Food Common Fresno Top Ten Examples of Wellness Programs and Initiatives in the United States

The Food Commons and Food Commons Fresno Recognized as Top Ten Wellness and Nutrition Program Nationwide

(April 3, 2019)

Food Commons Fresno, The Food Commons prototype implements a holistic approach to food and health through new community-owned food system model.

(Fresno, CA) – The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement honored The Food Commons for its Food Commons Fresno (FCF) prototype, as one of the top 10 wellness and nutrition programs in the country. The Food Commons will be featured in the Harkin On Wellness publication HOW 2019 to showcase successful health initiatives and recognized in a ceremony and award presentation by Senator Tom Harkin. 

The Food Commons is a nationally recognized model for a new food economy that builds community wealth through community ownership of for-profit businesses, while at the same time providing broader access to healthy food and improved stewardship of natural resources. Operations in Fresno are proving the concept, which will be replicated in other San Joaquin Valley communities and elsewhere.  

The Food Commons model supports a whole person community-wide approach to health and consistent with the findings of the Institutes of Medicine report, “A Framework for Assessing Effect of the Food System” which identified that, “a systemic approach will be required to meet challenges to the U.S. food system in the 21st century.”

"The Food Commons is honored to receive recognition for our systemic approach to health”, stated Jamie Harvie, The Food Commons Coordinating Director.  “To foster health, we have to holistically address roots causes through a focus on equity, agency, wealth creation and the nourishment and regeneration of our air, water and soil.” 

The Food Commons Fresno (FCF) business includes Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), wholesale and retail operations, organic farming and a commissary kitchen. FCF plans future retail operations in SW Fresno; which will bring employment, investment and improved healthy food access to the community.

With local partners FCF provides education and cooking demos on healthy eating while FCF wholesale operations supplies organic fruits and vegetables to a local food pantry offering healthy food for free.  FCF food box program Ooooby makes available weekly healthy, local, organic food at reduced prices utilizing EBT benefits.

“We are developing an integrated model of food and farming that includes environmental stewardship, economic development and community wellness as key goals” said Warren King, CEO of Food Commons Fresno. “Our efforts will particularly benefit SW Fresno and increase access to fair, affordable and healthy local foods to the community”.

“As an organization committed to transformational change—addressing root causes as we collaborate to alleviate urgent symptoms—I believe the comprehensive approach of Food Commons is exactly how we must address challenges to our food system and other intractable issues”, stated Deb Nankivell, CEO Fresno Business Council.

For more information about Food Commons Fresno, visit Food Commons Fresno . For more information on The Food Commons visit www.thefoodcommons.org.


From Architecture to Food to Funding

Dear Food Commons supporters,

First, I want to thank you for joining an ambitious journey to rebuild our local food system in an equitable and sustainable way. Whether you’re a customer, supplier, vocal supporter, or all of the above, the change we’ve set in motion is truly inspiring. I’ve been honored to be a leader for the planning and start up phases of the organization. Not only are we improving the local food system, I’ve been improved in the process.

I’m writing you to share news and a vision for the future. I’ve been given the opportunity to join Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) as their new Central Valley Regional Manager. NCCLF is making the Central Valley a strategic focus of investment and technical assistance for food businesses, affordable housing, and non-profits. I’m honored to build on the foundation that Alice Rocha has built over the past decade as she enters a well-earned retirement.

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Ooooby is going bananas!

Exciting News! You’re now able to Add On 2.5 lb organic banana bunches to your weekly Ooooby box!

The top three fruits eaten in America are apples, bananas and oranges. In Central California, we are blessed to have so many oranges grown in our backyard. Major apple production isn’t too far away either with good supplies coming from the foothills and northern California. However, there are no bananas grown in this region. While the most ardent locavores might not choose to have bananas, we’ve heard that many of you would love to be able to add organic bananas to your Ooooby box. After all, it is the #1 consumed fruit in America!

 

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USDA Expands Food LINC Initiative to Bolster Local Food Sector

Fresno, California, Nov. 28, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary Lillian Salerno today announced the expansion of the Food LINC program to Food Commons Fresno and two other organizations in Texas and Illinois. Food LINC, Leveraging Investment for Network Coordination, is a three-year initiative spearheaded by USDA and its philanthropic partners to enhance local and regional food systems.

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Imagine, Design, Build - A New Beginning

Building a new complete, wholly integrated system for local food is daunting and challenging. However, there is such tremendous capacity in the knowledge and experience of people in the Fresno region. We know it can be done and done exceptionally well.  Some of the same hard work, thinking, innovation and spirit that built the food powerhouse in the Fresno region, which exports and feeds people around the globe, can be turned inward to also build a world-class local food system that is community-centered and serving.

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