COVID-19 has highly impacted under-served and vulnerable populations. The working poor, persons with disabilities, youth, indigenous peoples, and seniors are struggling to cope. During these challenging times, our Bay Area Advisers and Educators are continuing to work with local populations and partners by adjusting community programs to deliver value-based programming and methodologies across the entire region. In the words of our team member, Leah Sourbeer, “We Continue to Show Up!”. UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is committed to continuing to provide our services to the communities we serve, keeping them resilient through these turbulent times.
September Spotlight: Dr. Mary Blackburn
Collaborating with a CalFresh Healthy Living, UC educator, and UC Master Gardener Program volunteers, she recently finished a gardening project designed to improve the nutrition, physical activity, and overall well-being of senior citizens living in affordable housing in Oakland.
In her role on the CalFresh Healthy Living & County Nutrition Action Partnership (CNAP) in Alameda County the team recently selected as the 3rd Place Regional winner of the Community Partnership award. She has served in this role since 2006.
September 2020 Team Highlights:
CalFresh (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco & San Mateo) mature adult educators currently offer live or pre-recorded nutrition classes via Zoom and FaceTime from their homes. Participants are offered 2 options: Eating Smart, Being Active, or Making Every Dollar Count. Our early Childhood Education educators are producing recorded nutrition lessons for teachers to use for distance learning.
Our EFNEP team has led the way in food distribution events, including items such as diapers, sanitizers, masks, etc. and have spent numerous hours working at Food Banks and distribution sites. Other Educators are developing and conducting live remote courses, benefiting our communities.
This project will use a combination of observational and lab studies to understand the biology and improve management of the three-lined cockroach, Luridiblatta trivittata, a nuisance pest and invasive species in the San Francisco Bay Area, North Coast, and Delta regions of California.
He also received $91,563 grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Pest Management Alliance Program to renovate the UC research structure The Villa Termiti to enhance its use as an interactive training facility for video-based learning, online educational modules, and hands-on continuing education of licensed pest management professionals.
Dr. Igor Lacan, our Urban Forestry Advisor recently received a donation to launch a new program on houseplant gardening to reach a different audience from the traditional Master Gardener. His program will focus on individuals that do not have access to traditional gardens and want to grow plants in and around their home.
In addition to the work done by our educators during this crisis, we have just hired Laura Vollmer, a new Nutrition, Family, and Consumer Sciences (NFCS) Advisor, serving UCCE San Mateo, Santa Clara & San Francisco. She will be focusing on low-income and economic urban disparities related to food and food systems, nutrition education, and relationships between food systems and environmental health for optimal nutrition and health outcomes.
We have and will continue our work in all program areas to help and improve the lives of all people in our communities during this situation and beyond. Our websites provide access and links to a wide array of community resources in both English and Spanish. Areas include Agriculture, Nutrition, Youth Development, Gardening, Environment and Health and Wellness. It's the place to find practical and credible information about things to do and all things COVID.