live / 2021
Farm Fresh LA!
Farm Fresh LA is a produce incentive initiative connecting California farmers of color to CalFresh shoppers at Healthy Neighborhood Market Network stores brought to you by the Los Angeles Food Policy Council! The initiative provides small quantity produce that are perfect for the weekِ from local farmsِ exclusively available to CalFresh shoppers firstِ. By buying Farm Fresh LA with CalFresh dollarsً we are supporting local farmers in our regionِ. Togetherً we can create a more equitable food supply chain and access to high quality produce!
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- South LA
- City of Los Angeles
- Other:: Skid Row
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
Historical disinvestments have created generational economic and social barriers to local healthy food access in the communities. As a result there are many barriers preventing local farmers’ produce from reaching Calfresh shoppers in Los Angeles. One of which is that California grown produce can be expensive for small markets to purchase, particularly in low-income neighborhoods. Thus making locally grown produce not easily accessible for Calfresh shoppers. One of the reasons for this is that California grown produce is sought after produce, globally. Making the market extremely competitive, and sometimes too costly for small markets in low-income neighborhoods. This program is seeking to address the barriers between connecting Calfresh shoppers and small markets to local farmers of color. The Farm Fresh LA program does the work for the farmers, markets, and Calfresh shoppers to make local produce affordable for the market to provide and the Calfresh shopper to purchase.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
Farm Fresh LA supports markets in South LA, Skid Row, and MacArthur Park, and local farmers. Our program aims at improving the following: (1) community access to fresh produce; (2) food supply chain between local farmers and neighborhood storeowners; (3) destigmatize government benefits by demonstrating purchasing power of CalFresh shoppers. Through our Farm Fresh LA program, we’re helping Calfresh shoppers support locally grown produce, and helping California farmers supports local participating neighborhood marketsِ. An example of this recently has been at the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network stores implementing the initiative, owners distribute and sell FarmFresh LA small produce bundles. Farm Fresh LA bundles costs $1 to $2 CalFreshِ, but retails for $10 to $20. This initiative is part of our strategy to address the problems of decades of disinvestment and the flight of full-service grocery stores from low income neighborhoods, resulting in what are commonly called “food deserts.” Farm Fresh LA addresses the main problem of historic disinvestment by investing in the creation of new economic and social opportunities that enable these already resilient communities to thrive with healthy food access and affordability.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Over the one-year grant period we will support approximately 10 local farmers, 3 small markets, and provide 4,300 affordable local produce bundles to CalFresh program participants. The estimated direct impact is 300 Calfresh program participants and the estimated indirect impact is 1000 community members. The success and expansion of this program long term will create a connected food ecosystem of local farmers, small markets, and Calfresh shoppers. Farm Fresh LA is an important program for forging these connections to sustain long-term positive change towards a resilient local food system.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
This is an early-stage program. Success is measured by the relationship between partners as well as our ability to support and provide support to the communities-at-large. If we can facilitate a successful relationship between produce source and the cornerstones supporting the community, then the community will benefit. To measure the progress and success of the program, we will collect qualitative data through periodic sampling at CalFresh shopper, storeowner, produce vendor, and farmer levels. We will also collect quantities distributed as well as collect information on types of produce distributed to get a good understanding of how CalFresh shoppers enjoy their produce.
Which of the live metrics will you impact?
- Access to healthy food
- Food insecurity
- Resilient communities
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the best place to CREATE
- LA is the best place to PLAY
- LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT