The FRESH Space Summer Program 2014: Taking Our Community Back!


5 weeks – 4 HiFi residents – 3 mapping days – 2 community asks – 1 life-changing experience!

The student-inspired, youth-led Finding Reasons to Eat Smart and Healthy, or FRESH, Space Summer Program – 2014 has officially come to a close. In the past 2 months, our FRESH Space Summer (FSS) team walked and mapped all of Historic Filipinotown. For a more detailed description of the program, CLICK HERE.

HiFi Map


Moreover, the youth have compiled all the data they have collected into 258 points describing the various business, community institutions and more that create Historic Filipinotown. View our Historic Filipinotown Community – Healthy City Map by clicking HERE

After that data was inputted, the youth looked into the trends of our community extensively. Here are a few of their observations:

FRS Walking Distance

Food Retail Stores: Historic Filipinotown has a total of 25 Food Retail stores. Of the 25, 17 are small stores that offer little to no produce options for the community. Only 1 small store in Historic Filipinotown currently offers a full range of fresh produce items. That store is Don Baraton Discount Store.


Restaurants and Bakeries: Historic Filipinotown has a total of 33 restaurants and  bakeries. Of the 33, only 4  offer what could be considered “healthy” menu options for its customers. Majority of the restaurants  in Historic Filipinotown only offer fast food options. For every 1/4  mile traveled in HiFi, there is at least one fast food restaurant, including traditional American favorites, and Pilipino turo-turo, or “point-point”, joints.


Parks: There are only 3 parks in Historic Filipinotown. Together, their total area is less than half of neighboring parks Echo Park, Vista Hermosa Park, or Grand Park. There is also only one park that can be considered to serve the westside of HiFi, though that’s still a reasonable traveling distance from residents closest to Hoover St. Moreover, while these parks are youth friendly, there are limited spaces and equipment catering to adult fitness.

Vacant Lots

Vacant Lots: There are 16 vacant lots in Historic Filipinotown. At least 2 of these have past-due clean-up notices Moreover, the youth have said that they’ve seen at least 6 of these lots untouched for at least 5 years. Also, these numbers do not include the number of vacant/unoccupied buildings in HiFi.


These trends were both shocking and obvious. The youth knew that now that they had proof supporting their claim that Historic Filipinotown is a food dessert with the opportunity to become a food oasis, they wanted to do something about it. And they did…


On Thusday, August 7, 2014, the FSS team made a stakeholders presentation to their council district 13 representative, the Honorable Mitch O’Farrell. During the presentation, the youth shared their community mapping and data collecting experiences, the trends they had seen, and how all of the above has had a significant impact on their personal lives as students, children, family members, and more. After their presentation was completed, the youth asked two things of their Councilmember, to which he has agreed to support. The first ask was to create a CD13 corner store transformation recognition program as a marketing and outreach aid to the Fresh HiFi – corner store transformation – Project. The second ask was to create a CD13 youth council as a way to promote the continued participation of youth in their local legislation.

A huge thanks goes out to the folks who supported our FSS team throughout this entire process, including:
– Jonathan Nomachi, Advancement Project
– Joel Jacinto, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans
– Jocelyn Castro, Samahang Pilipino Advancing Community Empowerment
– Angelo Yenko, Field Deputy, Council District 13 Office
Without your help, guidance, and encouragement, our summer program would not have been the same success. So, thank you!

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Last, but not least, APIOPA would like to thank our FRESH Space Summer Team, Ellicia, Jessica, and Michael, for your hard work, endless effort, and sincere passion they brought to their community. You all have made a huge stride towards creating Historic Filipinotown a healthy place to live in Los Angeles, and we’re excited to see what the future has in store for you young leaders!

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