From Nurhaliza Mohamath

Happy summer break! The team at RBAC is excited for a busy and bustling summer. As part of this year’s commitment to continuous quality improvement, we have had to do some consolidation and power-building internally. We recognized we could do so much more if front-facing teams like our Seeds of Change Fellows and the Youth & Neighborhood Engagement team shared human capacity, resources, and food access points. This resulted in the consensus that our currently weekly activations at various pearls in the neighborhood would have a layer of food justice capacity that our Seeds of Change fellows would lead and support. Kudos to our Director of Food Justice and Innovation, Kerry White who has been ordering us different kinds of apples from Collins Family Orchards to pass out along with the information and resources we give as part of our community engagement. You may find us on Wednesdays in the community passing out local, organic, BIPOC-grown Wild Twist, Cosmic Crisps, Braestar, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp! It has completely altered the way the community engages with us. It went from “Can I get you to take our community safety survey?” that sometimes is met with hesitancy to “Hey! Do you want a free apple and learn about community information and resources?” This has had a hugely positive impact. We pass out apples to an average of 30 people each week. Many bus drivers have benefited from apples and taken a whole box to pass out on the bus. We’ve also passed out excess peony flowers, lavender, lettuce, mango pudding we had from past events to further our resource distribution and prevent waste! 

However small of a shift in engagement, this decision has resulted in a transformational and accessible way for people to connect, learn, and remember us. With additional community safety grant funding coming our way, we are looking forward to increased frequency of activation and bolstering of our team!