Food and Fitness Program for East African Elders Launches at the Northgate Community Center


Sound Generations, Hunger Intervention Program (HIP), Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Horn of Africa Services are teaming up to bring healthy meals, fitness programs, recreational activities, and social work services to East African elders in the north end of Seattle. This program launches on Tuesday, August 28th, and will be at the Northgate Community Center every Tuesday from 11 am to 2 pm with the meal service at noon.

According to a 2010 report published by the City of Seattle, there are over 39,000 African-born individuals residing in Seattle with the heaviest concentration in southeast and north Seattle. Informal data suggests that this concentration has increased significantly since 2010, especially in the north end. Culturally-relevant services for this community are limited, and there is no other meal program in north Seattle that serves the large community of East African elders. This food and fitness program will be the first of its kind in the area.

Michael Neguse, a community activist who has been leading the East African Food and Fitness Program at the Yesler Community Center in south Seattle, is helping to launch this program in north Seattle. He notes that “this program is about bringing people together and connecting older and younger generations.”

Leading the charge to bring everyone together is Sound Generations. Claudine Wallace, Lake City-Northgate Senior Center Project Program Manager from Sound Generations, emphasized the need for this program: “We know that providing welcoming spaces for elders to come together to eat, socialize, exercise, and connect to resources has a huge and positive impact on healthy aging. There is a real need for this program in the north-end and we are invested in growing it to serve the community.”

HIP will prepare and serve the meals as part of this collaboration. “HIP is committed to providing culturally-appropriate, nutritious food to underserved populations,” says HIP’s Executive Director, Srijan Chakraborty. “We are excited to launch this new program.  Our current meal program, while open to everyone, does not meet the unique cultural needs of this particular population.”

Rounding out this powerhouse collaboration is Seattle Parks and Recreation. “We are dedicated to supporting healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities,” says Christopher Williams, Interim Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation. “This new program helps us achieve all three of these goals by offering a culturally relevant gathering space for older adults to share a healthy meal and take part in associated recreational opportunities.”

Horn of Africa Services will be providing social work services on site and helping people connect with other services. This program is a unique collaboration with each organization bringing in their professional and cultural expertise and filling a much-needed gap in services for East African elders in the north end.

 

About Sound Generations:

Sound Generations is a 501c3 non-profit that provides a wide range of services for older adults, their families and caregivers throughout King County. The mission of Sound Generations is to support people on their aging journey through community connections and accessible services. For more information, visit www.soundgenerations.org.

About Hunger Intervention Program:

The Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission to increase food security for underserved populations in north King County through nutritious meals, educational programs, and advocacy. For more information, visit  www.hungerintervention.org.

About Horn of Africa Services:

The mission of Horn of Africa Services is to offer multi-lingual and multicultural assistance to East African immigrants and refugees in support of immediate and long term adjustment needs. More information at: hoas.org.

About Seattle Parks and Recreations:

Seattle Parks and Recreation provides welcoming and safe opportunities to play, learn, contemplate and build community, and promotes responsible stewardship of the land. We promote healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities.

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