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August 23, 2019
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Farmers’ Market party on the plaza Sept. is suicide prevention month New start at school board meeting RPDPS receives grant to fight alcohol-related crime Wake up to social crisis San Francisco Mime Troupe to perform in Cotati RPPS encourages public to drive sober PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program accepting applications for aid Spring Lake Water Bark kickoff Contact information needed from about 150,000 PG&E customers Santa Rosa doctor overprescribing First day of school and new friends Home-based learning on the rise A slow and painful wait for a downtown RP Council looks at serious close-to-home issues Cotati City Council of Aug. 13 New Column Gun violence in the U.S. and globally Join CASA of So. Co.’s commitment to helping victims of child abuse Passenger killed fleeing crash Pesticide residue consumed by infants and children ‘Stuff the van’ with school supplies Accordion Festival Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Homelessness spikes in RP Home delivery changes Veterans’ housing to open in 2020 Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board 73rd Miss Sonoma County competition held at Spreckels Straus Family Creamery moving to RP TAG building grand opening Tech High School celebrates 20 years Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” RP Downtown project underway Schools, facilities and bonds: Plans but no money DUI driver crashes into 7-1 Teen arrested for shooting at RP RP votes to restrict fireworks Girls explore STEM possibilities at Tinker Academy Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member 2018 local stories which made history ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Holocaust piano now in Cotati CRPUSD seeking a new superintendent Superintendent search begins Cotati Council moves ahead Planning Commission approves hotel DUI driver arrested after collision on RP Exp Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Rohnert Park Station Ave. update Cuts suggested for school district The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County Cotati memorializes victims Rohnert Park considers firework restrictions CHP to check motorcycle safety in local area Cotati honors and appreciates Third DUI driver arrested in RP in three days Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats Help save lives by donating blood New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Fencing in Sonoma County School district leaders tackle 1.9m deficit School district seeking new superintendent Cotati protests CASA compact School district balances budget More high density in Rohnert Park Put down your phone April is distracted driving awareness month SSU Police make arrest in sexual assault case CRPUSD district’s good news in May Our words are not enough: Educators call for action The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud  SC public safety heroes of the year Don’t drive with an open container Traffic concerns top RP survey SSU Equestrian looks to go national Brace yourself for mosquitos Station Avenue project An offer has been made and accepted on Rohnert Park’s corporate yard SMART to offer free rides... 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AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve New signs point in the right direction Where are the ski lifts? Is Cotati being targeted? New alcohol fees for Rohnert Park Sonoma State president testifies for tax relief for disaster victims Fixing Cotati’s roads RP driver identified Burglary suspect found with firearms Urban growth boundary benefits State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary New residential building lands approved In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer PG&E has a prediction model USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship RP investigates new site for Corp. Yard Two arrested in RP motel for mail theft  Is Juuling the new norm? Cotati considers $15 min. wage No criminal charges filed against PG&E in northern Ca. wildfires  RP decides on west side Vintage race cars on Sonoma raceway track May CalFresh month celebration So. Co. Behavioral Health and Health Services in the county jail Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. Giving Kids Smiles in Rohnert Park Neighborhood watch meeting scheduled New Executive Director at SSU Cotati sees its first homicide in 24 years New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA White receives Matt Walsh Memorial RP and Sunday festivities SSU fraternity banned for five years Name correction: Grand Jury report on SoCo jail system Sonoma County Fair reviews safety protocols Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner SSU and SCOE offer high school internship Illegal robocalls and spoofing Watenpaugh returns to lead CRPUSD RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. Cotati comes out against CASA Llamadas ilegales y spoofing Music alive in Cotati Call to action in Ca. Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Becerra urges Ca. businesses resources to help prevent human trafficking Possible change to parking rules Enroll in Transportation Security Administration Elder abuse rising in So Co U10 Cal Ripken champions say Aloha Impersonating pharmacists Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season Cotati’s code of conduct School board follows its policy Free school supplies Correction to the July 26 issue Summit State Bank annual report FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant RP moves to curb false alarms Doggone hot days are here! Warnings weren’t enough! SR theft suspect caught after lengthy chase March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming New laws take effect Jan. 1 Boards approve plan to offset proposed groundwater fee Technology High School construction on schedule Groundwater sustainability fee adopted in Santa Rosa Plain Rohnert Park City Council all about safety Penngrove wastewater pipeline overflows Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SSU named one of the best universities Verity is hiring to work with survivors RP City Council, not business as usual A young child making a big difference Cotati’s first homicide in 24 years SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Students almost ready for kindergarten Would you make a great foster parent? Grand Jury recommends improvements for So. Co. Water City of Cotati switches to 100% renewable electricity I’m ready, bring ‘em on! Cardinals rout Cougars SSI and SSP recipients eligible for CalFresh benefits Five vehicle crash shuts down Golf Course Dr. Happenings at Cotati City Council Trades Intro Program (TIP) leads to career RP City Council: from safety to striping How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary New fire station gets final direction Undercover operation identifies prostitution at local massage parlors Red flags fly at all fire stations during “Red Flag” warnings L J principal promises open door policy Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Cotati fills Planning Commission The long summer grinds Alert resident foiled attempted burglary of neighbor’s home All about the roads Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life School district set to begin new year Wrong way bicyclist rides into path of SMART train City, county reach agreement with Homeless Advocates Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery Rohnert Park residents awarded law degrees School Year 2019-2020 for free and reduced-price meals Cattle drive comes to SR SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Joint Legislative Wine Committee to meet at SSU Ca. Dept. of Justice announces ammunition regulations Fatal bicycle vs. vehicle collision Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases DMV offices will close for half day Social Security – Care and Beware SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Reckless vehicle ends in DUI arrest Do you know the relationship between low impact development and water quality? Water Conservation Car washes and water waste Equifax provides $600 million in consumer restitution Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Stray sways the crowd Showing off rope tricks Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open Skating during Cotati Kids Day parade RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community Vehicle crashes into house It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Suicide leading cause of death in youths Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby PG&E to conduct inspections by helicopter in Sonoma County RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Deputy saves overdosing man using department-issued Narcan Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Rohnert Park’s Black Blear Diner gets sued Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
October 12, 2018

Local residents in need are eating better and healthier lately, thanks in part to two community organizations receiving $5,000 grants from the Rohnert Park Foundation small grants program. Rohnert Park-based Neighbors Organized Against Hunger, or NOAH, and Petaluma Bounty are both able to further their missions of helping provide food for families facing multiple barriers to accessing healthy food through the use of these grants.

NOAH, since its inception in 2005, provides a weekly food pantry for residents in need in Rohnert Park, Cotati and Penngrove. The volunteer-run non-profit will use the $5,000 to supplement the food donated by the community, primarily through purchasing other protein sources from the Redwood Empire Food Bank – food that the community supported organization normally cannot afford.

“The grant will be used to enhance what we give out and offer our clients every week such as us being able to purchase chicken, or ground turkey,” says Darlene Phillips, Secretary for Neighbors Organized Against Hunger. “Last week we were able to buy ground beef. These are things that our normal budget would not allow us to buy. So getting this grant was just a windfall for us and certainly for our clients as well, because that type of thing is really important for their diets and for their well-being.”

Presently the NOAH food pantry, which is open every Wed. from 4 to 6 p.m. across from Cross and Crown Lutheran Church on Snyder Lane in Rohnert Park serves 100 to 150 families every week. The only criteria needed for people to pick up food at the pantry is an I.D. showing they are a resident of Rohnert Park, Penngrove or Cotati. However, nobody in need is turned away. 

Most food is given by private donations and fresh produce sometimes comes from Sonoma State University gardens, the new community garden in Rohnert Park, and Lydia Commons Community Garden. NOAH receives a few other $1,500 to $2,000 small grants such as one from the Rotary Club, and the organization also completes a few small fundraisers per year, such as currently selling See’s Candy. NOAH also always welcomes individuals or groups who would like to volunteer and anyone willing to help is encouraged to come to the pantry Wednesdays at noon to help sort and give out food. 

“Rohnert Park is so generous when it comes to helping us,” says Phillips. “We are so appreciative of receiving part of the foundation money. That was a wonderful addition and surprise to us that the City of Rohnert Park was able to do that with the casino money.”

Like NOAH, Petaluma Bounty aims to bring food to low-income residents. The organization created a synergistic solution between farmers and residents that benefits them both. Petaluma Bounty was formed in 2006 with a mission “to create a thriving local food system with healthy food for everyone through collaboration, education and promoting self-reliance.” Their community solutions have grown a thriving local food system where farmers can flourish and everyone – including low-income individuals – can eat healthy, locally grown produce. 

The $5,000 grant that Petaluma Bounty received from the Rohnert Park Foundation will go towards their Produce Prescription program, specifically in Rohnert Park. This program introduces low-income families to local food sources by distributing vouchers for the Rohnert Park Farmers’ Market to those most in need.

The goal of the Produce Prescription program is to increase awareness and utilization of local farmer’s markets and the incentive programs lower the economic barriers that have kept low-income customers from frequenting farmer’s markets.

“Different farmer’s markets have different utilization rates, which depends on the community members that live near that farmer’s market, how customers are purchasing their fruits and vegetables and what the environment is like of that farmer’s market,” says Suzi Grady, Program Director of Petaluma Bounty. “In Rohnert Park the utilization rates were very small. So this [the Rohnert Park Foundation grant funding] is a one-time initiative, the Produce Prescription, that we use to connect low-income consumers with this larger initiative; to connect people, to get them to try the market with the hopes that they’ll see the benefit and try to work it into their schedule.”

Through a partnership between the Rohnert Park farmer’s market, the City of Rohnert Park, and the Rohnert Park Health Center, families in need are identified and given $20 vouchers to use on fresh produce at the farmer’s market. 

“This initiative will increase the customer base at the Rohnert Park farmer’s market as well as encourage patients of the Rohnert Park Health Center to use their local farmer’s market,” says Grady. “We felt that we needed to raise awareness and get people to consider using the farmer’s market.”

According to Grady, 170 patients received Produce Prescription booklets with a value of $20 each. The booklets contained five $4 coupons for fruits and vegetables. As of the end of the season, 262 coupons had been utilized. The rest of the vouchers will be distributed when the farmer’s market reopens in June of 2019. 

“My favorite part of this initiative is the positive feedback that we receive from the health care providers and how much they appreciate providing vouchers that can address the direct needs that their low-income patients face,” says Grady. “Due to the positive feedback from staff, PHC is considering a longer-term pilot to distribute vouchers when patients return for key follow-up visits. I really appreciate the creativity and willingness of the Petaluma Health Center and Rohnert Park staff to bring healthy, affordable, locally grown food to the forefront of well-being. This initiative helps make the healthy choice easier, expands the customer base of local small scale farms, and connects low-income community members to a longer-term incentive program that benefits all stakeholders.”