Thursday, April 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Summit’s goal: building a sustainable local food system

Learn more

What: Yolo Food Connect summit

When: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19

Where: UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center, Room 232

RSVP: Diane Parro, 530-757-5557, diane.parro@yolocounty.org

By Don Saylor, et al.

In conjunction with the recognition of World Food Day on Oct. 16 and National Food Day on Oct. 24, Yolo Food Connect will conduct a summit at UC Davis on Friday, Oct. 19. Among the presenters will be Mark Winne, author of “Closing the Food Gap, Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty,” and Tom Tomich, director of the UC Davis Agriculture Sustainability Institute.

Yolo Food Connect is a local coalition formed to build a stronger local agricultural economy, support the many efforts under way to connect local growers with local markets, and get food from the farm to the fork for all Yolo County residents, especially those who are currently experiencing hunger.

Yolo County is a well-known agricultural treasure, with great climate, water and soil. For more than a century, UCD has injected the world’s best technology into this rich environment. More than 30 seed research companies are headquartered in Yolo and serve the entire planet. Yolo farmers are creative and productive, making this one of the leading agriculture counties in California.

Farmers grow tomatoes, rice, wine grapes, hay and walnuts, among other crops. There are more than 800 local farms, six certified farmers markets, and 19 Community Supported Agriculture programs in the county. Local general plans and land-use management practices are exemplary and continue to preserve agricultural lands.

Even with this great work and incredible assets, there are disconnects and gaps in our local food system. Several efforts are under way locally and in the Sacramento region to strengthen the agricultural industry by identifying and addressing gaps in technology transfer, infrastructure investment, regulatory processes and food aggregation, processing and distribution.

Among these gaps is food access. The county’s bountiful harvests are not being served at the dinner tables of many local residents.

It is painfully ironic that food insecurity exists in Yolo County, a county with such agricultural abundance. Sometime this month, nearly one in five Yolo County residents will go to bed hungry. This includes unemployed workers stretching every dollar, senior citizens on fixed incomes or who have physical difficulties that prevent them from shopping or cooking, and children whose families are unsure where to turn for help. It also includes low-wage workers, including those work on farms.

According to “Feeding America” in 2010, about 34,000 of Yolo County’s 200,000 residents are food-insecure and one in four children in Yolo County lack access to healthy food on a consistent basis. Increasing food prices, including a 4 percent increase in 2011, exacerbate this food access problem.

Many residents rely on the Food Bank of Yolo County to ensure that food is on the table. The food bank provides food for nearly 20,000 people every month and distributes 3 million pounds of food yearly through a network of 60 partner agencies.

Studies by UC Davis researchers indicate that “food deserts” exist in two Yolo cities. A food desert is an area where residents have little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet but are served by fast-food eateries instead. Farm workers in Yolo County’s rural areas have very limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Other signs that access to affordable healthy food is a problem include more seniors asking for meals through the Elderly Nutrition Program and one of the country’s lowest rates of participation by eligible low-income households in the federally funded CalFresh program.

In a community needs assessment conducted this year by First 5 Yolo, parents and caregivers of children under 6 years old indicated that food access and information about how to feed their families were paramount. Yolo residents need information about how to feed their families. To meet this need, Family Resource Centers throughout the county will be partnering with the University of California Cooperative Extension to offer classes on food resource management skills to help residents stretch their scarce food dollars.

Please join us for the summit to kick off Yolo Food Connect on Friday, Oct. 19, in Room 232 at the UCD Activities and Recreation Center. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participating in the summit will be community food activist and author Mark Winne, UCD professors and researchers, members of the agricultural community and leaders of area food banks, elderly outreach programs and children’s programs.

The focus will be on identifying ways to address gaps in the farm-to-fork food distribution system and ensuring that healthy, affordable food is available to all. Hunger in a land of plenty is not acceptable.

For more information about Yolo Food Connect or to register for the summit, contact Diane Parro at 530-757-5557 or diane.parro@yolocounty.org.

— Don Saylor, Yolo County supervisor, District 2; Lisa Baker, executive director, Yolo County Housing; Thaddeus Barsotti, chief farmer and co-CEO, Capay Valley Organics and Farm Fresh to You; Davis Campbell, former trustee, Yolo County Board of Education; Delaine Eastin, former state superintendent of public instruction; Bob Ekstrom, executive director, Yolo Family Resource Center; Gail Feenstra, food systems coordinator, UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program/Agriculture Sustainability Institute; Stacie Frerichs, president, Davis Food Co-op; Julie Gallelo, executive director, First 5 Yolo; Ryan Galt, UCD professor of community and regional development; Laurie Green, women, infant and children program manager, Yolo County Health Department; Marcel Horowitz, 4H youth development and nutrition adviser, UC Cooperative Extension; Mary Kimball, executive director, Center for Land-Based Learning; Nicki McCabe, executive director, Elderly Nutrition Program of Yolo County; Alysa Meyer, managing attorney, Legal Services of Northern California; John Mott-Smith, president, Yolo Farm to Fork; Nancy O’Hara, assistant director, Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services; Cathleen Olsen, food services director, Winters Joint Unified School District; Ben Pearl, vice president, Davis Food Co-op; Mindy Romero, member, Yolo County Community Service Action Board; Kevin Sanchez, executive director, Food Bank of Yolo County; Tom Tomich, director, UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program/Agriculture Sustainability Institute; Tricia Valenzuela, deputy to Yolo County Supervisor Duane Chamberlain; Katie Villegas, executive director, Yolo County Children’s Alliance; John Young, Yolo County agriculture commissioner; Tico Zendejas, executive director, RISE Inc.; Jake Clemens; Randii MacNear.

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Davis wins USA Today Best Cycling Town honor

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Benefit set to help local bike legend

    By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Jury deliberates murder, elder-abuse charges

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    State’s health care sign-ups beat projections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    California residents divided on drought solution

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A2

    Three killed in attack on Ukrainian base

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Downtown post office set to reopen

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3

    Run or walk to prevent child abuse in Yolo County

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Nominations sought for charity paint giveaway

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Scholar will discuss human trafficking in Friday talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Per Capita Davis: Now, for some good news

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    Birch Lane hosts 50th anniversary party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Hannah Stein reads poetry at gallery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Food Co-op to offer free bags on Earth Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Get in the picture with school board candidate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    KDVS hosts on-air fundraiser April 21-27

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tickets on sale for Pence Garden Tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fundraiser planned for Allen’s campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

    Food Co-op board plans open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Downtown hosts candidate forum

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4

    Learn more about Google Glass at talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Barbecue celebrates winter shelter program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Sign of things to come

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A8

     
    Davis Soroptimists celebrate 60 years

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Fancy meeting you here …

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Don’t miss a Trokanski dance

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Frank Bruni: The oldest hatred, forever young

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    Expert: Free parking is a myth

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Have they really learned?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    A great community effort

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    Public Health Heroes honored

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Huge inning propels Pleasant Grove past DHS

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Giants edge Dodgers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Foster steps down as Lady Blue Devil basketball coach

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    River Cats’ streak reaches six wins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Landry evolves into UCD women’s lacrosse leader

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: Martinez, Chan come up big at gymnastics regional

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Kings drop season finale to Suns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Angels get past A’s in extras

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Wineaux: Good deals off the beaten path

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

     
    Rockabilly phenom to play at The Palms

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    HellaCappella showcases a cappella singing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    ‘One’ singular sensation to open at DMTC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    25th annual state clay competition exhibit at The Artery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Tapan Munroe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, April 17, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6