Within California’s San Joaquin Valley lies one of the largest and richest agricultural regions in the world. Despite the abundance of nutritious fruits and vegetables, food insecurity and obesity burden this region. Poverty, the concentration of unhealthy food or beverages at corner stores and an increasing overflow of fast food outlets are leading factors contributing to limited access of healthy food and beverages.
Many residents in rural areas plant and harvest fruits and vegetables that travel outside of the Valley to feed our entire nation. Yet, they don’t have adequate access to these nutritious foods for themselves and their families. Likewise, many under-resourced rural communities don’t have access to potable drinking water and are surrounded by an over-abundance of sugary drinks.
Through Cultiva La Salud’s work, schools and communities are partnering together to help improve access to healthy food and beverages by establishing school farm stands, school gardens and produce stands, healthier school menu and vending options, universal school breakfast, and increasing access to free drinking water in schools.