Follow fun updates as well as interesting stories about clients, volunteers and supporters of SFBFS

March 25, 2010

Support for Women’s Wisdom Art, By Steff Echeverria

By Steff Echeverria - volunteer/substitute teacher

For some art is born from a desire to express lived experiences that require color, shapes and textures. A place for feelings to be put on a surface of some kind-possibly in a “coded” form to shield the inner sanctum. Art as healing- this is what the students of Women’s Wisdom Art produce everyday. The studio is a safe environment where the teachers offer projects that each woman then puts her own signature on, in more ways than one. Each piece of art is infused with each woman’s herstory, personality, color preferences and her sense of style. Perhaps sharing styles or methods, yet each piece created is as unique as the swirl of a fingerprint.

The women get their inspiration from their own lives; the multi-faceted teachers in the Wisdom studio; from donated art books and magazines; also from field trips the students take to museums and galleries. The women share with each other their favorite artists and experiment with their styles, such as Magritte, Picasso, and Chagall. Some of the women have been to school for art, or are currently enrolled, or they are self-taught.

There is a classroom budget to be adhered to, yet a lot of the supplies for the 10 classes currently in progress are supported through donations of supplies as well as monetary donations. It is stunning to see what creativity comes shining through each class, each day.

I believe one of the greatest gifts of Women’s Wisdom’s Art program at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is witnessing the transformations in the women as creativity spills over into all facets of their lives, like a sort of magic mortar. Strengthening their self-esteem and building confidence in more areas of their lives. Creativity is as necessary as oxygen-it makes life flourish!

March 19, 2010

Good Health for Seniors, By Shannin Sauliner

By Shannin Sauliner

Hurley Creek Apartments is an independent senior living community in the Natomas area. Most of the seniors are on fixed incomes and have little money or access for purchasing groceries, let alone healthy fruits and vegetables.

A group of residents began coming to our distribution at Peace Lutheran Church in early summer 2009. They quickly became some of my favorite clients. They were always quick with a hug for the volunteers and extremely appreciative of our efforts.

As our relationship with the Hurley Creek residents has developed, we have seen them grow and develop. They were very interested in giving back to the program, so they began talking in line to other clients about our resources and Change for Change drive. They have even become active volunteers at one of our other distribution sites; understanding that they cannot receive services and be volunteers at the same time.

The most exciting results though have been the ones they've seen in their own health. Residents have reported losing 10, 15, 20 pounds as a result of incorporating the fruits and vegetables we distribute. Some have seen a decrease in their blood pressure and others have even been able to go off of diabetes and hypertension medications as a result of changing their diets.

These seniors, their spirit, and their willingness to change "old" habits are an example of the success which can be achieved through our Food Assistance program when the people we serve are willing to invest themselves in making healthier choices.

March 12, 2010

What’s New at the Computer Clubhouse?

There are so many great activities happening at the Computer Clubhouse right here at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services! Youth, ages 10-18, enrolled in the program flock to the Computer Clubhouse daily after school where they receive additional academic assistance and learn cutting-edge computer-based skills utilizing top software and program applications. In fact there is so much happening at the Computer Clubhouse that Program Manager, Mr.Charles, and Program Assistant, Michelle So, decided to divide the program into three modules from which each participant can choose his or her individual focus.

The first of three ongoing modules Computer Clubhouse participants can select as their focus is known as the Academic Assistance Module. In this module youth receive extra help with homework and one-on-one tutoring along with regular use of Clubhouse computers. The second module, Computer Clubhouse, allows participants to utilize Clubhouse software to learn skills such as basic computer animation, music and video production, and graphic design. Youth compile their work in a portfolio. The third module is Animation Academy in which youth are trained on a host of professional 3D animation software which they use to create 3D digital imagery, visualizations, scenes, and visual effects. With so many options for exploring technology and learning valuable skills, it is great that Clubhouse participants have the freedom to explore their own focus in one of three modules.

The Computer Clubhouse provides a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment where young people from underserved communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology. Computer Clubhouse is all about connections, not only throughout the international community of 100 Computer Clubhouses located in 20 different countries around the world, but also linking youth to their communities and opportunities to explore college or career in the future. The Clubhouse-to-College/Clubhouse-to-Career Program, also known as C2C, empowers Clubhouse participants to explore career and college opportunities to use and develop their technology skills and education in the future. As part of C2C, the Computer Clubhouse at SFBFS is planning a fieldtrip to VSP Vision Services in Rancho Cordova to see the career opportunities and technology utilized in this field and also to explore the possibility of establishing a scholarship for the winner of a video production competition.

For more information about enrollment in Computer Clubhouse or to learn about Computer Training for adults and seniors, check out our website,