The South LA Forward Initiative is organized around three pillars: 1) access to health services; 2) healthy food; 3) economic security — all focused on helping South LA residents whose lives have been disrupted by COVID-19. Their grassroots work is grounded by these principles:
- To provide a hand up, not a hand out.
- To Extend and expand
- To invest and remain
The initiative is a joint effort by:
- 1303: Number of COVID-19 appointments scheduled at the Watts Drive-thru Clinic as of July 2020
- 55,000: Number of people in South LA impacted by food insecurity during COVID crisis
- 12,855: Number of farm boxes–with more than 140 TONS of fresh food–distributed to food insecure families in South LA as of August 2020
Since its launch on July 2nd, SoLa I CAN, through South LA Forward, distributed weekly food boxes with fresh produce to more than 4000+ South LA residents.
Watts Healthcare Corporation began both its drive-up COVID-19 Testing and in-clinic testing on June 12, 2020 by leveraging funding from both the federal government and the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation grant.
Funding from the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation established the Healthy Central Avenue program at SEE-LA’s Central Avenue Farmers’ Market every Thursday morning. The program expanded Calfresh/EBT (formerly food stamp) matching funds and introduced WIC matching at the market as a way to stretch scarce public nutrition benefits for fresh fruits and vegetables. Preliminary data indicates the incentive program is extremely popular, doubling the number of customers using Calfresh and WIC benefits at that market.