It is important to build trust in the community in order to be able to effectively share resources and motivate the community to access programs and services. Hunger Free Colorado is committed to empowering the community by providing the tools necessary to successfully implement outreach for Child Nutrition programs in a participant-centered way. This session will feature a presentation about a statewide promotora outreach campaign in the summer of 2020 to promote Pandemic-P-EBT and other Child Nutrition programs to immigrant families, utilizing promotoras and other trusted community leaders. A panel of some of these leaders will speak to the success of their work. Participants will learn how to empower their partners and community to help promote Child Nutrition programs and will learn about effective strategies and toolkits that will help increase the comfort families have in participating in these programs.
Paola Babb, Community Engagement and Child Nutrition Manager, Hunger Free Colorado
Paola Babb is the Community Engagement and Child Nutrition Manager at Hunger Free Colorado, where she supports communities to increase access and participation in child nutrition programs. Hunger Free Colorado, a statewide non-profit organization founded in 2009, connects families and individuals to food resources and fuels change in systems, policies and social views, so no Coloradan goes hungry. Paola has experience convening the voices of those most impacted and with lived experience. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, worked for WIC for several years, and most recently managed the food pantry at Growing Home, a non-profit in Westminster. She is a native Spanish speaker originally from Mexico but has lived in Colorado most of her life.
Maria Judith Alvarez, Community Engagement Coordinator, S.A.N.A. Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance
Maria Judith Alvarez is one of the community outreach coordinators at SANA (The Alliance for Safe and Abundant Nutrition), where she directs a working group (dissemination and education about child nutrition programs) where they have two objectives, one to increase the enrollment in child nutrition programs, and the other to expand access and participation in nutrition education programs. This is a way to connect families who may be at risk of hunger with resources that they may be eligible for
Carolina Guzman, Neighborhood Navigator, Eagle County Community Navigators
Carolina Guzmán was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México and has lived in Eagle County for 18 years. She works for the Eagle County Community Navigators non-profit organization, which is dedicated to connecting families to resources in the Eagle County area. She supports families with free activities such as art classes and helps the Latinx community to integrate more and have a better lifestyle. In the past Carolina was president of the Avon Elementary School PTA, helping Hispanic mothers become more involved in their children’s education. She was also in the Parent Mentor program supporting children in the classroom and was also a preschool teacher.
Melina Valsecia-Monreal, Executive Director, Eagle Valley Community Foundation, MIRA (Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance) Bus Project
Melina Valsecia-Monreal is Executive Director for Eagle Valley Community Foundation in Eagle County, Colorado after launching and managing the MIRA Bus Program - a mobile unit that visits neighborhoods in Eagle County, CO bringing free services and resources to residents with barriers to access- and being Executive Director for Neighborhood Navigators of Eagle County. Melina has lived in Eagle County for 18 years. She received a Health Education Specialist Certification after graduating with her master’s degree in Public Health and B.S in Human Nutrition. Melina has worked in different roles in the community assisting families with young children from different backgrounds, immigrants, underserved and minority groups. She had different leadership roles within her community and serves as a board member for different local organizations.