We all deserve healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, for ourselves and our families. Many residents in San Jose’s low-income communities don’t have access to fresh produce or can’t afford it, which is one reason they experience higher rates of nutrition-related diseases than residents of more affluent areas. Some city policies make it difficult to bring new community gardens, farmers’ markets and mobile produce vendors into low-income communities.
The Campaign for Healthy Food San Jose was a year-long coalition started in September 2011. The Campaign’s goal was to ensure access to fresh fruits and vegetables in all neighborhoods. Working with city departments and healthy food providers, the Campaign sought to produce changes in city policies that would:
- Increase urban agriculture, including home gardens, community gardens and urban farms, particularly in areas with limited access to healthy food options
- Support Certified Farmers’ Markets and mobile produce vendors in neighborhoods with the highest need, and promote use of EBT for purchases
Led by The Health Trust and funded through the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, the Campaign for Healthy Food San Jose is championed by the City of San Jose and a coalition of non-profits. Our Campaign partners include:
- City of San Jose Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement
- City of San Jose Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services
- FIRST 5 Santa Clara County
- Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
- Working Partnerships USA
- Extensive Community Outreach:Campaign partners conducted 35 independent outreach events and reached approximately 1,000 low-income San Jose residents. The Campaign’s strategies were positively received by community members.
- Adoption of New Ordinance for Farmers’ Markets:The City of San Jose adopted a new Specific Use Regulation for the permit process of Certified Farmers’ Markets (CFMs) located on private property. The Regulation states that land use permits are no longer required for CFMs with 15 or fewer vendors, and all CFMs are required to establish a means by which food assistance benefits (such as CalFresh and WIC) can be redeemed as a form of customer payment. The new ordinance enables faster, less expensive approval for CFMs while ensuring public safety. It also expands fresh produce access to food assistance beneficiaries and low-income residents. Read for more details.
- New Models and Agreements for expanding Community Gardens: PRNS worked on formalizing a commitment to pursue several initiatives to promote community gardens and Certified Farmers’ Markets on publicly owned land. This included drafting model joint-use agreement to allow the City to enter into lease agreements with third parties (i.e. residents and community groups) to access publicly owned land (including City and Water District) for urban agriculture purposes, integrating community gardens into new and existing park development, recommending the expansion of community gardens into the PRNS annual budget, drafting guidelines that allows for onsite sale of produce from community gardens which are operated on a shared or communal model.
Still in progress:
- Fresh Cart Silicon Valley: In the process of requesting the revision of mobile vending ordinance that will allow easier vending of fruits and vegetables in the City of San Jose. Read the Fresh Cart feasibility study.
- Farmers’ Markets on Parks Property: Working on the adoption of policy detailing regulations for operation of Farmers’ Markets on city park properties (such as regional parks and community center sites)
For more information , send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 408.513.8724.
The Campaign for Healthy Food San Jose is made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.