GAVA 2017


Healthy Food Access

Two corner stores in the Healthy Corner Store Initiative (HCSI) moved to Tier 3 participation, adding large refrigerators completely stocked with healthy items.

A fourth neighborhood produce stand was launched in 78745 at Odom Elementary school, bringing the total to four produce stands in GAVA’s zip codes of focus.

GAVA partnered with the organization Common Threads to host nutrition education at community events at two stores in the summer.

The City of Austin provided funding to support GAVA's HCSI as well as a business consultant to identify opportunities for the supply chain and distribution of healthy items so that stores can offer more at lower prices. We hope to see new inventory on the shelves in 2017!

Physical Activity and Community Safety

After years of work by resident leaders and park adopters, Ponciana Park received its new playground and broke ground on the first phase of master planning. What was a triangular lot of land five years ago is now a lush and complete pocket park serving hundreds of families nearby!

Thousands of dollars in sidewalk improvements, ADA accessible amenities, extended pedestrian lights and three re-painted crosswalks were among the many wins of neighborhood teams in 78744 and 78745.

Austin Transportation Department engaged with GAVA residents and staff on a community walk along Teri Road, which brought the lack of lighting to the attention of Austin Energy. New lighting has been promised and will hopefully be installed in 2018.

Coordinated School Health

Breakfast in the classroom and salad bar expansions were successful in increasing student and staff access to healthy meals.

GAVA hosted a CSH gathering for principals to share best practices, troubleshoot on obstacles to a healthy campus, and learn about grant opportunities.

Some campuses instituted "Cheeto-free zones" or other healthy snack policies and others created new volunteer-led efforts for family engagement to support the "whole child" and "whole community."

Early Childhood

GAVA worked with and trained six child care centers to incorporate brain building and early literacy activities into their lesson plans, as well as the Coordinated Approach to Child Health-Early Childhood (CATCH-EC) curriculum.

GAVA's EC Partner, United Way, partnered with Bikes for Goodness Sake to build and donate nine bicycles to GAVA EC sites.

A grant of $7,000 was awarded to GAVA to support the construction of a much-needed shade structure at an early childcare site to increase physical activity and outdoor learning.

GAVA & United Way trained 150 AISD Pre-Kindergarten teachers in CATCH-EC to incorporate healthy messaging into their classrooms.


Land Use, Flooding, and Displacement

In May, GAVA brought half a dozen residents to testify to the City of Austin Environmental Commission and the Citizens Advisory Group about the city’s initiative to comprehensively rewrite the Land Development code (LDC). They shared their perspectives on the tragic nature of flooding and economic displacement—consequences of inequitable infrastructure investment and unregulated development. As a result of their testimony, both bodies passed resolutions calling for an equity analysis on flooding and affordability before the approval the new LDC. Click the links below to see their powerful video testimony!

Evita Cruz Testimonial ( click for video )

Evita Cruz Testimonial (click for video)

Carmen Llanes Pulido Testimonial ( click for video )

Carmen Llanes Pulido Testimonial (click for video)

Frances Acuña Testimonial ( click for video )

Frances Acuña Testimonial (click for video)

Irene Castañeda Testimonial ( click for video )

Irene Castañeda Testimonial (click for video)