more people to shop at the Curbside Market since its nearby.
Robin Alford, Curbside Market Advocate
Robin got involved with Foodlink after she moved to Rochester Highlands. Robin is a Curbside Market Advocate for Rochester Highlands. For her project, Robin will be hosting an event this summer in celebration of Soul Food cuisine, to educate residents on the origin of soul food and its delicious flavors, while encouraging people to stay true to their roots by adapting with healthier ingredients and cooking methods.
Tasheka Smith, Curbside Market Champion (Team Lead)
Tasheka has been working with Foodlink for one year. She is a Curbside Market Champion for Warfield Square. For her project she would like to work to create a community garden at Warfield Square, where children can learn to grow their own produce and appreciate the food that they nurture and harvest.