Food and nutrition insecurity are ongoing struggles for millions in California, including those living in Sacramento. In the highest agriculture-producing state, some local groups and government agencies have created ways to distribute freshly farmed food to families in need.
The Food Literacy Center is a Sacramento nonprofit whose mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. Through its distribution of Veggie STEM Boxes, the center provides families facing food insecurity with meals that are accessible and healthy, while teaching kids about science and math through cooking.
The former City Tree Nursery soon will be growing again under the new branches of a nonprofit called Planting Justice.
Earlier this year, the city of Sacramento entered into a lease agreement with Oakland-based Planting Justice for a subarea of the city-owned 5-acre site in the James Mangan Park neighborhood. Planting Justice is partnering with Sacramento’s Yisrael Family Urban Farm and West Sacramento’s Three Sisters Gardens to bring life back to the land.
When Michael Bosworth started a grassroots food distribution business in 2006, he was thinking small. Small enough to notice that the organic rice farm around the corner and a fancy sushi restaurant in East Sac could be partners. Yet big enough to consider the stability and growth of future farmers and generations of farms.
Bosworth, founder and CEO of Next Generation Foods, is a fifth-generation farmer. His family’s involvement in beef cattle evoked Bosworth’s interest in agriculture at a young age. He holds a BS in crop science and management, and an MS in agricultural and resource economics, both from UC Davis. For Bosworth, some days are spent as a farmer out in the field before the sun rises, and others as a salesman in his West Sacramento office.
Even though this year’s annual Farm-to-Fork Festival has been canceled due to COVID-19, the harvest events, which include the Farm-to-Fork Street Festival on Capitol Mall, Legends of Wine and Tower Bridge Dinner, are set to return next September.
Since 2013, the Farm-to-Fork Street Festival has developed into a popular two-day event highlighting Sacramento’s agricultural legacy and attracting more than 155,000 residents and visitors. The free open-air jamboree features musical artists, local food vendors, regional wines, craft beer, cooking demonstrations and more.
Two children gently plant strawberry seeds in a bed of soft earth while their mother waters the persimmon tree nearby. It is therapeutic, restorative, peaceful. During these uncertain times, many families have turned to their own backyards to create a haven of fruits and veggies while gaining healthy life lessons and skills.
In the backyard of their Arden-Arcade home, Shani Drake and her two children, 5-year-old Jenevieve and 12-year-old Desean, have created a vibrant plot of earth teeming with Mexicola avocados, fava beans, strawberries, elderberries, rosemary, sorrel and purple potatoes.