One of the Food Bank’s nutrition goals is to increase the consumption of fresh produce in San Diego county.

 

One of the Food Bank’s nutrition goals is to increase the consumption of fresh produce in San Diego County, especially among the low-income population and the people we serve.

One barrier to the consumption of fresh produce is the phenomenon of “food deserts” which are communities that lack ready-access to full-service grocery stores.

In food desert communities, many families are forced to buy their food at corner stores which carry mostly processed food products and have limited or no fresh produce for sale.

Even when grocery stores are accessible, many low-income families are unable to afford fresh produce which is often more expensive than cheaper, carbohydrate-rich foods.

In response to this issue, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank launched our Community Gardens Program which aims to establish community gardens in areas where there is limited access to fresh produce.

In 2012, we launched our Community Gardens Program at three sites. The first of these three sites was opened in partnership with the Serra Mesa Food Pantry. Other community garden partners include the Bayside Community Center in Linda Vista and the Paradise Valley Community Center in National City.

Community gardens provide the opportunity for families without garden space, to grow their own food. Families and individuals that receive CalFresh benefits can purchase seeds with their EBT card, and can grow fresh foods for themselves and their families. In addition to the provision of space, these gardens are an educational tool for children and help build a sense of community by bringing neighbors together.

To learn more about the benefits of community gardens, or to donate to support the program, please contact Shelly Hahne, Nonprofit Services Manager, by sending an email to shahne@sandiegofoodbank.,org