Tag Archives: St. Luke’s Health Initiative

Money Tree, WEB

St. Luke’s $125,000 grant boosts living wage initiative

The Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA) will use a $125,000 St. Luke’s Health Initiative (SLHI) innovation grant to design and implement Raise Arizona, a statewide living wage initiative to identify, recruit, certify and recognize employers that pay a living wage.

In total, SLHI awarded grants totaling $475,000 to ACAA, City of Phoenix-FitPHX, Cultivate South Phoenix Program and The Rightcare Foundation.

Raise Arizona, one of a number of ACAA programs designed to mobilize communities to address and eliminate poverty, also will drive “consumer support and dollars to Living Wage Certified businesses for their commitment to pay employees a living wage and their contributions to the community where they do business,” said ACAA Executive Director Cynthia Zwick.

Zwick said the program’s goal is to identify 50 Living Wage Certified employers in the first year and 75 during the second 12 months as well as to hire a Living Wage Business Recruiter.

“As an anti-poverty organization, our mission and our day-to-day focus is to end poverty in Arizona,” Zwick said.  “Among the most important ways to do that is to provide employees with a living wage that can help them move toward financial stability and independence.”

Zwick said she expects to fill the business recruiter position within the next three months.  The program’s start-up will follow.

Press Conference_Fresh-Express

Discovery Triangle Launches Healthy Initiative

The Discovery Triangle Development Corporation is launching a fresh food initiative that will bring a mobile produce market to underserved neighborhoods located in the Discovery Triangle. The “Fresh Express by Discovery Triangle” will sell fresh, affordable and high-quality fruits and vegetables out of a donated, retrofitted Valley Metro bus.

A launch event was held on February 25 at the Brunson-Lee Elementary School in Phoenix. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell jumped off the bus with bags of apples for the kids. The mayors and community partners spoke at the event. The bus, stocked with fresh produce, was available for tours.

“The Fresh Express is another example of Phoenix finding innovative ways to address problems and improve the quality of life of residents,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“Tempe children and families in need in this area will be well served by the new service,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This is a great – and truly fresh – idea to make our community even stronger and healthier.”

The Discovery Triangle, which facilitates redevelopment in Phoenix and Tempe, developed the initiative after examining the lack of accessible grocery stores in the area, considered a “food desert,” and seeing a need to enhance the health of residents. Providing a mobile option is key since many of the residents in the area depend on public transportation.

“As civic entrepreneurs, the Discovery Triangle brings partners together to solve issues impacting the region. We believe increasing the accessibility of affordable, healthy food and health education will boost the region’s economic development opportunities,” said Don Keuth, president of the Discovery Triangle Development Corporation.

Fresh Express by Discovery Triangle will begin selling produce in March with a pilot program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Routes will include schools, senior centers, parks, churches and other gathering places throughout the Discovery Triangle region.

Chase Bank, the founding sponsor, provided seed and operations funding to help launch Fresh Express. “Many people in the Discovery Triangle are dependent on public transportation to get to a grocery store. Now residents will have more options with the Fresh Express bringing affordable fruits and vegetables to convenient, walkable locations,” said Paul Groves, who heads the JPMorgan Private Bank in Arizona.

The bus also will offer on-board community health resources including nutrition education and health screenings. Produce will be sold at affordable prices. All forms of payment will be accepted including SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

FRESH EXPRESS PARTNERS AND SPONSORS

Several local organizations are partnering on the initiative:

· Discovery Triangle Development Corporation – Managing the initiative

· Valley Metro – Coordinating bus operations and in-kind donations

· Peddler’s Son – Providing fruits and vegetables

· ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation – Offering health screenings

· UMOM New Day Centers – Providing training and staffing

Sponsors whose donations have made the bus possible:

· Chase (founding sponsor)

· Valley Metro

· Junior League of Phoenix

· Blue Cross Blue Shield

· Arizona Community Foundation

· St. Luke’s Health Initiative

· eeko Studio

· Blue Media

· First Transit

· Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority

· UA College of Medicine

· Southwest Gas

· Creative Bus Sales Arizona

· ThermoGuard

· Custom Made Gas Tanks

· Safeway

· Phoenix I