Monday, December 5, 2011

Bayview's food improves as leaders step forward

by Jeffrey Betcher

Unless you live in a place like Bayview Hunters Point, where residents face big challenges when it comes to finding healthy affordable food nearby, you may not understand why we get so excited about small victories.

The opening of a new mid-sized market is a welcome development in most urban neighborhoods, but not "game-changing." Here, the opening of just such a market, Fresh & Easy, rates as the biggest event of the year for many residents, and an emotional experience shared by the community at large.

Bayview Footprints has covered the "food beat" in the neighborhood for years. Now, we're happy to share some recent developments that are feeding the momentum of positive change.

On the heels of Fresh and Easy opening a store at 5800 3rd Street, Limon Rotisserie (pictured lower center) has just opened its newest restaurant at the same location. Limon's grand opening was Friday, taking Chef Martin Castillo and his broth Antonio Castillo a step closer to their vision of bringing San Francisco casual affordable dining that would make a native Peruvian homesick. Try the Pollo a la Brasa, marinated and slow roasted chicken paired with aji sauces and native spices. The dish is a national favorite in Peru, and Limon's signature offering. See the full menu online

For more information, or to make a reservation at Limon call 415.926.5665, email them, or visit them online.

Antonia Williams is part of a slow, quiet food revolution.

Jazz Vassar, Antonia Williams, Jameela Toups and Kenneth Hill (pictured above top) presented a workshop called “Food Justice: Honoring our Roots, Growing the Movement” at the Community Food Security Coalition’s 15th Annual Conference in Oakland last month. Well over 100 people attended to hear about strategies to improve access to healthy affordable food that include education, outreach, research and policy work.

The presenters are Bayview Hunters Point residents who are part of the SEFA Food Guardians Project, a group of community health workers focused on food issues. The program emerged from the Southeast Food Access Working Group.

The SEFA Food Guardians were featured in the most recent San Francisco Bay Guardian as part of an article by Christopher Cook.

Antonia Williams (pictured lower right) was highlighted in the article, sharing a bit of her personal journey as well as her experience as a community health worker passionate about improving food options where she lives.

Many residents remember the once-a-week farmers market on Mendell Plaza that popped up seasonally for five years. A new conversation about trying again is underway, with a tentative launch scheduled for the spring of next year. An organizing meeting at Renaissance Bayview's offices is being scheduled. Contact James Moore at 415.647.3728 ext. 6, or by email, to get involved.

In all the excitement about Fresh & Easy and other new food victories in the neighborhood, it's good to remember that FoodsCo and SuperSave have both improved offerings of healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables, in recent years. SuperSave is an independent, family-owned business. FoodsCo is part of the Kroger supermarket chain.

Ann Berry (pictured above left), a longtime advocate for the neighborhood, and an early voice in the demand for improved access to healthy foods, has just won a Berkeley School of Public Health award for her work benefiting senior citizens.

Ann works for Network for Elders, a group that demonstrated in front of FoodsCo, attracted media attention, and helped inspire public health and funding leaders to start the Southeast Food Access Working Group (SEFA). 

Congratulations, Ann Berry, for this well-deserved honor!


Anonymous said...

hi just registered ,, tina

Anonymous said...

hi happy christmas to you all - matt