A recent community resource fair at our Birch Hills and Bonterra properties provided residents with samples of homemade granola with yogurt, as well as a free food distribution opportunity. Beyond appreciation for the food, residents also benefitted from Jamboree’s REACH approach to customized services that enrich the lives of residents. REACH is an acrostic focused on five simple values, which frames our services for kids, families, seniors, and those living with special needs. The resource fair provided opportunity to support the C value – Core skills to discover creative solutions to challenges.
The community resource fair provided access to knowledgeable community partners and the opportunity to discover creative solutions. For example, The Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation presented on Kids Creating Change, Real Teens Real Talk, and Parents Creating Change programs, which they offer at Jamboree properties. These classes teach students leadership skills, and teach parents new communication skills. Representatives from Community Action Partnership of Orange County’s Energy and Environmental Services Department were there to educate residents about Utility Assistance Programs, helping them qualify for utility discounts to save money.
Seventy families attended, and resident Erika said she appreciated the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the different providers and learn about their services, making her feel equipped to make better decisions. Other partners included the UC Cooperative Extension, Orange County-Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, the North Orange County Regional Consortium for Adult Education, Casa del Pueblo, Life Wireless, and Children’s Bureau Early Years Emotional Wellness Program.
It can be challenging to feed a family on a limited budget. So Bonterra Resident Services Coordinator Ashley led a cooking demonstration to show residents how to fix a nutritious, quick and easy breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. . Besides homemade granola with yogurt, residents learned how to make a dark greens salad with sliced green apple and dried cranberries with an apple cider and Dijon mustard vinaigrette for lunch, homemade trail mix for a snack, and pasta with zucchini and French green beans for dinner. Ashley also plans to teach a Cooking Club for Kids this summer as part of our after-school program, so students can also develop cores skills in nutritious food choices.
Residents also had the opportunity to shop for groceries on the Clementine Food Trolley, the mobile food bank of our partners at the Community Action Partnership of Orange County. With canned and boxed groceries as well as eggs, meat, prepared meals, salads, and snacks for kids, each resident had three minutes on the Trolley to shop. Residents agreed to take only what they needed in order to make sure there was enough for everyone. All told, the Food Trolley provided opportunity for 118 youth, 135 adults, and 20 seniors at our communities.