CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GRANT RECIPIENTS! Berkeley City Council approved 2-year (FY20and FY21) grants to 10 community agencies and Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD). Read Resolution No. 68,915 N.S. for more details. Listed below are the agencies that received repeat funding (see next page for new grantees):

Berkeley Unified School District

$1,900,000 across two years. 

Resolution #68,903-N.S.

Gardening and Cooking Program

The Berkeley Public School Gardening and Cooking Program engages students with hands-on instruction in the garden. As part of the 2020 Vision and the District’s Integrated Wellness Policy, the Program is woven into student life District-wide to ensure the academic, physical, emotional, and health development of all students to affect three main areas of student learning from preschool through high school:

Academic Achievement: By utilizing a place-based, interdisciplinary, and experiential approach to the new academic standards, garden educators work closely with teachers to bring classroom learning to life in the garden.

Increased Health: With support from community partners, we promote health and nutrition with opportunities to taste delicious fruits and veggies found growing in the garden. Teaching students that taking care of the land and your body allows for the development of multiple intelligence integral to whole child education.

Essential Life Skills: Through placed-based learning, students gain valuable communication and collaboration skills, while building confidence as problem-solvers. Students practice cultural competence and language development as they cultivate positive relationships with the world around them and their peers. We provide this collaborative education with a focus on consistency, improved healthy food and drink access, and sustainable replication in 18 schools.

Ecology Center

$285,000 across two years.

Resolution #68,904-N.S.

For Thirst - Water First! increases awareness about the health risks of sugar-sweetened beverages and promote water consumption among Berkeley youth ages 14-22 particularly from South and West Berkeley neighborhoods most vulnerable to health problems caused by consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Ecology Center will leverage the programs, influence, and knowledge it has to provide resources for Berkeley youth to make healthier choices and to develop better food beverage environments. Healthier choices include eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and increasing water consumption and combating the impact of predatory unhealthy marketing campaigns.  The proposed activities outlined in this narrative will address this need, and provide key hands-on opportunities for Berkeley youth to embody these practices through the Youth Environmental Academy. We will help develop healthy food environments through environmental, systems, and policy change primarily through key programming addressing these challenges at Berkeley High School and Downtown.  Ecology Center will strategically implement environmental, policy, and systems change to promote the consumption of tap water and healthy foods among Berkeley youth ages 15-24 and their families. We have three key modalities for making impact: 1. intensive work with 30 paid youth interns; 2. leverage this investment in youth leadership to improve the food and beverage choices of all Berkeley High School students on and off campus; and 3. empower youth to engage in policy change that can affect their community and beyond.

Healthy Black Families

$590,000 across two years.

Resolution #68,905-N.S.

Thirsty for Change! is a partnership created by Healthy Black Families with the Center for Food, Faith, and Justice; McGee Avenue Baptist Church; and The Way Christian Center.  The program engages African-American Berkeley residents in a broad array of fun activities such as gardening, shopping at farmers' markets, collectively cooking and eating nutritious foods, and training youth and young adult water ambassadors to present the "Rethink Your Drink" presentation. Specific goals are to prevent the consumption of sugary sweetened beverages and increase community knowledge of their associated health risks  (e.g., dental caries, diabetes, and obesity).  We encourage the community to drink water, eat healthy, breastfeed and exercise.  Our learning and assessment team (evaluation team) captures the change in awareness, perceived increase in knowledge and observed behavior change of the participant through a robust survey tool at each activity.  Thirsty for Change! will reach at least 400 youth and adults and train at least 10 water ambassadors for each year of this grant.

Multicultural Institute

$30,000 across two years.

Resolution #68,906-N.S.

Multicultural Institute’s (MI) Life Skills/ Day Laborer Program offers comprehensive wrap-around services including job-placement assistance, educational skill development courses along with health and legal support. Through this program it offers the Healthy Activity Program allowing MI to become a crucial provider of health awareness and prevention resources to monolingual Spanish speaking Latino families in Berkeley.  Its health activities are delivered in a culturally and language specific manner. Services are offered to individuals where they are at, following MI’s unique service model based on daily street outreach. Because MI has been in the Berkeley community serving Latino families for 28 years, its staff has first-hand knowledge about their health needs and have the capacity to guide individuals in the process of navigating the health system. This program will offer health awareness on conditions related to SSBs, prevention resources, connect families to key services and implement policy and system changes aiming for overall wellness in the Berkeley Latino families MI serves.  MI aims to serve a total of 540 individuals each fiscal year of this grant. MI will provide these individuals health support and direct services that bridge the language, immigration and cost gaps that exist as common obstacles to Latino families seeking health care services.

LifeLong Medical Care

$270,000 across two years.

Resolution #68,908-N.S.

LifeLong Medical Care’s Chronic Disease and Oral Health Prevention Project (CDOHP) will reduce health inequities by reducing the number of patients with hypertension, diabetes and dental caries, using evidence-based practices and technology to expand access to hypertension and oral health screening, and prevention education and treatment for low-income Berkeley residents. In collaboration with Heart2Heart (H2H) and the Dental Caries Project, the CDOHP Project will couple chronic disease prevention education with oral health education activities, increase access to hypertension and dental screening, and improve referrals between medical and dental services. The CDOHP Project’s two-year goal is to reach approximately 2000 low income residents with chronic disease prevention and oral health education; conduct 3,250 hypertension screenings; and, 250 dental treatments. The hypertension screening and oral health education will be offered through 100 community events and staff will conduct targeted outreach in locations like Senior Centers, Barbershops, and supportive housing sites.

YMCA of the East Bay

$310,000 across two years.

Resolution #68,907-N.S.

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program will educate adults vulnerable to developing Type 2 Diabetes through healthy lifestyle behavior techniques. A trained lifestyle coach facilitates a small group of adults to discuss behavior changes that can improve the health of participants. The program consists of 25 one-hour sessions delivered over the course of a year and serves 50 adults in two to three cohorts of classes. The goals o the program are 1) lose 5–7% of your body weight and 2) gradually increase your physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Strategies include:
• Healthy Eating
• Increasing Physical Activity
• Losing Weight
This program aims to serve members of the population that are low- or no-income city of Berkeley residents by partnering with Lifelong Medical Clinic in Berkeley and YMCA Head start parents and families: both organizations serve low and no-income families. 

The YMCA's Healthy Me! Program targets high need populations including those at higher than average risk for diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay. The YMCA Healthy Me! Program will serve low-income children birth through 5 years of age and their families residing or attending school in Berkeley, predominantly West and South Berkeley. Approximately 45% of the families are African American and 35% of the families are Latinx- groups statistically seen to be at higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Many of the families regularly rely on beverages and food from corner stores near their homes. Historically, this population has had less health education provided, and in turn, less knowledge regarding nutrition and healthy beverages has been passed down within the families. Healthy Me! will serve 800 children and families each year, located at the YMCA, BUSD, Centro Vida and UC Berkeley child development centers.