Written by Diyana of APIFM staff
It’s hard to remember where I first met Jessie Sanchez (whom our whole team fondly refers to as Miss Jessie) because she showed up to our Healthy Eating & Active Living (HEAL) workshops in almost every neighborhood in the beginning! Whether it was our Tuesday sessions at LA State Historic Park, Wednesday mornings at Chinatown Service Center, or Friday nights at Pilipino Workers Center, Miss Jessie would be there, ready to soak up all she could. She took public transportation all the way from Eagle Rock, rain or shine. Miss Jessie told us she first found out about our HEAL classes from a flyer, and had been intently looking for ways to improve her eating habits after being diagnosed with diabetes and other diet-related conditions that are unfortunately so common now in API communities. Her determination to get better is impressive on its own, but we also deeply admire her equal commitment to helping others in her neighborhood and cultural community to access healthier options. She always took home as many of our HEAL class cookbooks as she could, so she could pass them out to neighbors, church friends, and even mail them to family in the Philippines. Miss Jessie also likes to share with others how she takes advantage of Market Match as part of her CalFresh benefits to afford more produce at farmers markets. All of her hard work has paid off in a big way, but I hate spoilers, so you’ll have to come to Farm to Chopsticks to hear the rest of the story from Miss Jessie, herself!
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