At Petaluma Bounty, we like to share with volunteers and community members that one of our key goals is to grow food in community, with community, for community. Our work in this domain speaks to the spirit of collaboration among multiple stakeholders as we join forces to build a healthy community food system. As a leader in relationship-building around food and community, Petaluma Bounty seeks to align food access efforts with local preventive health agencies to overcome diet-related diseases. This month, we would like to celebrate the Center for Well-Being, with its mission centered on holistic wellness for all, as one of our long-time community partners.
The Center for Well-Being, located in Santa Rosa, offers a wide range of services aiming to improve the quality of life and health of our community. With classes in movement, chronic disease management, heart health, and more, the Center for Well-Being serves a key role in community wellness.Through education on-site and in the community, they promote the well-being of the whole person by empowering people with the knowledge, skills, and spirit that furthers personal, family, and community health.
We began partnering with the Center for Well-Being in the spring of 2016, when we found the synergies between our respective work in community wellness. Through this relationship, we are linking healthy behavior change to fostering a hands-on relationship to local farms and the act of growing food. By partnering with the center’s “Promontores de Salud” or “Health Promoters,” we have included wider outreach efforts and CalFresh farmers’ market tours into our programming.
Promotores de Salud help spread the word about Market Match, an incentive program that offers CalFresh customers a dollar-for-dollar match at participating farmers’ markets, improving access to fresh produce. Promotores also carry out the farmers’ market tours, serving as the friendly face that guides community members through markets around the county. They familiarize people with using their EBT cards at local markets, connect new customers to new farmers and market staff, increase awareness around eating with the seasons, and share tips on making their market dollars go further. Our chief goal for these tours is to make farmers’ markets inviting and welcoming places for all.
Martin Rivarola, Community Engagement Manager with the Center for Well-Being, offered a few updates on the program. “This upcoming Farmers Markets season, the Center for Well-Being will begin to offer all CalFresh customers an opportunity to begin the journey into becoming a Promotor de Salud or Health Promoter themselves and launch a career in the Community Health Worker field,” he says. Those beneficiaries that are interested in pursuing this career path will receive extensive training on the core competencies needed to perform the work and also additional trainings on different health topics such as nutrition, heart health prevention, and more. After completion and certification of these trainings, Center for Well-Being will seek CalFresh beneficiaries job placement in different organization across the County.
“The Center for Well-Being looks forward to many more years of partnership with Petaluma Bounty,” Martin concluded, “And for building together a healthier community, with social justice and equal opportunities for us all.”
To read more about the Center for Well-Being, visit their website.