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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

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.

ark of taste, Regional Leaders Meeting, Slow Fish

Event: Slow Fish 2020

By Kelly Collins Geiser, Slow Food San Francisco Chair

GOOD, CLEAN AND FAIR SEAFOOD More than 80% of the seafood we eat in the U.S. is imported, yet we catch and harvest enough nationally to feed ourselves. The average boat-to-plate journey is over 5,000 miles. We can do better than this, anchored to the Slow Food vision of food that is good, clean, and fair for all:

Slow Fish 2020

Slow Fish 2020 is a collaborative gathering of fish harvesters, fishmongers, chefs, educators, researchers and advocates from across North America and beyond
working to create more direct supply chains based on Slow Fish Values of providing
Good, Clean and Fair seafood for all. The conference’s chief goal is to grow the Slow
Fish North America network and create an open table for all races, cultures, ages,
sexes and everyone who wants to embrace the Slow Fish values supporting
community-based fisheries. 

I’ve been to the last two Slow Fish North America gatherings, The 1st in New Orleans in 2016, and the 2nd in San Francisco in 2018 (A lot of you were there!)  These gatherings are where I’ve met the most vibrant and full-of-life folks.  From region to region one can find the connections we all share with the earth, rivers, oceans, and deep-love for the work we do.  Slow Fish has been a highlight in my work with Slow Food, and if you get the chance, come to any Slow Fish gathering and see for yourself.  This is truly where life-long friendships are made, and a wave of climate action participation and truly regenerative solutions are growing.  

-Slow Food San Francisco Organizer

 For tickets and more info

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Terra Madre Day in California

By Kelsey Maher, Slow Food California Member of Board of Directors

Each year on December 10th, all around the world Slow Food chapters celebrate Terra Madre Day. This international holiday celebrates good, clean, fair food for all. On this particular December 10th, chapters are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Slow Food Manifesto.

Find your nearest chapter’s event below:

  • Slow Food East Bay: Join local experts Nancy Ash & Kathryn Tomajan (with Roberta Klugman’s input, too!) for an informational and fun olive oil workshop and tasting. We’ll learn how to taste oils and then be guided through a series of this season’s new harvest oils with accompanying foods, all while learning more about the production of olive oil from tree to bottle. This is on December 8th. Cost is $50 per person.
  • Slow Food Sacramento: In honor of the 30th anniversary of Slow Food, we are celebrating Terra Madre Day with an Italian-themed potluck party. This event is free; RSVP is appreciated. Please bring a dish to share! We will be meeting on the 2nd floor of the Sacramento Co-op.
  • Slow Food San Diego: Come mix and mingle with us and meet your 2020 Slow Food Urban San Diego Board of Directors! We look forward to meeting our dedicated family of Slow Food members and volunteers in the community! Our general meeting from 6-7PM will be open to the public if you want to learn more! Tickets are free.
  • Slow Food San Francisco: Come join us for a night of delicious wine and food as we hear from Dr. Raymond Isola, a transformative leader in social justice for California public schools inspired by Italy’s Reggio Emilia approach at Casa Soto. Menu includes: pasta, porchetta, Slow Food Ark of Taste Vella Dry Jack Cheese, Acme Bread and desserts by Emporia Rulli. Ticket price is $30 per ticket.
  • Slow Food Sonoma North: We will gather in our candle-lit barn to celebrate 30 years of Good, Clean, and Fair Food with Slow Food around the world.Our meal will be prepared by our Leadership team and feature appetizers, roast pork, Bodega Red potatoes from our chapter garden, roasted vegetables and salad from Lantern Farm, and apple crumble.Wine will accompany dinner, and Irish coffee will finish off the evening.Come see old friends and meet new ones, get to know your Board members, and let us know what you’d like to see in 2019. We especially welcome those of you who are new to our community! Tickets are $45 for members and $55 for non -members.
  • Slow Food Yolo: Join Slow Food Yolo as we celebrate Yolo County producers and recognize the diversity of foods and sustainability efforts. 2019 Snail of Approval Award winners will be announced at this event.Enjoy appetizers and no-host bar at Snail of Approval Award Winning restaurant Preserve, in Winters. Meet and mingle with Slow Food Yolo members and Snail of Approval winners past and present. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for non members.