NATIVE Project seeking Spokane area graduates for July event

Originally published by Tribal Tribune

SPOKANE – The NATIVE Project of Spokane is currently opening registration for tribal members in the Spokane area for a Spokane Native American Graduation ceremony set to take place in July at Gonzaga University.

The ceremony is for Native American and Alaska Native students studying or living in the Spokane area who are completing GED programs, high school, undergraduate, graduate, technical or professional programs.

The Spokane Area Native American Graduation Committee, made up of community members and representatives from area public schools and college, has opened registration through April 15.

The project is sponsored by the Empire Health Foundation, Eastern Washington University, Community Colleges of Spokane, Spokane Public Schools, North Idaho College, Gonzaga University, and Washington State University Health Science Campus. 

Registration forms can be found here.

Shifting a menu toward scratch-made

Published by the Food Service Director

Spokane Public Schools in Spokane, Wash., received a grant to help begin its scratch-made menu.  Three and half years ago, Empire Health Foundation, a regional charitable foundation, awarded the district $1 million to fund its efforts, which included training for all nutrition staff and implementation of a menu that included scratch-made options.  

The district decided to split the training into waves and take things step by step, says Garrett Berdan, menu supervisor. 

“We had managers go through in phases. We had a first wave of kitchens who wanted to be the pioneers into the program and so they were the first kitchens that went to scratch, and then we had training for the remainder of the kitchens,” he says. “Everyone by now has been training through the program, and so we’re continuing to plug along.”

The district’s latest push toward scratch-made is a new cafeteria at one of its elementary schools dedicated to producing meals in-house. When choosing what would be included in the new back of house, Berdan says that the team made sure to purchase equipment that would serve them well into the future. 

“We found a lot of use in combi ovens, so we made sure to have a double combi oven in this kitchen,” he says. “We also have a double convection oven, and then we have a steam jacketed kettle for soups and sauces.” 

Popular scratch-made items include pasta dishes and a creamy Thai chicken over rice. 

“We use a sunflower seed butter as kind of part of the sauce and [that dish] comes together really nicely,” Berdan says. “It has great flavor.”

Approximately a quarter of the district’s menu is scratch-made. Berdan currently has a whiteboard full of ideas for potential additions to next school year’s menu. 

“I’m thinking of … making hummus in-house and doing a sort of a hummus and pita or hummus and chips grab-and-go lunch item,” he says. “I’m also considering doing a housemade granola for our menu, which would be a great feature at all levels.”

Read the full article here.

2019 Grant-Making Focus

For the past 10 years Empire Health Foundation has been fortunate to work alongside and in support of partners like you whose like-minded mission is to improve the health and well-being of our neighbors. Your dedication, your passion and your partnership has produced immeasurable impact on the lives of thousands of people across our region, and for this we are incredibly grateful. 

As we begin our second decade of service and support, as key partners we want you to be aware that we will be suspending our general and rural aging Responsive Grants program for 2019 to focus our attention on our strategic grants portfolio that seeks to advance health equity by collaboratively pursuing innovative solutions and transforming systems to improve health and quality of life in Eastern Washington. 

EHF is privileged to be a philanthropic partner to communities of all sizes and we believe the work you do is vitally important to these broader-based efforts. We remain committed to helping you identify new funding resources for your one-time, emergent needs and we look forward to potentially exploring new partnership opportunities through our strategic grants portfolio in your communities in the months to come. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at Thank you for your partnership in our shared pursuit of making Eastern Washington the healthiest region in our state. Together, we are making a difference.  

Seeking funding in 2019? Consider exploring funding opportunities with these community partners:

Celebrating #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and orgnizations to encourge philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Following Thanksgiving and widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s #GivingTuesday takes place on November 27 and kicks off the season of giving. 

This year, we are celebrating #GivingTuesday along with two of our partners, Innovia Foundation and Spokane County United Way. Join us by giving back to a local cause that you are passionate about or helping to spread the word of work that organizations you love are doing for our communities in Eastern Washington.  

#GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together.