DukeEngage: The Mountain Movers

Duke engage photo

Left to right: Motin Yeung, Kyle Harvey, Kristen Bailey, Annie Apple

DukeEngage is a Duke University undergraduate program that provides an immersive service experience in either a domestic or international location. Funded by the The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, over 3,000 Duke students have served 600 community organizations, in 78 nations, on six continents. The expressed mission of DukeEngage is to educate students through civic engagement and encourage them to share those learned values with the university community.

The 2015 DukeEngage Seattle group came up with our own mission statement: to service the Seattle community through authentic partnerships and meaningful reflection. During the next two months, 15 students will work at 11 placements around the city, aspiring to develop an understanding for nonprofit service work .

For the past several  years, Solid Ground has had a strong relationship with the DukeEngage program and will host the following four students working in various positions this summer:

  • Kyle Harvey’s experience as an editor and writer for the university paper made him a good fit for working with the Communications team at Solid Ground. He will write and edit blog posts, help manage the social media accounts, and potentially create and edit videos.
  • Motin Yeung will work with the Financial Fitness Boot Camp to develop curricula and tools to help low-income households increase financial stability. At school, he concentrates in Markets and Management studies and has a deep appreciation for how financial wellness contributes to stable living.
  • Annie Apple will work with Lettuce Link, splitting her time between helping on the two farm sites, working at the food bank, and performing administrative tasks. Her ongoing interest in public health, social justice, and youth empowerment inspired her to take on this unique combination of work.
  • Kristen Bailey also works with Lettuce Link at Marra Farm. Her work helping to harvest the Farm diverges from her past experiences in Chicago. However as an EMT, Kristen’s seen firsthand how food accessibility creates health disparities between communities.

We named our DukeEngage group the Mountain Movers, as testimony to the substantial challenges Solid Ground and other nonprofits take on, and their ability to incrementally make a large difference.

Digging deep (at the Danny Woo Garden)

This post was contributed by Lauren Wong and originally appeared on the Apple Corps blog.magill_dannywoo_image-59

Hello! I’m Lauren, one of two Apple Corps members positioned at the Danny Woo Garden in the Chinatown-International District. We provide garden classes to youth in the neighborhood in the hopes that they’ll learn more about where their food comes from, have a positive outdoor experience, and form connections between culture and food. Also incorporated in our program is a healthy cooking component, where we use vegetables harvested from the garden to create delicious salads and snacks.

This spring, I had magill_dannywoo_image-65the pleasure of working with a class of fifteen 5th graders from a local after-school program. Since many of them were already acquainted with the garden – either through a previous garden class or a simple meander through the neighborhood – we were able to delve a little deeper into the heart of the garden and what exactly makes it tick.

We planted microgreen seeds in our own plots and watched them grow, carefully watering and removing weeds each week to gain a sense of the time and effort required to grow our own food. We went on a scavenger hunt to discover the regional origins of different vegetables and dug around in a worm bin looking for critters. We made comfrey compost tea, a great source of nitrogen, and observed it become brown and pungent over time.

We prepared an Asian greens salad, a crunchy bok choy slaw, and a sweet and savory dressing that goes well on everything:

  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 T sesame oil

We harvested garden strawberries and compared them to supermarket strawberries, noticing the differences in taste, color, size, and shape. We investigated seed pods on a mature kale plant, sparking a discussion about the importance of seed saving. And to cap off our time together, we even had an “older kids teach younger kids” tour, where my class of 5th graders brought a class of first graders to the garden and showed them what they learned.

All in all, it was a lovely six weeks of sunshine, food, and joy. Want to learn more about what we do? Visit our blog at dannywookids.blogspot.com.

Tenant Tip: Fair housing & service animals

Solid Ground’s Tenant Counselors receive frequent questions about tenants’ rights around having service or assistive animals in housing in Washington state. Common questions include:

  • What information can my landlord ask about my need for a service animal?
  • How do I go about requesting permission from my landlord to have a service animal?

4-H-vols-dogs-at-BFP-015To gain a better understanding, it is helpful to know the Fair Housing definitions of “Disability,” “Reasonable Accommodation” and “Service Animal.”

  • Disability: The Washington State Law Against Discrimination defines disability as a sensory, mental, or physical condition that significantly limits a person’s ability to perform major daily functions (e.g., seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself, and working).
  • Reasonable Accommodation: This is a change in rules, policies, practices or services that enable a person with a disability to have equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit or common space. (E.g., A building with a “no pets” policy might make a reasonable accommodation for a blind tenant in allowing the tenant to keep a guide dog.)
  • Service Animals: These are animals that work, provide assistance, or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provide emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Service animals are not pets.

A service animal must be allowed even in a no-pets building, and a landlord cannot charge a pet fee or collect a pet deposit for a service animal. The tenant is responsible for their service animal and its behavior in the building. If the service animal causes damages, the tenant may be charged for the repairs. If the animal is not house broken or is out of control and the tenant does not take effective action to control it, the landlord may ask the individual to obtain corrective training for the service animal or even to remove the service animal from their home.

Also, a landlord may not ask the nature of the disability. If the disability is clearly obvious (such as a person who is blind, using a guide dog), the landlord may not ask questions about the disability or the need for the animal. The landlord cannot require documentation for the animal, such as a certificate or license. If the disability is not obvious, they may ask for a letter from the tenant’s service provider (a medical professional or other professional who knows about your disability and accommodation needs, such as a peer support group or non-medical service provider) documenting that the tenant has a disability and that there is a disability-related need for the animal.

Our sample letter to request Reasonable Accommodations has language that can help you request a service animal.

More than one agency oversees and enforces the laws on this topic, depending on where the person resides, and the following four agencies oversee service animal investigations:

  • Seattle: Seattle Office for Civil Rights
  • Tacoma: Tacoma Human Rights
  • Unincorporated King County: King County Office of Civil Rights & Open Government
  • Everywhere else in Washington state: U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

Want to find out more about Service Animals? Check out the following resources:

This post was contributed by Tenant Counselor Jeanne Winner. The tenant information contained in this article or linked to the Solid Ground Tenant Services website is for informational purposes only. Solid Ground makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to its website. Solid Ground cannot act as your attorney. Solid Ground makes no representations, expressed or implied, that the information contained in or linked to its website can or will be used or interpreted in any particular way by any governmental agency or court. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided here should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Solid Ground Tenant Counselors offer these tenant tips as generalized information for renters. People with specific questions should call our Tenant Services hotline at 206.694.6767, Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays between 10:30am and 4:30pm.

Email Washington state lawmakers! Potential impacts of government shutdown

Protester calls for Fair Revenue in Washington StateAs of today, there is no budget agreement in Olympia. If lawmakers can’t reach an agreement within the next two weeks, Washington state could face a partial government shutdown. The cause of the shutdown would be simple: Some lawmakers are refusing to raise fair revenue in order to meet the needs of our families and communities.

Your legislators need to hear from you! Email your lawmakers one simple message: It is time to reach a budget deal by raising fair revenue. Invest in a strong, more equitable Washington state!

POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF A WASHINGTON STATE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN (from the Office of Financial Management):

Department of Social & Health Services
Thousands of individuals and families will experience severe service disruptions or will not be able to access them at all. For example:

  • 12,000 individuals with disabilities will lose vocational rehabilitation services.
  • 29,000 older adults will lose food services.
  • 30,000 low-income, working families will lose child care payment assistance during a high-demand time for care, especially for families working in seasonal agricultural jobs.
  • 30,000 incapacitated adults will not receive basic cash or referrals to housing and other essential services.
  • 200 adolescents in conflict with their families and youth who live on the street will lose access to safe housing.
  • Public assistance fraud detection and investigations will cease, potentially costing the state millions of dollars.
  • More than 10,000 legal immigrants will not receive state-funded food assistance.
  • No staff will be available to connect more than 21,000 WorkFirst clients with resources and activities to help them continue on their path to self-sufficiency.
  • The East and West Mobile Community Services Offices will be closed, leaving Washingtonians in remote rural areas with limited access to services.
  • Services and supervision will be suspended for 200 youth recently released from juvenile rehabilitation facilities. And 150 youth with sex offense histories will receive minimal services.
  • The state’s nine child support offices will be closed. Cash, check and money order payments, which compose roughly 30% of cases (more than 100,000 children), will not be accepted in person.
  • Only current automatic, electronic child support payments will be processed.
  • No new child support orders will be established or processed, affecting up to 3,400 families per month.
  • No proactive work will be done on existing child support cases – including enforcement of orders and any type of customer service.
  • Approximately half the 17,700 employees at DSHS would be temporarily laid off. Exceptions would include employees working in state psychiatric hospitals and residential care centers, and child and adult protective service workers.

Health Care Authority
About 2 million individuals would be affected, including about 1.7 million Apple Health (Medicaid) clients and 350,000 Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) program enrollees.

  • No payments would go to providers offering services to Apple Health clients and PEBB program enrollees. It is unclear how long these providers would be able to continue offering services without payment.
  • No customer service staff would be available to help either Apple Health clients or PEBB program enrollees.
  • Individuals would be able to apply for Apple Health through Healthplanfinder, but if their application requires any review before approval, that will not occur until HCA reopens.
  • If a shutdown lasts longer than a week to 10 days, HCA would have to examine which functions must come back online to avoid violation of Washington’s Medicaid State Plan with the federal government.
  • ProviderOne payments would stop, impacting medical providers as well as social service providers such as adult family homes, supported living, and home care agencies.

Department of Corrections

  • Of the approximately 8,100 employees working for DOC, 3,000 would be temporarily laid off. Roughly 5,100 employees would remain on the job to run the state prisons and perform other essential roles, as required by the Washington State Constitution and federal law.
  • Offenders under community supervision would no longer be put in jail for one to three days for minor violations such as failing a drug test. In a government shutdown, any offenders in jail for such minor violations would be released; as of June 16, this would amount to approximately 1,100 offenders.
  • Anyone now in jail waiting to go to prison would still go to prison. Anyone who enters jail on or after July 1, 2015, on his/her way to prison would remain in jail.
  • There are roughly 17,000 offenders under community supervision. That supervision would be suspended for the vast majority of offenders. The only exceptions are offenders Washington is responsible for supervising under the Interstate Compact.
  • There will be a limited response to requests for GPS tracking alerts for sex offenders, instead of the 24-hour coverage provided now.

Department of Health
The department would have to temporarily lay off nearly 95% of its 1,675 employees and suspend numerous services that protect public health. For example:

  • Public Health Laboratories’ services would be suspended:
    › Shellfish would not be tested for toxins.
    › Marine water quality testing in support of recreational and commercial fisheries would not be provided.
    › The radiation laboratory would be unable to respond to radiological emergencies.
    › Routine disease testing activities would cease for detection and mitigation of outbreaks.
    › Reference laboratory services provided to clinical labs and hospitals would not be available.
    › Newborn screening would operate with minimal staff to focus on the most critical conditions.
    › Central services that affect laboratory operations (safety, training, testing support and outbreak response) would be reduced.
  • Disease outbreak support (tracking, testing and managing disease prevention efforts such as for foodborne illness) would not be provided.
  • Assistance to HIV positive individuals (approximately 4,000) for accessing insurance and medications would be halted.
  • None of the environment-related health programs that DOH regulates would be actively monitored and acted on (only emergencies would be responded to):
    › All shellfish growing areas – commercial and recreational – would be closed.
  • Health service quality assurance services (medical facility inspections, medical professional credentialing and disciplinary investigations) would be suspended.
    › No new health care credentials would be issued.
    › Renewals of health care credentials would be delayed.
    › No disciplinary actions would be processed.
    › Complaints about regulated providers and regulated facilities would not be reviewed and processed.
    › Certificate of Need applications would be delayed.
  • Health services that support individuals, activities to prevent diseases, and promotional work to encourage healthy choices would not be provided. The following services would not be provided:
    › Childhood vaccines
    › Breast, Cervical and Colon Health Program
    › Family planning
    › Washington State Tobacco Quitline
    › Coordination services for children with special health care needs
    › Specialty therapy services via Neurodevelopmental Centers
    › Maxillofacial Review Board consultations, treatment and surgeries
    › Family Health Hotline (provides information on a variety of health topics)
    › Child profile health promotion mailings
    › Case management services for perinatal hepatitis B prevention
    › Immunization clinical resources
    › Human papillomavirus public awareness campaign
    › SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) education
    › Community health worker training

State Parks
Summer is the busy season for Washington State Parks, so a shutdown would have significant impacts on the agency and its customers. A majority of park visits occur during the summer months, and State Parks earns about half of its revenue between July 1 and Sept. 30.

  • Thousands of people who have already made reservations for the first week of July would need to be notified that their reservations might be cancelled. This includes:
    › 10,112 separate camping reservations
    › 421 bookings for cabins, yurts and vacation houses and 102 group accommodation reservations (weddings, family reunions, etc.)

State Parks estimates these reservations are equal to about 48,000 visitor nights and affect about 128,000 people. State Parks would have to absorb the cost of any refunded reservation fees and would lose the overnight revenue.

An estimated 1.3 million visitors coming for the day during the first week of July to any of the 124 state parks would be turned away.

  • Special events in many parks would need to be cancelled, affecting visitors, sponsors and vendors alike. The campground at Fort Worden and other area parks would be closed, which would have a significant impact on Centrum Foundation’s annual Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, June 27 through July 5. The festival attracts a core of 500 participants. Many festival-goers camp at Fort Worden, Fort Flagler and Fort Townsend, and would be without accommodations for the greater part of the festival. The festival would continue because of a lease agreement with the Port Townsend Public Development Authority to manage the conference portion of the park, but there would be no ranger or maintenance support.
  • A total of $1.9 million in lost State Parks revenue is anticipated. This includes Discover Pass, camping, cabin, group facilities, special event, camp store and other related fees. Surrounding community businesses that benefit from state parks would also be effected.
  • It is reasonable to anticipate vandalism and misuse of park facilities because park staff are not in place to provide protection. Irreplaceable natural, cultural and historical resources are at risk, as well as valuable developed park areas where there is public investment.

Department of Fish & Wildlife

  • Most, if not all, fisheries would have to be closed, because WDFW would not have staff to monitor, sample and account for the catch or enforce regulations.
  • The department would not be able to issue fishing or hunting licenses, Discover Passes or other documents through our electronic licensing system.
  • Other impacts include the closure of our access sites and suspension of our ability to issue hydraulic project approvals, which would impact new construction projects where an HPA permit is necessary to begin work.
  • WDFW is developing contingency plans for the care and feeding of fish in the state’s hatcheries, pheasants at the state’s game farm and endangered captive pygmy rabbits in captivity.

Department of Ecology
All but about a dozen of Ecology’s 1,642 regular employees would be temporarily laid off. In addition, the department has 422 Washington Conservation Corps and Ecology Youth Corps members who would not receive official layoff notices, but would be told by their crew supervisors not to show up to work until further notice.

A shutdown would prevent the department from continuing its work to protect Washington’s land, air and water. Examples of work that will not be done:

  • Respond to any environmental complaints, except on an emergency basis.
  • Conduct inspections of any type, including at the Hanford nuclear cleanup site.
  • Process or issue new permits or other authorizations for industrial or agricultural wastewater discharges, air emissions or water rights. This includes drought-related and agricultural burning permits if applications haven’t been processed by June 30.
  • Collect environmental samples, including those from streams, rivers, lakes and Puget Sound.
  • Respond to oil or hazardous spills, except in the most critical circumstances.
  • Identify or respond to dam safety problems, except in the most critical circumstances.
  • Work on environmental impact statements for any of the large projects for which we are State Environmental Policy Act lead or co-lead.
  • Employ young adults and veterans to do habitat restoration, trail maintenance and other projects through our AmeriCorps Washington Conservation Corps program.
  • Test environmental or product samples at our laboratory.

There would be additional impacts to local communities since nearly three-fourths of Ecology’s budget (operating and capital) is pass-through funding for environmental projects to local governments. The department’s 1,800 grant and loan recipients and contractors would not able to use any state funds. This includes funds for construction of wastewater treatment plant upgrades, habitat restoration projects and cleaning up toxic sites in communities.

Department of Agriculture
With about 20% of its budget supported by the state General Fund, the Department of Agriculture would have to suspend numerous programs, including:

  • All routine testing and inspections by the Animal Health Division.
  • All routine inspection of the Dairy Nutrient Management Program.

In addition, several agency programs would cease offering services altogether, including:

  • International Marketing – Uses overseas contractors to help food and agricultural companies enter the export market.
  • Food Assistance Program – Distributes food and money to food banks and assistance programs statewide.
  • Natural Resource Assessment Section – Monitors the impact of agricultural activities to the state’s natural resources.
  • Pesticide Waste Disposal – Collects and ensures the proper disposal of prohibited or unusable pesticides from farms.
  • Plant Protection Division – Works to prevent high risk insects, plant diseases, weeds and other pests from becoming established in Washington.

Department of Commerce

  • 122 community capital construction projects underway will be disrupted, putting millions of dollars at risk due to costly delays and creating the potential for projects to stand uncompleted. Construction jobs will be cut back or lost.
  • Services to approximately 2,158 WorkFirst participants delivered through state-contracted agencies would no longer be provided, creating additional barriers for individuals already facing challenges in re-entering the workforce.
  • Community Action Agencies would not be able to finalize and/or pay benefits on applications received in June for utility assistance to about 4,000 low-income individuals, leading to greater health and safety risks for vulnerable people such as the elderly, disabled and families with young children.
  • Approximately 120 homeowners per month who are facing foreclosure are referred to Commerce by housing counselors and attorneys for foreclosure mediation services. These homeowners will no longer receive counseling services and legal aid under the Foreclosure Fairness Act, greatly increasing their risk of losing their homes.
  • Payments will stop to landlords for clients receiving rent assistance for approximately 7,100 vulnerable adults and children, putting them at risk of eviction and subsequent homelessness. In addition to direct client impacts, our carefully cultivated relationships with private market landlords will suffer from a disruption in rent payments.
  • Approximately 50 affordable housing projects now under development and construction will be disrupted, putting millions of dollars at risk due to costly delays and potential for projects to stand uncompleted. Construction jobs will be cut back or lost.
  • Commerce’s ability to administer the low-income weatherization program would be significantly impaired. Lost would be $6 million in dollar-for-dollar matching funds from private utility companies, with an additional $18 million jeopardized over the biennium. Work would cease on safety and energy improvements to approximately 1,300 units (homes) of affordable housing stock.
  • Thousands of crime victims would not receive medical and legal advocacy, therapy or crisis intervention, among other services provided through our contracted agencies.
  • Two statewide hotlines for crime victims operated by Commerce would not be staffed. Victims seeking support and referrals would not be served.
  • With no staff to serve about 65 small and medium-sized businesses we assist monthly in exporting, the state could lose at least $9 million a month of export sales, with the residual effect of ramp-up time after shutdown likely.
  • Client requests for export documentation to clear customs would not be processed, at a loss of $2 million of export sales a month. These requests intensify in the summer in anticipation of the holiday season.
  • Significant impacts across several program areas would disrupt 375 local construction projects. This could jeopardize other funding as well as increase costs incurred to render construction sites safe and re-mobilize essential construction equipment once funding is approved. Affected programs are:
    › Community Economic Revitalization Board has 23 active projects.
    › Community Development Block Grant has 85 active projects.
    › Local Government Division currently manages 27 direct appropriation projects.
    › Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has 133 active projects.
    › Public Works Board has 106 active contracts.

Department of Licensing
Individuals submitting professional license applications or other requests to these programs will face delays until program staff return to work. It also will halt the work of our BPD inspectors and investigators. Consumers attempting to file a complaint against a licensed professional or firm also will have to wait until staff return to work. Professional licensing delays could create general hardships for individuals and businesses that need these credentials to conduct business.

Licensing programs impacted by suspension of service:

  • Real Estate Appraisers
  • Home Inspectors
  • Real Estate Agents and Firms
  • Time Shares and Camp Resorts
  • Engineers – Land surveyors – Onsite Waste Water
  • Architects
  • Scrap Metal Recyclers
  • Notaries
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Whitewater Rafters
  • Telephone Solicitors
  • Employment Agencies
  • Cosmetology
  • Tattoo-body art – body piercing
  • Combative Sports
  • Auctioneers
  • Sellers of Travel
  • Court Reporters
  • Security guards
  • Private Investigators
  • Bail Bonds
  • Bail Bonds Recovery
  • Collection agencies

Juneteenth: Were the slaves truly freed?

It was 1865 and the anguish of America’s greatest sin still lingered in the daily lives of African Americans. Even after a civil war to liberate them claimed some 620,000 lives – even after all of that bloodshed – the shackles of servitude were still fastened tightly in place. President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation just a few short years before on September 22, 1862, and it went into full effect on January 1, 1863 – yet enforcement of “emancipation” had not yet reached Texas slaves.

Emancipation, Published by S. Bott

Word was finally delivered to them in Galveston on June 19, 1865 by Union Major General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops in the form of General Order No. 3. For slaves, the words of the order were loud and clear. They were finally free, and their first reactions captured the magnitude of the moment, which was expressed in exaltation, jubilation and terror. The war and subsequent events freed many slaves, but Texas remained a stronghold from the proclamation’s final impact until that day. The state’s refusal to enter into the war coupled with few troops within its borders allowed it to ignore Lincoln’s decree. But freed slave Felix Haywood spoke about the feeling of that day in an interview:

“Soldiers, all of a sudden, was everywhere – comin’ in bunches, crossin’ and walkin’ and ridin’. Everyone was a-singin’. We was all walkin’ on golden clouds. Hallejujah! Everybody went wild. We all felt like heroes and nobody had made us that way but ourselves. We was free. Just like that, we was free.”

Juneteenth

The name Juneteenth, which is June 19th, was adopted and represented what for many became a day when Thomas Jefferson’s words finally found purchase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” There was joyous celebration and singing. The years that followed Juneteenth would be a time for former slaves to celebrate a day they perceived to be liberating. Barbecues, baseball and outdoor activities were common; political speeches and achievement were emphasized as well.

But were they truly free?

Proclamations & declarations don’t free people or make them more independent.

History has shown us that time and again that the desire for and attainment of freedom is deeper than a declaration or a proclamation. Although it is within the human ability to write down our noblest aspirations, it’s also completely human to fail to live up to them. The mere idea of trying to attain freedom is a grind, a struggle, and a moral conundrum at times. That date had a profound meaning in the minds of the newly freed slaves; for them it was the realization of something long dreamt about, yet seemed so far off it was impossible.

Juneteenth captured the exhilaration of the moment of freedom, but slaves were far from free as they faced new hurdles that for all intents and purposes extended their bondage and the bondage of succeeding generations of African Americans.

  • Black Codes – Returned the rigid social controls of slavery.
  • Jim Crow – Kept African Americans from accessing public facilities unless specifically designated for them, i.e., “Whites Only/Blacks Only.”
  • Institutional Racism – Rigs the system at a fundamental level to keep white culture/people at the very top and make them less accountable for their actions.
  • Prisons – The ultimate outcome of institutional racism is the creation of an apparatus to house a permanent slave class (inmates), recruited under the rubric of “criminal justice.”

Haywood also talked about the realization that merely proclaiming someone free doesn’t make them free: “We knowed freedom was on us, but we didn’t know what was to come with it. We thought we was goin’ to git rich like the white folks. We thought we was goin’ to be richer than the white folks, ’cause we was stronger and knowed how to work, and the whites didn’t and they didn’t have us to work for them anymore. But it didn’t turn out that way. We soon found out that freedom could make folks proud but it didn’t make them rich.”

Fair questions for all Americans to ask about this important historical event are, were the slaves truly freed after the war, and were the shackles they wore symbolic of the power of the white-dominated institutions that would keep them in place regardless? And if they weren’t freed in 1865, when were they, and what was the event that freed them? Are African Americans free today?

Additional resources about the “freeing” of slaves and Juneteenth:

Food justice at Solid Ground

A Concord International School 3rd grader tastes food made from fresh ingredients at Lettuce Link's Giving Garden at Marra Farm.

A Concord International School 3rd grader tastes food made from fresh ingredients at Lettuce Link’s Giving Garden at Marra Farm.

The term “food justice” is not only defined as access to healthy food but also as access to land and knowledge about how to grow, prepare and understand the importance of nutritious food. The movement to achieve food justice in South Seattle guides the work of Solid Ground’s
Hunger & Food Resources Department.

Department Director Gerald Wright coined the phrase “Learn it, Grow it, Live it” as a way to describe our approach to fulfilling the tenets of food justice. Solid Ground’s school and community-based programs focus on gardening and nutrition education, providing fresh vegetables to food banks and community programs, grocery shopping on a budget, and cooking skills. Here are some of the specific ways we’re doing this:

  • Kids learn cooking skills and nutrition basics at Concord and Emerson Elementary schools through our Apple Corps program.
  • Low-income families and individuals from across King County attend Cooking Matters classes.
  • Youth in the South Park and Rainier Vista neighborhoods learn to garden through Lettuce Link‘s programs.

Solid Ground’s food programs rely on community members like you to help us achieve food justice as donors, volunteers and connectors. This time of year, there are lots of ways to get involved with our programs promoting food justice. Check out our food and nutrition-related volunteer opportunities, and consider getting your hands in the dirt for food justice this summer!

Phone & internet discount info moving to InterConnection

Community Voice Mail was awarded a Harvard Innovations in Government Award in 1993 that lead to expansion to 40+ other U.S. cities.

Community Voice Mail was awarded a Harvard Innovations in Government Award in 1993 that led to expansion to 40+ other U.S. cities.

Starting on June 15, Solid Ground’s ConnectUp will no longer provide information and referral to the general public about phone and internet discount programs. The Community Information Line at 2-1-1 will provide referrals to phone and/or internet services. Our website content on phone and internet discounts will transition over to InterConnection at the end of June. We will post the link to that content as soon as it is available.

Solid Ground will continue to provide free Community Voice Mail as it has since 1991, when a group of folks at our forebear, the Fremont Public Association, invented the then high-tech idea of linking people experiencing homelessness to community through voice mail. Since that time, tens of thousands of people have used community voice mail to find housing, jobs and vital connections.

To sign up for free voice mail, call 206.694.6744, Tuesday – Friday, 10am-4pm.

ConnectUp’s Resource Wire newsletter will also continue to provide information on job opportunities, social services and free events via email, voice mail and social media to people living on low incomes in Seattle/King County.

Sign up for Resource Wire today!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 224 other followers

%d bloggers like this: