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#MemberMonday: FoodLink for Tulare County

October 31, 2022

For the last day of California Farmer and Farmworker Month, we are proud to feature FoodLink for Tulare County as this week’s #MemberMonday.

FoodLink’s emergency food distribution programs reach over 70 different schools, communities, and organizations in Tulare County, which is extremely rural and has a high farmworker population. Food with Dignity is one of their core values, so FoodLink strives to provide nutritious, culturally appropriate food with no barriers or restrictions to folks who may otherwise have a hard time accessing social services and safety net resources.

FoodLink Food Distribution

Food systems change and food justice are also built into FoodLink’s mission. Their DEEP Roots program is committed to supporting farmworkers’ economic development and the creation of a local, sustainable food system that is led by BIPOC farmers. FoodLink purchases fresh produce from small farmers of color and is building a tool and equipment lending library to provide free access for small farmers.

They also support individual home gardens, neighborhood food hubs, and demonstration gardens with tools, supplies, seeds, planning, and equipment, all free of charge. One community member, Daisy, was able to get help setting up her beautiful home garden. When her family and neighbors saw it, they became interested as well. Daisy was then able to provide the knowledge and assistance for others to set up home gardens of their own. Check out those gorgeous home-grown carrots!

Daisy’s Home Garden

After 2 years of having to cancel the event, FoodLink was able to host a small Food Day event on October 25, which celebrated local food and farmers. They were able to purchase green beans, squash, cilantro, and peppers from local farmers and distribute them to the community. They also featured tasters and recipes, free seeds and plants, and resources from community partners.

Food Day Event

Miguel Avendaño Reyes, farmer from Siembra y Cosecha Farm, and FoodLink have a collaborative partnership which will provide him with a fair market value for his beautiful produce, which is distributed to Tulare County residents. He has expressed his deep gratitude for this partnership, and FoodLink is proud to have him as a part of their network.

FoodLink is in the process of building an Agroecology Center next door to its warehouse, which will provide education and development opportunities to local makers, permaculture and agroecology training, and a commercial kitchen. They are also part of the Central Valley Agroecology Network, a group of women of color from various organizations who are committed to facilitating the healing of Central Valley ecosystems and communities through land back, indigenous wisdom, and traditional ecological knowledge.

The California Association of Food Banks has been a trusted partner of FoodLink for many years and has provided FoodLink with countless resources to support its communities.
Nicole Celaya, Co-Executive Director

Nicole Celaya, Co-Executive Director and a member of the CAFB Board of Directors, is excited about future opportunities for partnership around the continued support for a healthy and hunger-free California.

You can learn more about FoodLink for Tulare County at their website, or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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