We're taking back our food system! October 24th is National Food Day, an opportunity to bring attention to the issues most affecting our food system. Nowhere do these issues come together like they do in California’s Central Valley. The region has some of the most abundant farming in the world and high levels of food insecurity in farmworker communities. There are few nearby grocery stores, and residents who do have access to one often report that the produce is old, unhealthy and unappealing. When the people who help grow our food don’t have access to it, it’s time to fix our food system!

Given these issues in the Valley, it’s no surprise that when CRPE asked what residents wanted most they said organic community gardens. They didn't just want your typical urban garden, they launched something bigger. The gardens are upwards of four acres and can feed the beginning farmers’ families and neighbors, some with space to expand. They also create surplus produce that they’re planning to sell at local farmers’ markets or CSAs, creating local economic development opportunities. With trainings on how to grow food and run a business, rural Valley residents have started to take back control of their food, health and community.

CRPE is currently supporting three communities, with more in the pipeline, to empower our network of low-income rural communities of color to eliminate the roots of poverty through green economic development and increased food security. And the gardens go beyond food independence. They help build leadership skills and provide opportunities for residents to grow foods that connect them to their cultural identity.

The gardens are thriving, but we need your help to take them to the next level and assist the communities as they take back their economy. Residents have the capacity to grow more food and sell their produce, but they need practical resources to do so, ranging from more gardening tools to capital funds to get the markets running. You can help these communities build their power by donating today!

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