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tv   Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa  NBC  November 10, 2019 5:30am-6:01am PST

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♪ robert handa: hello and welcome to, "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa, your host for our show here on nbc bay area and cozi tv. today, we address a concern for all communities, hunger. and there's a way for communities all around the bay area to address the problem and help. it is time for the nbc bay area, kntv, and telemundo 48 food drive, teaming up with safeway for the feed the need, saturday, november 23. and remember, the feed the need drive continues at 166 safeway locations in the bay area through christmas day, but today we focus on the upcoming saturday, again, november 23, when nbc bay area and telemundo anchors and reporters join hundreds of volunteers to encourage shoppers to donate. today on our show, we highlight the food needs in various ways
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and various communities, including alameda county, san ramon, and silicon valley, talking to those trying to do something about hunger. and when we examine the situation in alameda county, we find that one in five residents experience or are at risk of hunger. in fact, about 119,000 are considered food insecure, and an addition 130,000 are marginally food secure. addressing the need is a daunting task, and that is taken on by the alameda county community food bank. joining us to talk about what's being done and what needs to be done are director michael altfest and outreach associate roy chim. welcome to the show. michael altfest: thank you for having us. robert: you know, you hear that kind of term, "food insecure," and things like that. give us an idea in terms of what that means. michael: it's quite simple. so, when we're talking about somebody that's food insecure, they're literally answering questions like, "i do not have enough food to feed my children today." so, these are people who are struggling to put a healthy meal on the table. robert: and that is scary when you think about it.
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i mean, you know, people kind of hear about food drives and things like that, but at the base of it is a very scary situation for people. michael: right, imagine coming home after a hard day of work or coming home from school, opening up the cabinet, and not seeing food, or not seeing healthy food in there. that is a huge problem here. and you know, as we're talking about today, it's not just people who are food insecure. there's hundreds of thousands of people who actually qualify as food insecure, but you start to look deeper and there are people who are, especially because of the cost of living in the bay area, there's a lot of anxiety. or you know, maybe they're, you know, having to cut back a little bit at the end of the month. and we're not just out there trying to help people who are already struggling, but make sure people who are, you know, kinda struggling don't slip any further into food insecurity. robert: that's right, people are making sacrifices to make ends meet, and sometimes that doesn't show up as the same as people who are in dire situations, yet it's all kind of a struggle for everybody. one of the things too that we talked about before is that maybe culturally sometimes people don't come forward. when we talk about language barriers,
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when we talk about maybe just cultural reluctance to ask for help, i know the community food bank does a good job of outreach. how difficult is that for you and how widespread is that outreach? roy chim: yeah, i think most importantly for the calfresh outreach is, like, the people who has language barrier, they don't get, like, fully understanding about calfresh program, so they may still have very, like, outdated information. so, they think--they don't think they are qualified, so we are just, like, go out to the community, especially the chinatown area to promote, like, the program and get them the most updated information. robert: what is it that makes them reluctant? you know, when you have that kind of need, you would almost think that that wouldn't be something that they'd be resistant to? what is it that they're-- what's their reluctance stem from? roy: i think mostly it's just the fear, just the fear itself. because some of the chinatown, like, residents, they may be immigrant family or they may be, like, kinda older, like senior, and then they kinda, like, just worry about what will happen with the policy change. so, overall i think just, like, the information is not
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very updated so they kind of worry about it. robert: yeah, and the multilingual thing is a big part of it, huh? roy: yeah, that's true. robert: in terms of trying to-- how many people you're trying to reach in the communities and everything, what is the outreach now for community food bank? how many people do you serve and how hard is that demand to keep up with? michael: the demand, we're-- thankfully, we're keeping up with the demand. i think the issue is reaching people who maybe don't yet realize that they could use our help. so, our research shows there's about 330,000 people in alameda county alone who can use our assistance. and what the challenge is a lot of people don't-- basically anybody who relies on a food bank or needs food assistance is not going to identify as food insecure. so, a lot of our work is making sure that we can get out into the community, make sure people understand that we're here to help, that getting help is not anything to be ashamed about. stigma is a very big part of this. so, at the end of the day, we're just trying to make our community a better place.
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so you know, make sure adults can be productive in the workplace, make sure children can be successful in school, make sure seniors can live independent, vibrant lives. so, it's a lot of work, but with the community support, we are able to do this. robert: real quick here, is the kind of food that they can get from this program, in terms of for these immigrant families and everything, appropriate? do they like it? roy: yeah, for the calfresh program, they can choose stuff that's, like, more fit for their diets. so, they can purchase food just like everyone else, like more, like, healthy stuff. robert: very good. okay, roy, thank you for being here, and you'll stay with us for this segment, okay, and we'll talk a little bit more about it. the nbc bay area and telemundo 48's feed the need food drive kicks off, again, saturday november 23 and goes through december 25 at safeway stores throughout the bay area. for more details, go to and stay with us as we continue talking about the alameda county community food bank and a partnering program to help with hunger long term.
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you heard about it a little bit right now, calfresh. stay with us.
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the $6.99 super slam™ is back! see you at denny's! robert: and we are back to talk more about the alameda county community food bank and a crucial nutrition assistance program, calfresh. michael altfest is still with us, and we are joined now by darice ingram, the program coordinator for calfresh at csu east bay. thank you for being here. what is the partnership here in terms of what you do and then what they do? michael: yeah, so our food bank, we partner with a number of different types of organizations. so, traditionally people know about food banks partnering with food pantries or soup kitchens. what's surprising, i think, to a lot of people is that over the last couple years, our partnerships with universities particularly have become some of the fastest-growing partnerships that we have. so, we work with universities through calfresh outreach to supply their food pantries and a number of other sorts of ways that we work with universities. robert: it goes without saying that the partnerships
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are what make it work, right? michael: exactly, yeah. robert: darice, when we talk about that, then we're really talking about is students for the most part, right? darice ingram: yes, yes. robert: what is the situation? well, first of all, give people sort of an overview. we touched a little bit about calfresh, but as i was saying to you a little earlier, people kinda think they know more about the program than they do. give us a quick overview of calfresh. darice: so, calfresh is a supplemental nutrition assistance program that helps students, we particularly work with students, who meet certain income requirements or work requirements to get food assistance. so, we call calfresh, just like you'd apply for financial aid, apply for food aid, and helps you sort of meet those needs, those food needs that you may have. a lot of people think that just because a student lives on campus that they don't have a food need, and what we found, even with our meal plans which are pretty enriching, that students still will have a food need at the end of the semester. and so, they're running out of food or they're running out of meal swipes, so calfresh helps to provide supplemental nutrition and food for students who may run out of food while they're at college. robert: right, michael was mentioning too that it's a growing demand kind of thing.
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how is it set up then at schools then? how do students get the help and how do they actually seek it out? darice: so for us, we do a lot of different promotional programs working with the food bank. we have a promotion program called free with ebt, so we try to make having an ebt card kind of cool and see what other benefits that you can have. so, we do a lot of tabling, a lot of outreach. we meet people in housing and we have students come and meet us. we also have a food bank on campus that students can come in and get free nutritional programs, and then we're working on getting ebt acceptance actually on campus as well so students can actually use their food aid card on campus to buy meals. robert: and you mentioned that you're making it cool, but i don't think students themselves, they don't have as much reluctance, do they? i mean, they're always looking for ways to, you know, make their budget stretch, right? darice: they are looking for ways to make their budget stretch, but sometimes students are confused about what calfresh is. so, just getting the information out and helping students understand that, hey, this is a program that can help you
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with your food need. or they're misinformed because they think it's going to impact their financial aid or that they're gonna have to pay it back. robert: is it pretty uniform from school to school or do schools basically have their own kind of setup. darice: different schools have different setups. the calfresh program is a federal program that works with california state, so the baselines and the guidelines are the same, but how different schools set it up is really different. we try to make it, like i said, really fun. we have calfresh parties, so we invite students out to learn about different nutrition education and then apply for calfresh. we work with our orientation teams and a lot of our outreach teams to really make it work and help fit it into a student's schedule. robert: it's been a little while, but i think most successful student parties, they had food there. darice: yes, ha ha ha. robert: when you talk about the demand growing and everything like that, do students present a challenge in terms of keeping up with that demand? michael: well, there's a lot of turnover with students. so, i wouldn't say it's necessarily a challenge, but this is kind of indicative, i would say,
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that university calfresh outreach has actually become our number one calfresh outreach clinic in the entire county. so whereas we used to work with, and we still do work with maybe low income health clinics or other more traditional outlets, it's been interesting to see over the last couple years that these universities have become our highest demand places of need. robert: yeah. how do you see calfresh maybe expanding? does it need to expand? do you see a need for some sort of evolution? darice: absolutely. so, just really working with students and helping both our federal government, and our state government, and our community know that there is a need on campus. so, i think that's the expansion, a lot of peer-to-peer work. and then students are really into policy and advocacy, so they're taking up that notion to help really understand and help change some of the requirements for calfresh that helps allow more students to qualify. so, really getting the word out that students do have a food need, and then what some of those requirements are. so, they've been doing a lot of work in working
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with the food bank to help change some of the policy around nutrition education. robert: and you're not keeping it a secret on campus, so if people look around, they're gonna find you. darice: they're gonna find us. robert: all right, thank you both for being here. keep up the good work. really appreciate it. okay, well next we take a look at volunteering through the efforts by the san ramon kiwanis and key club. that's coming up next.
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and even solve hunger problems in the community. a vital part is volunteerism. joining me now is doug gin, the key club administrator of the san ramon valley kiwanis club. and also with us are too student volunteers. we have tony hong, a student with the piedmont hills high school key club, and kaylee wong with santa teresa high school key club. welcome to the show. doug gin: thank you. robert: give us an idea here in terms of the volunteers, you know what i mean? i mean, they do a lot of good, but how much does it also help the students themselves that are doing it? doug: it helps tremendously. it brings an aspect to the students of where they can construct their time, their volunteer time,
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helping the communities. and as a kiwanis organization, one of the best things we've ever done was create the key club organization at the high school level. through the vehicle of community service, it allows them to develop their own leadership skills, public speaking skills, time management, things that they don't learn at a classroom setting that they get through this experience. and you can see these two wonderful student leaders here, they can share their story too. robert: yeah, we talked about having been in key club ourselves in high school and it's almost the introduction to thinking of society and social things that way. yeah, tony, give me an idea of what made you decide to kind of be a part of this? tony hong: so, what made me decide to be part of key club was basically attending a few service events at first. and what this made me realize was that i-- even if something i do is really small, it's still an impact, and i realized that maybe in the future, if i keep volunteering and doing--helping things out, like, within the community, i can really make
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a really big impact when i grow older. and i think this is what really motivated me because i had always wanted to make an impact on the community and i realized that doing service one at a time, it can really help me accomplish that goal. robert: and it's interesting 'cause you get some direction that way, huh? tony: yeah. robert: as opposed to just wanting to do it, it gives you a way to kind of focus your energies, huh? yeah, kaylee, how 'bout you? what made you decide to kinda get involved like this? kaylee wong: very similar. i started just from realizing it was a service club so i joined it, and a few volunteer service events in, i met a lot of people that, like, i became really close friends with. and through that, we together volunteered and helped out our community. robert: when you look around, is this also a--we were talking about college students and what they have to deal with, and of course it's a different circumstance. do you see, you know, other student level families dealing with hunger? kaylee: yeah, actually a lot of times i do, and sometimes they don't like to talk about it 'cause
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they might be, like, embarrassed or something like that, but i think it's good that we now emphasize the fact that it's not something to be embarrassed about and that you can get the help that you need. robert: yeah, tony, did you also have that kind of perspective at all? tony: yeah, i think definitely key club does help with hunger in some aspects, because as volunteers we do help with the food bank and some service projects that we do, we can set up, like, food for the homeless. and i think it is, like, really beneficial and it is something that makes key club really-- robert: pretty rewarding, too, for you? how 'bout you, kaylee? it is also very rewarding to do it? kaylee: yeah, it is. robert: doug, is it difficult to kinda set up these programs? is it difficult to coordinate these? and do you have a lot of students doing it or would you like to see more? doug: there's a lot. certainly within the bay area, there's over 4,000 high school students that are a part of the key club program. myself as an administrator that oversees our key club
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program across california, nevada, hawaii, we have about 40,000 students involved. a lot of the demographics are asian students, asian-american students. but in terms of difficulty, it's part of the program where we're educating and mentoring these students, you know, again, to plan these projects. and all too often, i've seen where the group of students is saying, "we wanna do something," and it can be as simple as, "let's get together in an environment and make peanut butter sandwiches, and we'll bring that to a food bank or somewhere so it can be distributed," but it teaches them how to plan these events and the logistics around it. robert: let's go to the students here. what was something that, as opposed to just volunteering your time and doing whatever it is that somebody asks, did you kind of develop something that you kind of thought of as your own kind of project? tony: yeah, so basically-- this isn't really related to service in a way, but i did realize through key club that i can inspire other people to grow
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their own passion for service. and i realized as a leader going through key club, i knew that every small thing i do, it does make an impact on the community, but as well as the people around me. and i realized that the more i became passionate about service, the more i was spreading my passion for service, the more the others wanted to grow and gain their own passion for service as well. robert: all right, well thank you both for being here and volunteering your time. looking forward, maybe i'll see you guys on the food drive, all right? doug, thanks for being here. doug: great, thank you, robert. robert: all right, well, when we come back, one of the biggest programs and a key part of addressing hunger in the south bay, second harvest of silicon valley. that's next.
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second harvest of silicon valley and it is a program relentless in its mission to fight hunger. joining me now is kelly chew, the director of services at second harvest of silicon valley, who helps push ahead the food bank's commitment to build a hunger-free community and who also leads the food connection,
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a multilingual outreach team that connects community members to food programs and calfresh, and serves over 11,00 households a year. welcome to the show. kelly chew: thank you for having me. robert: tell me a little bit about that outreach and what's important for people to know. kelly: so, as an outreach team, you know, we really going out to--reaching out to community members out there, 'cause lots of time there are still lots of people out there, they don't know about our services and they don't even know where to get help. so, we are really doing an important role to, first of all, to really reducing the stigma out there. 'cause you know, lots of people out there, they believe that, like, oh, that maybe like jeopardize their immigrant status, and also that, like, they will be afraid that, like, it will be, you know, the kids will be-- get reported, you know, from the school. so, they are really, like, don't want to get help from there. so, we are the team there that really try to reduce the stigma out there. robert: yeah, yeah, we talked a little bit earlier too that cultural kind of resistance to it. are you making a lot of progress though?
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what's been the most effective way of reaching people? kelly: so, first of all, we are really lucky we have a big team, so we also, like, cover, like, most of the speaking languages. so, we have the team that we speak, like, vietnamese, chinese, spanish. so, it's really helping to reducing the language barrier. so, and then we found that that's really helped out to reaching to more and more, like, community members out there. robert: are you partnering with a lot of community groups? kelly: we do. so, we have, like, 310 partners out there in both san mateo county and also santa clara county, and then we are very lucky enough we have 1,000 distribution sites out there. so, it's really help us to, like, pushing out the foods out there. robert: the infrastructure is there then. kelly: yes, yes. robert: how 'bout for people who may not have, like, a connection to those groups? maybe they even have reluctance to join those kind of groups as well. how can they maybe reach out directly to you? kelly: yeah, so first of all, that like, we highly recommend that, like, they can, like, spread the word, like, with our-- we have the hotlines out there.
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so, we have our 1-800 number there so people, they can call us. and also, like i said, we have a really big team, so we're pretty much, like, going to every corner of the neighborhood, try to, like, really promoting our services and let them know that we're available and help. robert: and you have a lot of versatility in the types of the food you're offering as well, right? kelly: correct, yes. robert: that's a big appeal. kelly: it is, yes. robert: is your ability to keep up with that kind of demand? 'cause i know it just keeps on growing. how's that going? kelly: so, definitely that is what we're doing, like, really try to keep up with the demand. so, that's why, like, we highly encourage that the donations that we need. we need people to donate us for food and also, like, money as well. 'cause, like, we're committed to try to provide, like, at least 50% of the fresh produce, like really healthy foods for our community. this is our commitment. robert: yeah, and again, when you talk about donations, i mean, it's a tough thing to say, because you know, but a lot of people might feel like they bring food and they feel like they're helping. but in terms of what you wanna do and what you need to do long term, cash and money donations is
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a lot more convenient, isn't it? kelly: that's right, yeah. robert: and it makes-- you can make the dollar stretch quite a bit, right? kelly: right, so pretty much that, like, if you donate $10, it's equivalent to 20 healthy meals. so, that's what we're doing to serving our communities. robert: yeah, $10, that's a good increment. that's what we're using during our food drive as well. how can people find out more easily? kelly: so pretty much they can visit our website. so, it's to find out more and learn more. robert: okay, and things are going well? are you guys on target for what you wanna do this year? kelly: we are, yeah. we're very lucky enough to partner with, you know, nbc bay area and also safeway, so we are really grateful. so you know, the public can actually do donation while they check out at the register. robert: all right, you're doing a great job. thank you. all right, well, so help feed the need starts on november 23 through december 25. you can go to any of the 166 participating safeway stores to donate $10. that will go toward a bag of food donated to a local food bank.
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vital food such as chicken, pasta, canned vegetables, soup, and peanut butter. just remove the flier at the display areas and take them to check stands with you. on that saturday, november 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you will see numerous nbc bay area on-air personalities. for example, i'll be at the morgan hill store at dunne avenue. raj mathai, janelle wang, and malou nubla will be at the safeway on first street in los altos. rob mayeda will be at the safeway on el camino tassajara in danville. and many other nbc bay area on-air personalities will be at the rivermark safeway in santa clara. come out and say hi. now, you can find out more about the feed the need food drive by going to our website, and we're also on social media, who isn't, facebook and twitter. and you can follow me on twitter, @rhandanbc. and that's it for our show today. we wanna thank all of our guests who are helping with the nbc bay area and telemundo 48 feed the need food drive, again, on saturday, november 23. "asian pacific america" will be back next week,
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so we will see you then and hopefully out at one of the safeway stores. thanks for watching. ♪ ♪ ♪
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