This week, FEAST (which stands for Food, Education, Access, Support, Together), a Los Angeles nonprofit dedicated to promoting health and wellness through the power of healthy food and human connection, held a health and wellness roundtable discussion at the Mercado La Paloma on Monday night, thanks to support from a grant by the USC Good Neighbors Campaign.
“We reached out to community health leaders and neighbors in an effort to better understand how we can all work together to improve the health of our South LA community,” said Amy Vu, FEAST’s Associate Program Director.
In attendance were local health advocates including nonprofit leaders, promotoras (trained community health workers), dieticians and students. The discussion focused largely on the level of access South Los Angeles residents have to healthy foods.
“Where we live has stronger determinants to our health than what we eat.” noted Leilani Wallace, a USC student of Social Work. “If residents don’t have cars, and the transportation system is unreliable, and there aren’t any safe biking or walking paths, how are people supposed to purchase fresh healthy foods for their family?”
Also discussed were the ways in which health focused organizations and individuals who are active in these areas can work together and share resources.
“FEAST is working to create an online database that will house available community health resources in South Los Angeles. We are hoping this will be a collaborative effort with other organizations and groups in the area.” said Vu.
FEAST runs nutrition education and peer support programs throughout South LA. The organization has impacted the lives of over 2,000 individuals and families throughout Los Angeles since its founding in 2014. The USC Good Neighbors Grant Program supports FEAST’s efforts by providing funding for three FEAST groups.