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Slow Food California Grant Winner: Tuna Harbor Dockside Market

Slow Food Urban San Diego and the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market were awarded a $500 grant from Slow Food California this past month.

San Diego has long been home to a seafood-centric industry. Its waters still provide for numerous fishing families who depend on the day’s catch for their livelihoods. The Tuna Harbor Dockside Market has worked alongside Slow Food Urban San Diego since its founding almost six years ago.  The market supports multi-generational families of fishermen in San Diego who harvest their fisheries sustainably.  Each family brings a variety of seafood to the market that often changes with the fishing seasons. 

During the COVID quarantine, the fishermen in San Diego lost much of their restaurant business, however, the community continued to rely on fresh seafood.  Since then, the market launched an online portal to take pre-orders on Thursday and Friday before opening on Saturday morning.  This allows visitors to practice safe social distancing while providing access to fresh, healthy seafood. Visitors can expect a variety of fresh shellfish, whole fish, and sea urchin. With the Slow Food California grant, the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market plans to continue to expand their online portal and help the consumer gain a better understanding of their seafood and who/where it is coming from. 

If you are interested in learning more about Slow Food Urban San Diego’s projects, visit them at slowfoodurbansandiego.org or reach out to their board at info@slowfoodurbansandiego.org

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Slow Food California Grant Winner: GEO Academy

By Brenda Ruiz, Slow Food California and Slow Food Sacramento Board Member

Slow Food Sacramento board member Chef Brenda Ruiz teaches high school students cooking and sustainability skills through her work with GEO Academy at Grant High School. The classes were moved online due to social distancing protocols.


To make sure that all students have the ingredients and tools they need to continue to learn and prepare healthy meals at home, Slow Food Sacramento teamed up with Produce Express to provide California food boxes and cooking kits for students in the program. On Monday, June 15, 100 food boxes & cooking kits were distributed to North Sacramento students — that’s more than 500 people who will enjoy multiple home cooked meals!


Thank you to YOU our members who support our work through your gifts and participation, to the amazing youth leaders of the Grant High community, to the Sacramento State Dietetic Internship Program and Slow Food California Governor, Lisa Frank, (for help with distribution), to Slow Food Sacramento for supporting a “Good Clean and Fair Food For All” mission, and to the Slow Food California Board for their vision to support California communities impacted by the pandemic.

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Slow Food California Grant Winner: Soup-er Heroes

In June local farmer, chef, and Slow Food advocate Becky Herbert was awarded a $500 micro-grant from Slow Food California for her “Soup-er Heroes” project.

The local chapter, Slow Food San Benito Bounty, encouraged Herbert to apply. Eat with the Seasons is the Herbert family’s CSA, a subscription-based service that has been providing customers in San Benito and the Bay Area boxes of locally-sourced, organic produce, pasture-raised meats, and artisanal products for decades.

According to Becky, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, her CSA subscribers wanted to donate to community members in need. Becky collaborated with chef Mike Fisher, a culinary teacher at San Benito High School, and Maria Lynn Thompson at the Community Food Bank, to make soup with fresh vegetables for distribution to vulnerable seniors.  

Herbert and Fisher launched a GoFundMe site in March which has raised funds allowing them to provide 300 servings of soup for local seniors every week.  The two meet at Herbert’s Farmhouse Café in Hollister on Tuesday evenings to cook and package the soup.

Says Becky, “While I enjoy having a restaurant to sell my soup, the product I’m most passionate about, I’ve always wanted to find a way to share it with people who don’t have access or the ability to buy a bowl.  For me this project is one I’ve been dreaming about for years. I’d love to have a full-time soup kitchen operation one day!”

“Soup-er Heroes” is certainly a project that fits the Slow Food motto: Good, clean, and fair food for all. Donate at GoFundMe. Learn more about Slow Food San Benito Bounty on Facebook or email sanbenitobountyca@slowfoodusa.org

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Update: 2020 Slow Food California Leaders Meeting

After much deliberation, we’ve made the decision to delay our meeting until later in the spring. Our agenda and speakers have come together, but we’ve encountered a hitch (last minute venue concerns) that struck us as a reason to take a breath and postpone for a few months.

It’s important to us that we gather intentionally and that we all walk away with actionable steps, replicable ideas and tangible resources, just as you’d asked for in your survey responses. And we want to foster a sense of connection to the greater Slow Food California whole. So we’ll use the extra time to really focus on what we’re all hankering for: the tools, examples, and insights for building and rebuilding resilient chapters. We’ll do more outreach within and outside the network to ensure we all come away with renewed energy and enthusiasm for changing the food system for good, clean, and fair.

If you are a California Slow Food leader wanting to learn more or provide suggestions to our planning process, please join the calls on Thursday afternoons. Email info@slowfoodcalifornia.org for more information.

Your Slow Food CA Board
Policy

Why and How Slow Food California Engages in Policy Advocacy

By Keith Schildt, Southern California Slow Food Governor

Most of us know the history of Slow Food. It started as an act of resistance against the uniformity of industrialized food and its negative impact on our local food systems, local culture, and public health. Slow Food California continues the tradition of advocating for good, clean, and fair food, for all. We engage in state policy making for three primary reasons:

  1. To support those like-minded organizations who seek to move the needle of government policy towards a fairer, more sustainable, and healthier local food system (and one that tastes better too) across California and the country. We typically do this by signing onto or providing a letter of support to the organization stating our opinion and providing our Slow Food California logo for their use. For example, this past year we signaled our support for various pieces of state legislation ranging from increasing climate-friendly, plant-based foods in our local school systems (AB479) to clarifying the Micro-Enterprise Home Kitchen Operation standards (AB377).
  2. This type of support system builds a larger advocacy coalition than any single organization could muster on their own. We have teamed with organizations such as Friends of the Earth (AB479); California Climate and Ag Network (AB1377); Western States Council of the United Food and Commercial workers Union (AB1066); COOK Alliance (AB377); and many more. 
  3. We also engage in advocacy to educate and activate our Slow Food Chapters and members across the state.

In the 2020, we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that Slow Food ideals are being expressed in legislation.  Importantly, we are going to be augmenting that work with a new focus on implementation (typically at the county level) of past pieces of legislation. We want to ensure that legislation that improves local food systems is being implemented across the state in its intended way.