[00:00:00] [Angelito]: NUEVOenUS.org presents “Route to the American Dream”. This program is for people who are new to the United States and in each program, we’ll be talking about obstacles that they may have, to move forward in the United States and achieve the American dream and let’s start with “Route to the American Dream”.
[00:00:25] [Angelito]: What’s up friends? This is “Route to the American Dream”. Thanks to Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, NUEVOenUS.org, Housing & Education Alliance, Gulfcoast Legal Services and let’s start with Laura. Again, “Route to the American Dream”. How are you? Greetings.
[00:00:38] [Laura]: How are you?
[00:00:39] [Angelito]: I’m fine thanks to God. Calm, quiet.
[00:00:41] [Laura]: Yeah, of course. I’m happy, happy to be able to share time with you and with our listeners, who are always aware of the good news that we bring them.
[00:00:49] [Angelito]: Sure, we’re with the Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger. Tell me a little about–
[00:00:54] [Laura]: Tampa Bay Sin Hambre (Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger)
[00:00:55] [Angelito]: That’s how it is. Tell me a little bit about the problem that we’re seeing in the news. We’re seeing everywhere and in the newspapers here in the Bay area, about the problem with food stamps. Many people are not receiving this help and they’re families that sometimes don’t have the father or sometimes the father has the children and doesn’t have the mother, so there’s only one person who’s contributing to the family.
[00:01:21] [Laura]: Yes, right now many people have heard of it. Here in Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, we have heard of it from many people, because they’re worried because unfortunately, there are people who are not receiving their food stamps or estampillas de alimento, the way it’s called in Spanish or it’s just taking a lot longer. I want to tell you, Angelito, that there are many people who have run out of this type of help and who have wanted to renew because they need this help, but it’s taking more than 30 days.
[00:01:50] [Angelito]: Wow
[00:01:51] [Laura]: More than 30 days to be able to process these applications and thus be able to receive the help, I mean, this is becoming a great concern for many people because they depend on these food stamps to be able to feed their family, themselves and for that reason , today we want to tell you, you are not alone, we know that this is a situation that’s happening, the current situation that food stamps are getting delayed or that you’re simply not receiving it. We want to tell these people that you don’t have to be scared, you don’t have to worry, because right now we want to tell you about some help that’s available to you completely free of charge and regardless of your legal status. We don’t care if you have your documents in order or not, that’s something that we’re not going to ask you. We want to tell you that we’re here to help you with Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, free food for those in need in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.
[00:02:45] [Angelito]: Tell me a little about how you can help families. You arrive at the place; do you need to give some kind of identification? Identify yourself? What’s there? How does this work?
[00:03:00] [Laura]: Well, I want to tell you how it works. For those people who say “well, I have a need, I have this concern of not knowing what to bring to the table for my children, for myself, to feed ourselves properly”, there’s help available.
[00:03:10] [Angelito]: A lot of single moms.
[00:03:13] [Laura]: Yeah, of course. So many situations happen, Angelito. Newcomers to the country or people with a health situation or so many other things that happen.
[00:03:22] [Angelito]: Getting the work hours reduced.
[00:03:24] [Laura]: Exactly, and they get worried. This is not something to be ashamed of or being sorry because it happened to us. No, it’s happened to all of us, Angelito. It happened to me when I just arrived in this country. 20 years ago, it happened to my parents and me, the concern of bringing something to the table and we didn’t know about this type of help and that’s why we don’t want anyone to worry and go to bed today saying “dear God, I can’t sleep thinking of what am I going to bring for my children to eat”. Don’t worry, because we’re here for you. So, I’m going to tell you how it works. Angelito and our listeners, we have a webpage called networktoendhunger.org. I’ll repeat, networktoendhunger.org and we have the Hunger Gap Map.
[00:04:09] [Laura]: What are you going to do? You’re going to go to our website–
[00:04:11] [Angelito]: Is that the map? That’s the map where you can get the locations, right?
[00:04:15] [Laura]: Yeah. You’re going to go to our website and there you’re going to find the map, where you’re going to find the zip codes or postal codes closest to you or even from your same area, from your same neighborhood and you’re going to see what food pantries are closest to you, where you can go and ask for this kind of help. Yes, maybe they can ask you for some type of identification, because they have to make sure that you live here in Tampa Bay, especially in counties like Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas. So, they want to see that you live here, of course.
[00:04:47] [Angelito]: Yeah, of course.
[00:04:48] [Laura]: So, because the aid is for the residents of our region. So, you just go and ask for this kind of help and just so you know which pantries are closer to you, so you can go there easily and pick up your food completely free. It’s important that you enter our website networktoendhunger.org and there you’ll find the pantry closest to you. Something I want to tell you is that every 3 months, we’re updating this information. In other words, if suddenly in an area these food pantries are not available right now, maybe in 3 months there will be, because we’re constantly adding different places that are joining this network.
[00:05:25] [Angelito]: Interesting
[00:05:27] [Laura]: This is helping people in need in Tampa Bay.
[00:05:30] [Angelito]: How many sponsors are there on this network of–?
[00:05:35] [Laura]: Yes, I want to tell you that in this coalition we’re more than 350 members, including Car Credit, which we know helps our Hispanic community in Tampa Bay so much. We have corporations, non-profit organizations, religious organizations, universities, foundations. Anyway, individuals who have decided to join forces since 2011.
[00:05:58] [Angelito]: Wow
[00:05:59] [Laura]: We’ve been here for a long time. They decided to unite their forces, not to have separate efforts, but they came together as a coalition, as a network that said “well, I have the knowledge, I want to help fight hunger in Tampa Bay” and they decided to join and bring their ideas, efforts, staff and everything to come and say “well, that’s what our newcomers from Tampa Bay need and that’s how we’re going to help them” and that’s why today, it’s possible to help thousands and thousands of people in our Tampa Bay, Angelito, who need this food resource.
[00:06:37] [Angelito]: Of course. How can people get the information to get to these points?
[00:06:43] [Laura]: Okay. Networktoendhunger.org, go to it on your computer or on your phone, it’s that simple. I want to tell you that it’s completely in Spanish, that it’s not like “oh, what am I going to do? I don’t understand, I don’t speak the language, it’s in English”. Don’t worry, we have it prepared for you. In English it is called Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, but the help is not only for those who only speak English, that’s why we’ve decided to make this platform also completely in Spanish, tampabaysinhambre.org. There you’ll click on the Hunger Gap Map and there you’ll be able to see the map. Basically, it’s a map and there you’ll find the food pantry that is closest to you.
[00:07:24] [Angelito]: Sure, this includes Pasco County, Hillsborough County and Pinellas, right?
[00:07:59] [Laura]: Yes, Pinellas. Correct, exactly.
[00:07:31] [Angelito]: Tell me a little about all the help that people can get and right now, before finishing the program, we’re going to talk about the recipes that can be cooked with these products, right?
[00:07:41] [Laura]: Well, yeah, of course. Well, we also have–
[00:07:43] [Angelito]: Do you like that? [Laughter]
[00:07:44] [Laura]: Yes, I’m already– Rather, my mouth is watering.
[00:07:48] [Laura]: We also have an annual event called Sunshine Summer. It’s done here in Tampa Bay and it’s one of a kind, because it’s not done anywhere else in Florida and what it does is it brings together leaders from our community and not just from Tampa Bay, but from Florida. They come to do workshops, presentations, panels and everything. What they do is talk about tools, opportunities, ideas and they do like, this brainstorm of how this situation can be improved, how to fight hunger in our Tampa Bay and they come with ideas that are put into action, to be able to help more and more people. Another type of help that we also have is a mobile application called “Waste No Food Tampa Bay”, which means “food doesn’t go to waste in Tampa Bay” and what we do is we connect restaurants with charities and those restaurants say “well, look, we have a lot of food left over, come get it” and what these charities do, is they go, collect the food and distribute it to the people who need it.
[00:08:53] [Laura]: So, this is also a help that we offer and this is of course, thanks to organizations that have joined that network, this coalition of leaders that said “I’m not going to be indifferent to the hunger of our community and we’re going to help free of charge, without any interest, to those people who need it”.
[00:09:11] [Angelito]: How nice, Hail Mary, what a great network and we invite you to enter the website, which is?
[00:09:17] [Laura]: Tampabaysinhambre.org (networktoendhunger.org)
[00:09:20] [Angelito]: For people who have problems right now with food stamps.
[00:09:24] [Laura]: Yeah
[00:09:25] [Angelito]: We advise you to visit the website and seek help, okay?
[00:09:29] [Laura]: Of course, of course, there are many people who depend on this help that the government has given them and for different reasons that we’re not going to– That we don’t have time to talk about, because they’re not receiving the help on time and they’re suffering, because they say “I don’t have food for my children. Really, I’m eating once a day or maybe I can’t afford anything to eat”. Don’t worry, I mean, we want to tell you that you don’t have to suffer for that, because there’s help available for you, completely free. Really, we’re reaching out to you and saying “Hispanic, you’re not alone, there’s help for you”.
[00:10:04] [Angelito]: Sure. Let’s talk a little about the recipes you have for us today.
[00:10:08] [Laura]: Yes, of course. I want to give you a recipe, because aside from the fact that we’re talking about food, well, what better than talking right now about a recipe that we can make, that’s easy, cheap, very nutritious and above all, that we can make with the food that we have in our pantry? It’s just a matter of creativity.
[00:10:23] [Angelito]: Of course.
[00:10:24] [Laura]: So, let’s make some tuna croquettes. I’m going to tell you, Angelito and dear listeners, that one of my favorite foods is tuna, really. I don’t know, but I love it.
[00:10:33] [Laura]: And it’s very versatile, it can be made with different things, with rice, but in this case, we’re going to do it with croquettes and we’re going to make tuna croquettes. How are we going to do it? It’s very simple, if I can do it, believe me–
[00:10:44] [Angelito]: Wait, wait. Uh huh.
[00:10:45] [Laura]: You can do it.
[00:10:47] [Angelito]: Okay, so tell me, tell me.
[00:10:49] [Laura]: I’m going to tell you. We’re going to need milk and a cup of instant mashed potatoes. We’re going to need 2 cans of tuna or more, depending of course of how many people you have in your household. We’re going to need onion, 2 cups of breadcrumbs, cooking oil for frying, salt and pepper. Then, what are we going to do? We’re going to heat the milk in a pot and we’re going to put there and cook the instant mashed potatoes. Then we’re going to finely chop the onion and we’re going to combine it with our tuna. If you want to, you can fry the onion a little to remove that strong flavor that the onion has, you can cure it, that’s how it’s called professionally.
[00:11:30] [Angelito]: [Laughter] Oh, the chef.
[00:11:33] [Laura]: [Laughter] We’re going to cure the onion and we’re going to add it to the tuna. Then we’re going to put the tuna, we’re going to combine the tuna with the mashed potatoes and we’re going to add salt and pepper. We’re going to stir, we’re going to let this mixture of the puree and the tuna cool down, until it becomes manageable and what we’re going to do is that we’re going to add the breadcrumbs and we’re going to make little balls with our hands. You know what Little Angel? This is even excellent to do with our children.
[00:12:00] [Angelito]: Of course.
[00:12:01] [Laura]: We put them to make the tuna balls with the puree. Obviously with great care. Now, we adults are going to take them and we’re going to fry them in hot oil for a few minutes, five minutes. We let them cool down and boom, perfect, we have tuna croquettes.
[00:12:16] [Angelito]: My mouth is watering here.
[00:12:18] [Laura]: Super. Oh yes, I also think I’m going to do some today [Laughter]
[00:12:23] [Laura]: And why do we want to bring this type of recipes? Well, Angelito, because this type of food is what you will find in these food pantries. They’re foods that are nutritious, that are easy to prepare and that you may have right now when you open your pantry and if you don’t have it, then we want to invite you to ask for help at networktoendhunger.org
[00:12:44] [Angelito]: My mouth is watering right now [Laughter]
[00:12:47] [Laura]: Me too. It’s perfect for lunch, for dinner, for any time and it’s nutritious.
[00:12:53] [Angelito]: Laura, thanks for being with us again and we want to thank Car Credit.
[00:12:58] [Laura]: Yeah, sure.
[00:12:59] [Angelito]: Also “Route to the American Dream” with Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, NUEVOenUS.org and Housing & Education Alliance, Gulfcoast Legal Services and thanks to Laura for being with us again today. So, until a next occasion.
[00:13:14] [Laura]: Thank you and all our listeners. Remember that you’re not alone, that we’re here offering help completely for free, without any interest. It’s simply a matter of getting informed and seeking that help you need, networktoendhunger.org. See you in a next one.
[00:13:30] [Angelito]: Thanks, Laura. Remember, Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, look for the website.
[00:13:34] [Laura]: Bye bye.
[00:13:35] [Angelito]: NUEVOenUS.org, learn English as a second language for free. For information you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (813) 856-5660. Appointment required. Learn English for free as a second language.
[00:13:51] [Angelito]: Hello, friends? We now turn to Sarykarmen with a very special message from Gulfcoast Legal Services.
[00:13:57] [Sarykarmen]: People who are victims of human trafficking in Tampa Bay can find help and solutions to their problems. Good morning, I’m Sarykarmen Rivera and I want to introduce you to the services that Gulfcoast Legal Services has here in our community. That’s why we connected with Betsy Baltodano, she’s a paralegal. Welcome Betsy and tell us about all this assistance that you provide to the community, particularly to our immigrant community.
[00:14:19] [Betsy Baltodano]: Thank you very much for having us with you and sharing our work. The work that Gulfcoast Legal Services offers in the immigration unit is to seek immigration relief for those who have been the victim of a crime, a victim of human trafficking and are in need of presenting a petition to immigration. They’re given support during the process, if they’re eligible for our services.
[00:14:44] [Sarykarmen]: What do you do to also help young people or children who may arrive unaccompanied, who may be victims of this type of crime here in Tampa Bay?
[00:14:51] [Betsy Baltodano]: For children there’s special care, which is directly linked to services for victims of human trafficking or a special juvenile status. Well, we give them support throughout the process, if we see that they’re eligible to apply and if they’re eligible for our services. They’re given all the accompaniment in the immigration process and obviously, with special attention from their youthful condition.
[00:15:19] [Sarykarmen]: In other words, there’s a lot of opportunity for people to find solutions to this situation they’re experiencing.
[00:15:24] [Betsy Baltodano]: Definitely. You can call our offices, because without a doubt, we will provide you with all the accompaniment, guidance or legal advice, even if we don’t have the opportunity to represent you.
[00:15:35] [Sarykarmen]: Thank you Betsy Baltodano. She’s a Paralegal with Gulfcoast Legal Services.
[00:15:40] [Angelito]: Hello, friends? We’re with “Route to the American dream”. Thanks to Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, NUEVOenUS.org, Housing & Education Alliance, Gulfcoast Legal Services and let’s start with “Route to the American Dream”, and thanks to Car Credit. Angelito Rodríguez here accompanying you in this beautiful talk.
[00:15:57] [Angelito]: And with us today we have Silvia Álvarez from the Housing & Education Alliance. Silvia, how are you? Greetings.
[00:16:03] [Silvia Álvarez]: Very good, very good and thank you for having me on your program.
[00:16:06] [Angelito]: Always a pleasure. Silvia, we saw you on television throughout the Bay Area with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, tell me about that nice meeting you guys had and what’s going to happen in the city of Tampa.
[00:16:19] [Silvia Álvarez]: Well, the mayor herself made a much-needed fix on the program that they had, because the program only had a price limit of $264 dollars for a house. Nothing can be found at that price right now, so she bumped it up to $300k, so more properties can be found at that price.
[00:16:51] [Angelito]: We’re talking about the city of Tampa.
[00:16:53] [Silvia Álvarez]: Only in the city of Tampa.
[00:16:55] [Angelito]: Not in the county.
[00:16:56] [Silvia Álvarez]: No, no, not in the county and there’s a definite line from one to the other. Although the address says Tampa, maybe it’s not in the city of Tampa, but well, another thing she did is raise the aid, she raised it to $30,000 dollars, but in some areas, you can receive up to $100 thousand.
[00:17:18] [Angelito]: Wow
[00:17:19] [Silvia Álvarez]: So, it’s a– It made it easier for people to qualify and on top of that, it made it broader, she made the price limit higher and the aid higher too.
[00:17:32] [Angelito]: How nice.
[00:17:34] [Silvia Álvarez]: You can imagine that people are going crazy now, trying to sign up for the program.
[00:17:42] [Angelito]: Tell me about this program then, because we know that the city of Tampa, well, is growing in many places. Many people were afraid to buy a house in certain places, but if you go through the area of Florida Avenue and Nebraska, that’s beautiful and it’s growing.
[00:17:59] [Silvia Álvarez]: I’m telling you, it’s growing, and on top of that, the city is putting a lot of dollars into these areas that are east of Tampa and I tell you, there are a lot of beautiful houses being built. Of course, the neighborhood may not be exactly what you want, but it takes time to change a neighborhood and she’s doing it.
[00:18:22] [Angelito]: Wow, how nice.
[00:18:23] [Silvia Álvarez]: So, we’re very grateful to her.
[00:18:24] [Angelito]: She’s fighting along security forces of the city of Tampa, because the police in the city is incredible and they’re doing a good job and joining the community, which is very important. The police joining the community, walking the streets, talking to the people to made us feel a little better and calmer, right?
[00:18:43] [Silvia Álvarez]: Sure. No, it’s true and since she was the chief of all the police before, that was her job, so she has a very good connection with the police department.
[00:18:57] [Angelito]: And also, the connection she has with the people too, the people love her very much.
[00:19:00] [Silvia Álvarez]: Yes, they love her very much. Well, let me tell you that I’ve never seen a mayor like her, the people love her very much and she loves the people too. She was born in Tampa, raised in Tampa and has never lived anywhere else but Tampa.
[00:19:22] [Angelito]: Of course.
[00:19:23] [Silvia Álvarez]: So, we have a champion there.
[00:19:26] [Angelito]: [Laughter] How nice. Tell me about this project then. People who want to enter the new project of the mayor of the city of Tampa, what do they have to do?
[00:19:36] [Silvia Álvarez]: The first thing they need to do is sign up for a first-time homebuyer class. If you go to our website, you can sign up, but be patient because with this program, there are many people who have signed up for the class that we have available. So, you have to sign up there and the first step is to take the class. From there we take you by the hand and guide you through the next steps after that. We’re very, very, very busy, we’re asking the community for patience and we’re doing our best to answer and help you register for classes. That’s the first step always, the class.
[00:20:18] [Angelito]: It hasn’t been easy either, because many people didn’t understand the situation, how it was going to work and with these classes, they educate the people about the steps to take to make their first purchase here in the United States, especially in the city of Tampa.
[00:20:33] [Silvia Álvarez]: And I tell you that the best way to sign up is to go to the website, because the calls don’t have– We’re pretty busy and the best way is to go to the website, sign up there. There’s a big long button there to sign up for the class and you pick the one you want, like the Spanish one so that you understand it.
[00:20:58] [Silvia Álvarez]: We’ve seen that people who have enrolled in the English one and it’s not worth it, because they’re not going to understand anything.
[00:21:07] [Angelito]: Of course.
[00:21:08] [Silvia Álvarez]: So, I can give the webpage to you, is www.heausa.org, there you will receive a response faster, okay?
[00:21:24] [Angelito]: Of course. So, after the classes, what’s the next step that people are going to take? Are you going to look for the house? Do you help them get the house too?
[00:21:32] [Silvia Álvarez]: Everything, everything. Yeah, they can’t do a contract before they’re approved by the city, so some of them go out and do a contract with a realtor and then, it’s no good, they can’t get any help. That’s why I tell you that you have to take the steps in the order that they’re necessary. After you go to the class, we give you– We’re going to send you a certificate that proves you took the class and also, an email, an email that’s going to say “we need to see this document”. Everything we ask, has to be reviewed. If the person doesn’t send us something, we can’t do anything. So–
[00:22:16] [Angelito]: The situation gets locked then.
[00:22:18] [Silvia Álvarez]: The situation gets stuck and then we can’t move forward. So, everything, everything, everything will be explained to you in class, but don’t take any steps, please, don’t write any contracts, because then you won’t receive anything.
[00:22:35] [Angelito]: Well, when you enter the web page, look where it says “in Spanish“, so that you understand step by step what you have to do to continue towards your new property, right?
[00:22:48] [Silvia Álvarez]: Uh huh, and I also tell you that right now with the house prices so high and also with the interest that has gone up, the house, the household, you have to earn at least $4,000 dollars. Let’s say there’s a couple and that both are working and they’re both making $2,000, so that counts. Because otherwise–
[00:23:12] [Angelito]: Do people need to have a minimum monthly salary?
[00:23:17] [Silvia Álvarez]: Well, not monthly at all. Let’s say, if you have a partner and they have a child who’s also working or another family member who lives in the house with you, that all counts when it comes to those $4,000 dollars. Oh, don’t have a lot of debt either.
[00:23:35] [Angelito]: Of course.
[00:23:36] [Silvia Álvarez]: So, that’s why the class is very important, you’re going to learn everything you have to do. Well, this is very complicated.
[00:23:43] [Angelito]: Of course. The website, for people who are interested in entering and taking the class.
[00:23:49] [Silvia Álvarez]: www.heausa.org, there you go to the red button, you click on it and it will give you all the classes, including in English and in Spanish. You sign up for Spanish.
[00:24:09] [Angelito]: Of course.
[00:24:10] [Silvia Álvarez]: And as soon as possible.
[00:24:11] [Angelito]: Yes, of course, because there’s a limit and there are many people signing up. After that great interview with the Mayor of the City of Tampa, Jane Castor, there have been many calls and many entries on the website, right?
[00:24:24] [Silvia Álvarez]: Yes. Well, in the first week we had over 100 calls, you know, from people who were trying to get information. It’s impossible for us to call all those people, so instead of that, go to the website, that’s where it starts.
[00:24:44] [Angelito]: Okay. Silvia, I only have three seconds left. Thank you very much for being with us.
[00:24:48] [Silvia Álvarez]: Thank you.
[00:24:49] [Angelito]: We hope for the people to enter the website and register to take the course and achieve the American dream, which is the most important thing, to have their little house, a recent a nice one.
[00:24:59] [Silvia Álvarez]: Exactly. Thank you, Angelito, for this much needed information for the people who live here in Tampa.
[00:25:07] [Angelito]: Of course. Thanks also to Car Credit, which joins this valuable information, “Route to the American Dream.” Thanks also to Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, NUEVOenUS.org, Housing & Education Alliance, Gulfcoast Legal Services and thank you very much Silvia, for that valuable information.
[00:25:24] [Silvia Álvarez]: Thank you Angelito.
[00:25:25] [Music] Car Credit, Car Credit, your car has come into your life. Car Credit, Car Credit.
[00:25:38] [Angelito]: Visit CarCreditTampa.com. You’ve listened to “Road to the American Dream”, presented by NEWenUS.org, a program to help people who are new to the United States of America, to move forward and get on the road to the American dream. END