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Introducing the new Community Advisory Board for Research & Strategic Initiatives

April 3, 2024

We are excited to introduce a new Community Advisory Board created to guide and support research initiatives on food security and access. The Community Advisory Board consists of organizations from around the state whose leaders will meet regularly in 2024 to discuss issues impacting food access in their communities and advise CAFB on research priorities and opportunities.

Our co-convener for the Community Advisory Board, The Praxis Project, is a national organization based in California whose mission is to build healthy communities by transforming power relationships and structures. The Praxis Project brings expertise in capacity building and organizing, as well as a deep understanding of food systems and racial equity.

The other organizations serving on the Community Advisory Board are:

  • APA Family Support Services (APAFSS), San Francisco – which provides culturally and linguistically competent integrative support services for Asian, Latinx, and African American underserved communities.
  • Cultiva La Salud, Fresno – whose mission is to engage, inform, and inspire residents in the San Joaquin Valley who experience poverty to become actively involved in promoting their personal health, the health of their families, and the broader community.
  • The Multicultural Institute (MI), Berkeley, Richmond, Redwood City – which accompanies immigrants in their transition from poverty and isolation to workforce participation and prosperity. 
  • Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), Los Angeles – which builds grassroots power to create social and economic justice for low-income, femme, immigrant, Black, and Brown communities in Los Angeles.
  • The Wukchumni Tribe, Visalia – which is dedicated to revitalizing and maintaining the cultural values (traditional and spiritual) of the Wukchumni Yokuts.

Participating organizations are dedicated to improving economic stability, food security, and wellbeing through community-centered approaches. Representing diverse perspectives from around California, the Community Advisory Board will help identify barriers to food access that their specific communities face and solutions to best address these barriers. As a group, will explore systems-level approaches to promote equitable access to food, including key roles for food banks. Guided by what we discover, the Community Advisory Board will co-design projects to better understand and test these solutions.

“Being part of this Community Advisory Board will allow our organization to amplify the voices of our community members in very concrete ways. I hope to learn through this unique collective approach, to create tangible and key strategies that we can put into action together, and to overall ensure that our communities have access to healthier food regardless of who they are and where they come from.” – Mirna Cervantes, Executive Director of The Multicultural Institute

When community members are engaged in research design and data collection, it helps to ensure that the research reflects the priorities and lived experiences of those most impacted. Community Advisory Board members and their respective communities will be equal partners in proposals that are created through this work together and have ownership of resulting projects. Findings will also help augment the research that CAFB conducts alongside food banks, such as impact evaluations and needs assessments.

“APAFSS is excited to join the Community Advisory Board team, aligning with our mission to enhance family health by advancing racial equity in food access for AAPI families in California. This partnership marks a critical step towards addressing disparities and fostering community well-being.” – Fanny Lam, Executive Director of APA Family Support Services

Stay tuned for updates, insights, and findings from this exciting initiative!

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