Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hunger Intervention Program expanding service to feed low-income school kids on weekends

Aidan Cummings, 8, tries to keep cereal packages from toppling over during a “Healthy HIP Packs” packing party at Lake City Presbyterian Church. The food is packed by volunteers coordinated by the Hunger Intervention Program for low-income students that rely on free and reduced school lunches during the week, but on weekends do not have proper nutrition at home. ( photo used with permission)

Lake City's Hunger Intervention Program has expanded its much-needed service that provides food on weekends to low-income students that rely on in-school free and reduced meals.

The program has expanded from serving low-income students at John Rogers Elementary to include students at Olympic Hills Elementary and Viewlands Elementary in Greenwood. The two schools added to the program have some of the highest rates of students in the district on the in-school free and reduced meal program.

The group hosts monthly packing parties at its headquarters at Lake City Presbyterian Church, where volunteers assemble meals for students. The "Healthy Hip Packs" are then discreetly given to students that need the nutrition on weekends when they are not getting meals from the schools.

The group's efforts were profiled in the Seattle P-I on Wednesday.

From the P-I story:
When people think of low-income areas, they typically don't think of this part of Seattle, said Murphy, program manager for HIP, during a packing party at the group's headquarters at the Lake City Presbyterian Church. But Northeast Seattle, particularly Lake City, is home to many struggling and low-income families.

"This program is such an important resource for children when school meals are not available," said Murphy.

The most recent data from Seattle Public Schools lists Olympic Hills Elementary's free and reduced-cost students at 73 percent of the school's population, Viewlands in Greenwood at 60 percent and John Rogers at 35 percent...

...The food in the packs emphasizes whole grains, milk, high-quality proteins, fresh fruits and products with no added sugars. Under current funding, the program hopes to provide weekend meals to up to 20 students at each of the newly added schools. Their goal is to increase that to 40 students per school for the 2013-2014 school year.
You can read more in the P-I story here, which includes photos of one of the group's packing parties.

Update: KIRO/7 also featured the HIP Program in their Thursday newscast. You can see their story on HIP by clicking here.

Invitation to join Lake City Neighborhood Action Team

Below is a letter from Jerry DeGrieck at the Mayor's office regarding the newly formed Lake City Neighborhood Action Team.  They are looking for input from the community to identify problems in Lake City. They will then produce an Action Plan sometime in April / May. This is a great opportunity for people to get involved directly with our city government and make positive changes.

LCNA will be adding meeting dates to their public calendar as they become available. 

( document in a pdf format is available here for offline printing. )

Hello Lake City Neighborhood Stakeholders,

Late last year, Mayor McGinn asked me to lead a City-Neighborhood Action Team (NAT) to work with Lake City neighborhood stakeholders to address a range of issues and problems as part of our work to make Lake City a great neighborhood.  In December 2012, nearly 20 City staff members went on walking tours in Lake City led by members of the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance.  By bringing together multiple City departments and community members, we believe this Action Team can creatively approach problems, build on community strengths, and make progress to improve the neighborhood. 

The Team has formed three City-Neighborhood workgroups:
·       Economic development; City Leads are Andres Mantilla (Office of Economic Development), 206-233-3868,, and David Goldberg (Department of Planning and Development), 206-615-1447,
·       Public Safety, programming, health, and human services; City Leads are Rebecca Karlsen (Parks and Recreation), 206-684-7279,, and June Beleford (Public Health – Seattle & King County), 206-263-8762,
·       Access and pedestrian and physical improvements; City Lead is Dongho Chang (Seattle Department of Transportation), 206-684-5106,

The work of the workgroups is primarily focused on the Lake City core/urban village geographic area.  The first task of each workgroup is to develop an Action Plan.  The purpose of developing an Action Plan is not just to have a plan; the City department staff members and neighborhood stakeholders on the team will implement the plan and take steps to improve the neighborhood.  Each work item on the Action Plan will have clear strategies, timelines, objectives, metrics, and designation of City and/or Community Leads.  We want to have a draft Action Plan ready by the end of April.  We will then widely distribute the draft Plan and invite comments and input from interested Lake City residents, businesses, service providers, and other neighborhood stakeholders.  We will invite you to a community meeting in mid-May to offer your comments and help shape the plan.  There will also be opportunities to provide input through online surveys. 

To be successful, we need and want the participation and involvement of all of the diverse stakeholders that comprise the Lake City neighborhood.  Representatives from the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance are participating on each of the workgroups and others are welcome to participate.  

There are a number of ways you can be involved with this effort:
·       You can contact the City Lead(s) for any of the three workgroups and provide your input on what you would like included in the Action Plan.
·       You can attend the meetings, become a member, and participate on any of the workgroups; again, contact the City Lead(s) and they can let you know when/where the meetings are.
·       You can contact the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance (LCNA),, and participate through LCNA. 
·       By early May, you will receive a copy of the draft Action Plan and can comment and provide your feedback to help shape the final Plan; there will also be opportunities to provide input online.
·       You will be invited to community meeting in mid-May to review the draft Action Plan and provide your comments and input to shape the final Plan. 

In addition to the City workgroup leads listed above, the following City staff are participating on the team to develop and implement the Action Plan:
·       Mayor’s Office: Jerry DeGrieck and Aaron Fishbone
·       City Light: Rose Feliciano
·       Facilities and Administrative Services: Daniel Bretzke/Hillary Hamilton
·       Housing: Laurie Olson
·       Human Services: Mary Flowers
·       Library: Steve Delvecchio/Chance Hunt
·       Neighborhoods: Thomas Whittemore
·       Police: Lt. Ron Rasmussen
·       Public Health: Morgan Barry
·       Public Utilities: Shannon Kelleher/Sheryl Shapiro/Daniel Sims

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.  Thank you very much.

Jerry DeGrieck
Senior Policy Advisor to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn
Human Services, Health, Education, Housing, and Financial Empowerment
206-684-4029 (Office)
206-321-7307 (Work Cell)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Coffee Talk Series - Lecture 1

When: Tuesday, March 26th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: Lake City Community Center ( just north of Library on 28th ) - Room 8
What: The first of a series of lectures on urban planning.

Kay Knapton ( former Seattle Planning Commissioner and West Seattle Junction Association Director )

Greg Easton ( an economist with Property Counselors )

This lecture series is open to the public. The intent is to help our community form a better understanding of urban planning. This will help with communicating our wants and needs to city planners and private developers. The city will be revising our local Comprehensive Plan soon. The more we know going in, the better the product coming out. 

Study of Little Brook by UW Public Health students

For those unfamiliar with Little Brook, it is the neighborhood just northeast of Douglas Park. There is a small park by the same name at NE 143rd and 32nd Ave NE.
It is named for Little Brook Creek, which starts in this neighborhood and flows intermittently above and below ground through Lake City, connecting with Thornton Creek at Meadowbrook Pond.

The neighborhood is an important yet often neglected part of the Lake City community, and Lake City Greenways and several Little Brook residents have recently sought to change that…..

Lake City Greenways is a project seeking to create safe, healthy streets throughout our Lake City community. Our goal is to provide a network of routes--comfortable for those on foot, bike, skateboard, with walker, and in all modes—to get us to the places we need and want to go. LC Greenways has strong community support, but has found it a challenge to connect with and engage our neighbors in Little Brook—the dense, diverse neighborhood between 30th Ave NE and Lake City Way, and between NE 135th and NE 145th. We have been particularly concerned because the area has many pedestrians and some of the very worst street conditions in North Seattle.

LC Greenways had the great fortune to engage a class from the UW School of Public Health to do an intensive, month-long project in Little Brook to help us learn who lives there; what their challenges are; what they want for their neighborhood; what opportunities there are for building community; and what social structures are in place to help us connect.

The students’ findings are outlined in a 60-page, illustrated, and data-filled report on Little Brook that focuses on Crime and Road Safety; Public and Private Investment; and Social Cohesion.

It is fascinating and enlightening, and a great source for Lake City residents who want to know more about this pocket of our community. It will also be instrumental in helping LC Greenways and Lake City at large better connect with Little Brook.

You can view the Executive Summary below or here. You can download the full report here

More information about the study can be found at the Lake City Live post.
You  contact the Lake City Greenways here.

Winter Shelter Evaluation Meeting

When: Thursday, March 14th at 7pm
Where: Lake City Baptist ( SW corner of 125th and 25th )
What: A meeting to evaluate this year's rotating winter shelter.

Join representatives from the Seattle Mennonite Church and other churches that participated in this year's rotating Winter Shelter to evaluate what went well and what could be done differently next year. If you cannot attend the meeting, you can send comments to Melanie Neufeld by email.