HACLA Partners with FAME to Bring Health and Wellness
Education Programs to Avalon Gardens

A health fair organized at Avalon Gardens provided a platform to kick start an important collaboration between the Housing Authority and First AME Church of Los Angeles (FAME). FAME Assistance

Corporation (FAC) was awarded a 3 year grant from Network for a Healthy California to begin work on a project titled the Champion Empowerment Program. FAME partnered with HACLA to bring the pilot program funded by USDA to Avalon Gardens. The program will be expanded to our sites should it prove to be successful.

The community residents will fundamental to implementing this project because they will be partners in designing, implementing and evaluating the nutrition and wellness education programs for their fellow community residents. FAC will train “Champions for Change” (Champions) at Avalon Gardens and equip them with the educational tools and hands-on training experience to disseminate their learning about nutrition and healthy living to fellow community members.

This project is not only about recruiting and training Champions but it is also about continuing education and following recruits with a case-management model so that they are continually supported as they go out on their own to spread their healthy eating and wellness messages. FAC project staff will be working with residents to teach them presentation skills, how to lead and conduct nutrition education classes and cooking demonstrations, and to generally enhance their personal communication, planning and project management skills.


FAC’s objectives in Year 1 are to recruit and train a total of 40 Champions in the areas of nutrition education and healthy cooking. Another objective in Year 1 is to create a solid and replicable curriculum for the Champion Empowerment Program. When the first 40 Champions graduate from the Program, each Champion will be fully equipped to lead his/her own nutrition education and wellness classes called “Be Fit, Eat Right” as healthy lifestyle advocates in their neighborhoods. Each of the 40 Champions will be responsible to recruit a minimum of 10 “community students” to attend their “Be Fit, Eat Right” classes, with the final outcome of having reached a minimum of 440 participants in Year 1, including our trained Champions (40) and their community student participants.

The activities for the project will include a series of cooking classes by FAC’s partner Cooking Matters (formerly Operation Frontline).  Champions will get hands-on experience in nutrition education, meal planning and budgeting, kitchen safety and healthy cooking activities: “Cooking Matters for Adults teaches low-income adults (primarily adults with children) how to prepare and shop sensibly for healthy meals on a limited budget. The program is often paired with Start by Eating Right, an addendum focused specifically on adults with preschool-age children. It may also be paired with Eating Well or The Dish on Diabetes, addenda offering specialized information for adults living with HIV/AIDS or diabetes, respectively.

The Health Fair was sponsored in collaboration with the Avalon Gardens RMC and the Housing Services Department/Resident services unit.


FAME Assistance Corporation’s (FAC’s) mission is to promote opportunity and empowerment through economic development, affordable housing, health education, environmental protection, and social service programs extending to individuals, families and communities in South Los Angeles.  FAC is uniquely positioned in the community because it is a non-profit based out of a large community of faith with a 19,000 member congregation of the First AME Church of Los Angeles (FAME).  FAC partners with the FAME Church by offering nutritional and physical fitness education, access to the Let’s Move L.A. campaign and participates in frequent health fairs to provide healthy living education and testing for diabetes, blood pressure, body fat and a variety of other vital health screenings. FAC is currently funded by a mixture of sources: Network for a Healthy California – African American Campaign Faith Projects, UCLA Reach U.S. Legacy Project, Citibank Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, MTA, Los Angeles Department of County Health, Kaiser Permanente Hospital and more


Sourse: http://www.hacla.org/en/rel/1040/