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.