This week, the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships hosted a webinar in Spanish to launch our exciting new La Mesa Completa Tool Kit. The e-tool was made for Spanish-speaking faith and community leaders to learn about the various ways in which they can partner with USDA to ensure that Latinos have access to federal nutrition programs. More than one in four Latinos is food insecure, and Latinos access USDA nutrition assistance programs at the lowest rates of any demographic group.
The La Mesa Completa tool kit was developed in direct response to a request made during our 2010 USDA consultation with Latino faith leaders Porque Tuve Hambre y Me Diste de Comer/For I was Hungry and You Gave Food for a one-stop place for information in Spanish. As a result, we created an easy-to-use tool to help Latino pastors and community leaders connect their congregations and communities with USDA programs that can help them ensure that the people in their communities are able to put healthy, affordable food on the table. The tool kit is a .PDF file that navigates like a website and includes helpful links, best practices, stories, and even videos of personal testimony. You can find the tool kit, and other useful resources, on our La Mesa Completa Website. The tool kit can be easily downloaded and shared via e-mail.
The launch provided an opportunity for leaders from Hispanic communities throughout the United States to speak about the ways in which their networks are utilizing the tool kit. Representatives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of La Raza joined the webinar to share with participants how their organizations are already using the tool kit to improve access to healthy, affordable foods in their communities. We hope that leaders will be able to utilize the toolkit to become part of the conversation on bringing healthy food into their communities.
If you are interested in learning more about building a partnership with USDA’s Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, sign up for our upcoming webinar series, the Together We Can… Partnership Series. You will learn how community-based organizations can collaborate with USDA to help those in need in your community. In addition to introductory knowledge, we will also cover best practices as well as information on how you can help your organization to further understand and access food nutrition programs available through the USDA.