The ROOT Report: Creating a New Food System in California

This year the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance has awarded the Food Sovereignty Prize to Urban Tilth, a California-based grassroots organization dedicated to building a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system in West Contra Costa County. Through a variety of dynamic programs and initiatives, Urban Tilth is teaching people in their community to grow, distribute, cook, and consume thousands of pounds of local produce each year.

Photo Credit: Urban Tilth Facebook Page

Through their seven school and community farms, Urban Tilth trains community members to farm, feed, and forage for themselves. With the goal of producing 5% of their community’s food supply, fresh fruits and vegetables from their farms are distributed to local farmers’ markets and cafeterias in weekly ten-pound boxes.

Urban Tilth also harnesses community power to actively participate and influence local policy. In 2011, Urban Tilth co-founded the Richmond Food Policy Council to work with other organizations in West Contra Coast County to influence food policy decisions and promote justice. Through the Food Policy Council, Urban Tilth is working to pass several policies to create a more socially and environmentally just food system, including the Urban Agriculture Ordinance, the Soda Free Initiative, and the Healthy Food Campaign.

Combining community-driven agricultural operations, political lobbying and grassroots activism, Urban Tilth strives to break free from big food and industrial agriculture and foster community self-sufficiency. Keeping community needs and assets at the center of their work, Urban Tilth is creating an equitable and just food system.

To learn more, you can livestream the 2019 U.S. Food Sovereignty Prize Ceremony on Thursday, October 10th at 8:30 PM Eastern / 5:30 PM Pacific through the USFSA’s Facebook page. Click here to register for the livestream.

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