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APM Sugarcane Festival 2017

June 3, 2017

A photo collage of the images of our 2017 Sugarcane Festival. June 3, 2017

Music by Funk Salsa Urban

 

 

 

Four housing leaders honored during PHFA’s Housing Forum

May 12, 2017

Kuam News | Click here to view article

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
Awards applaud their exceptional work and inspire others to lead housing
initiatives

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-­USNewswire/ ­­ The Pennsylvania
Housing Finance Agency today recognized four leaders in the affordable housing
field during its biennial Housing Forum at the Hilton Harrisburg.

Honored with the agency’s Housing Pioneer Award were:

  • Nilda Ruiz, president and CEO, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
  • Rose Gray, Senior Vice President, Community and Economic Development,
    Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
  • Keith B. Key, president and CEO, KBK Enterprises
  • Jeffrey Woda, principal, The Woda Group

“PHFA is grateful to these four housing leaders for all they’ve done to expand the
availability of housing in Pennsylvania and to be champions for affordable
housing,” said PHFA’s Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “They often
work tirelessly in the background, and today we wanted to take the time to
recognize their considerable contributions in our state. They are an inspiration to
the rest of us who work alongside them.”
PHFA’s biennial Housing Forum provides professional development opportunities
for people working in the housing field. Attendees participate in focused
educational sessions and hear from nationally recognized speakers. The 2017
program of events included 35 educational sessions, four keynote presentations, a
walking tour of a nearby affordable housing development, and a popular
networking event. The conference ran May 11­12 and drew more than 650
attendees.

About PHFA
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable
home ownership and rental housing options for older adults, low­ and moderate income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully
managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing
developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since
its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated more than $13.1 billion of
funding for nearly 167,400 single­ family home mortgage loans, helped fund the
construction of 132,531 rental units, and saved the homes of more than 48,800
families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by
the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax
dollars. The agency is governed by a 14­member board.

Contact:
Scott Elliott
717­649­6522 (cell)
selliott@phfa.org

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/newsreleases/four­housing­leaders­honored­during­phfas­housing­forum­300457017.html

©2017 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

 

Food Buying Club facilitates better access to fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices

May 11, 2017

The Produce News | Article by Christina DiMartino | Click here to view source

 

 

A Philadelphia non-profit is helping to feed the souls as well as improve the nutrition of area residents.

Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, commonly referred to as APM, was founded as a Latino community-based health, human services, community and economic development nonprofit organization serving the Philadelphia area. Its mission is to help families achieve their greatest potential.young-volunteer-jamar-checks-orders A young volunteer checks orders.

Among its lengthy list of services, the organization operates the Food Buying Club, which enables members to purchase fresh produce at affordable prices. Although they’re called members, there is no membership fee, and everyone in the community is invited to participate.

The produce distributed by APM on behalf of its members is purchased from the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market.

Angel Rodriguez, vice president of economic development for APM, explained to The Produce News how the organization got its start.

“Before the creation of APM, basic social services were largely unavailable to Philadelphia’s Latino residents, which was the case in most major cities that had an influx of people from Hispanic countries,” said Rodriguez. “In 1970 a group of Puerto Rican social activists sought to energize the community and help bring to it a fair share of resources. The success of APM is the result of their efforts.”

After more than 44 years, the organization has grown from a staff of five working out of a storefront to offering a broad network of social services offered at sites throughout Philadelphia. Today, APM employs close to 300 staff members, as well as having many volunteers. It affects thousands of people annually through direct service and outreach.

“APM services are grouped into three program areas: Behavioral Health Services; Supportive, Human and Education Services; and Community and Economic Development,” Rodriguez said. “APM does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, sex, sexual preference, national origin or ability to pay. It offers community residents a full spectrum of bilingual and culturally sensitive behavioral health services, supportive and human services that cover a very wide spectrum.”

Bridget Palombo is the director for community economic development, and Food Buying Club coordinator for APM. She explained how the club functions.

“The Food Buying Club is a way to help organize the purchase of food for members,” she said. “We had a need for higher quality produce, but at wholesale prices. With the help of several of the companies located on the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, we organized a system where we place bulk orders and buy at wholesale prices.”

Copies of APM’s order sheets, with the order date, are shared with the community by volunteer distributors. They are collected and compiled into a large bulk order every two weeks. The order is sent to its suppliers at PWPM, picked up on a Tuesday morning and taken to APM’s hub site at Paseo Verde Community Room.

That day, staff and volunteers, some of which are students at Temple University and some from the Department of Labor Job Corps, help to sort and pack the bulk produce into individual orders, which are then distributed to seven satellite-spoke sites throughout Philadelphia.

“The members pay us in cash, and that cash is used to pay the suppliers at the PWPM,” Palombo pointed out. “This is a win-win for everyone. The members save from 60 to 75 percent on the cost of the freshest high quality produce. In turn, the merchants at PWPM receive cash which helps them with cash flow in their operations.”

Some of the merchants at the PWPM worked closely with APM to develop a system that works efficiently for everyone involved.

Today approximately 700 families are on the food buying club list, and about 100 of them place orders at any given time.

When the club first formed, members asked for a lot of fruit items because of the savings, but as it evolved they also started requesting commodity items like onions, potatoes, carrots and apples. They also request ethnic items. Today the orders combine a mix of nearly everything.

The companies at the PWPM are very generous and helpful to us,” stressed Palombo. “They taught us how to navigate the market in order to make produce accessible to our members. They explained how pricing sheets work, weight versus volume, and what items sell and pack best. We are very grateful. They helped to make the Food Buying Club the great success it is today.”

 

APM Sugarcane Festival 2016

June 20, 2016

A photo display of the 2016 APM Sugarcane Festival.

Photos by Simon Bolivar and music by Franco Olivo Y Alto Voltaje.

 

 

APM’s Bridget Palombo Receives First National Harkin AmeriCorps Award

September 21, 2015

Contact: Rick Olmos 267.296.7363

 

In a green cargo van, three people pull into a large warehouse in South Philadelphia with two hand carts and long list in hand.  This is a regular bi‐weekly visit for this group, and many of the vendors recognize

the young lady leading the pack.    Bridget Palombo has a presence that naturally earns respect and loyalty. With an expert eye, Bridget moves around the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market selecting the best fruit and vegetables to fill the list she carries. This week the team is there to choose over 1600 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to bring back to Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha’s (APM) Food Buying Club (FBC).

The APM Food Buying Club utilizes the Produce Market to distribute affordable, quality produce through its scalable bulk buying club model. Every two weeks, through the work of volunteers and paid Community Connectors, families are able to access fresh, quality food within their own neighborhood from one of our pop‐up Pick‐up/ Drop‐off Centers.

Thanks to all her hard work, Bridget Palombo, was recently selected as the first ever winner of Thomas Harkin Excellence in AmeriCorps Programming and Service Award in the category of most compelling member experience in building an ethic of civic responsibility from AmeriCorps State and National Corporation for National & Community Service.

The FBC began as an idea of the Community and Economic Development Department (CED) of APM.  This idea sat for many years, but like any non profit; timing, financial limitations and lack of available staff always kept it on the back burner.  This past year, an opportunity was presented that allowed the FBC to finally get its chance to shine.    The Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Organization (LISC) approached APM with the opportunity to have an AmeriCorps service member be placed for the summer.

Bridget was interning at APM for a few months through Bryn Mawr College, and was about to leave when it was suggested she take on the AmeriCorps position.  As a first step, several objectives that were critical to the project’s success in the first three months of implementation were decided on. This proof of concept phase had Bridget implementing a small food buying club pilot program.  Little did anyone know how fast this project would take hold and blossom.  In the last 48 weeks, the APM pop‐up food distribution system has now served over 440 households, with savings to those households in excess of $81,000 and distributed over 32,000 lbs. of affordable, quality produce.

“For decades AmeriCorps members, like Bridget, have made an impact on some of the toughest challenges in their communities,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “I applaud Bridget for her dedication to improve access to affordable, healthy foods for Philadelphia residents and families and thank her for her leadership in service with the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha.”

According to the AmeriCorps website, the award is presented to an outstanding AmeriCorps member, or alumnus, to encourage the development and expansion of best practices in national service programming, improved project development, and increase the value of the AmeriCorps member experience to help tackle the country’s most pressing human and environmental needs through service.

With emphases on engaging individuals with disabilities in service, best program innovation and enhancements, and compelling AmeriCorps member experience, the awards reflect the depth of impact of the national service field on the communities served and the individuals serving.

“I am very proud.    This award is thanks to some great mentors at APM,” Palombo stated. “They introduced the project idea to me, and really let me take the reins.  I was surprised to be nominated by two separate individuals in the community that I respect and cherish.    I recently was shown their nomination letters and both were very passionate and moving.”

The APM FBC was designed as a model that could be duplicated in other neighborhoods.  When asked what the future of the Food Buying Club, Palombo was quick to bring up two projects that are designed to raise funds to continue the FBC.    “APM has created a Kickstarter campaign to help fund our next stage, which is to create a toolkit for other organizations interested in starting their own food buying club,” stated Bridget. “We are also working with our current FBC members to create a cookbook of local recipes that were made possible due to the great fresh foods available thanks to the FBC. We also hope that some local chefs will consider adding some recipes as well.”

“Bridget is a strong leader with exceptional skills and intelligence; her drive made her stand out from the first day she walked through our doors,” said Nilda Ruiz, President & CEO of APM. She is a strong advocate for a sustainable community, and has shown that AmeriCorps members can use their knowledge, skills and initiative to improve the landscape of our community.”

In addition to the AmeriCorps recognition, the APM Food Buying Club has been recognized by other awards including a Philly Stake award and Social Innovations Lab scholarship.

“AmeriCorps has provided me with the tools I need to be successful, and APM has helped me in moreways than I can count,” Bridget said. “They have guided me, challenged me, and provided opportunities to me that most people could only get in a lifetime of work.”

For more information, please contact us at info@apmphila.org or visit the APM website at www.apmphila.org.  And be sure and Like Us at the APM Food Buying Club on Facebook.

 

# # #

 

APM is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia area. APM’s vision is “A community where all families are self reliant; where children are protected and nurtured to become future leaders, and where residents are engaged in their community.”

APM’s mission and vision are as multifaceted and diverse as the people we serve. Through a comprehensive array of life-improving social services, APM quickly assess and institute meaningful remedies for societal problems prevalent in today’s world. We create job opportunities, aid people with debilitating illnesses, revitalize neighborhoods and support families and individuals with our caring and compassion.

Philly wins HUD Grant

July 3, 2014

Philadelphia Awarded $30 Million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grant Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha will play major role in the relocation process and social services provided to residents

Philadelphia has been awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Grant. This is a $30 million grant from the United States Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and is targeted to help transform North Central Philadelphia.

 

 

APM part of HUD Grant

July 3, 2014

Philadelphia Awarded $30 Million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grant Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha will play major role in the relocation process and social services provided to residents

Philadelphia has been awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Grant. This is a $30 million grant from the United States Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and is targeted to help transform North Central Philadelphia.

 

 

Paseo Verde Wins ULI Philadelphia Inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence

June 19, 2014

PRESS ADVISORY | Contact: Rick Olmos 267.296.7363

 

 

Philadelphia, PA. – (June 19, 2014) – Urban Land Institute Philadelphia (ULI Philadelphia) recently granted Paseo Verde, administrative headquarters of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) its inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence. APM’s CEO and President Nilda Ruiz accepted the award at a reception at the Ballroom at the Ben in Philadelphia.

Paseo Verde is one of nine awardees selected from a pool of 57 nominated sustainable projects in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. The award recognizes Paseo Verde as a 21st century community leader in creating affordable mixed use development with contextual site planning, transit accessibility and green infrastructure.

Paseo Verde is the nation’s first platinum LEED-Neighborhood Development project, having completed construction in September 2013. Paseo Verde received project support from Wallace Roberts & Todd; civil engineering by Urban Engineers; structural engineering by David Chou & Associates; MEP by CSA Group; environmental engineering by MaGrann Associates; consulting by Metropolitan Acoustics; general contracting by Domus.

 

# # #

 

APM is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia area. APM’s vision is “A community where all families are self reliant; where children are protected and nurtured to become future leaders, and where residents are engaged in their community.”

APM’s mission and vision are as multifaceted and diverse as the people we serve. Through a comprehensive array of life-improving social services, APM quickly assess and institute meaningful remedies for societal problems prevalent in today’s world. We create job opportunities, aid people with debilitating illnesses, revitalize neighborhoods and support families and individuals with our caring and compassion.

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