An innovative program that helps drug addicts retake control of their lives with healthy eating, stress reduction and natural supplements has been cut from the Sacramento Drug Court’s recovery program because of budget shortfalls.
The Sacramento neighborhood of Oak Park is getting its first farmer’s market, highlighting the need for healthy food in one of the region’s most underserved neighborhoods.
After years of being urged to “eat fresh, eat local,” residents of the Sacramento region are responding. From neighborhood dinner tables to big institutional kitchens, locally grown foods are in high demand. But every spring, locally grown produce is rotting in the fields of the small family-run farms around the region. Between that abundant supply and the strong demand, the market has broken down. There is no good way to get those crops from the farms to the people who want them at a price consumers are willing to pay.
With money raised from outside grants, government funding and other resources, Grant High School in Sacramento’s Del Paso Heights neighborhood has been able to run an edible garden and kitchen on campus. But the program is constantly threatened by scarce resources.
A coalition of community groups in Sacramento has proposed a ballot measure that would levy a $29 parcel tax on each piece of property in the city and use the money collected to pay for jobs programs and education for Sacramento’s youth. The Youth Jobs and Opportunity Act was born after a failed attempt to place a sales tax increase on the ballot in 2008. But unlike that measure, this one is not a sales tax hike and has no money earmarked for law enforcement.
Five years after the Sacramento Hunger Commission targeted the South Sacramento neighborhoods of Avondale and Glen Elder in an effort to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables, the community’s food resources remain scarce. There is no major grocery store in the neighborhood, farmers markets are too few and far between, and community gardens have failed to catch on as a viable alternative for residents. HealthyCal contributor Nik Bonovich has the report.