ROC and ROC Projects in the News

ROC in print and on radio, TV, and the web.

Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets

September 30, 2015 Roots of Change

Local leaders are working to get governor brown to pass a bill to let people on food stamps by fresh fruit and vegetables at local farmer’s markets.  The plan is trying to cash in on federal money as well. $100 million of federal money is the pot that helps families struggling to put food on the table. What it does is double the buying power of food stamps at farmers’ markets, so $10 can get you $20 worth of things there.

The bill aims to help the more than 11 million Californians living in poverty. San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting says these people and their families don’t have access to the safe and nutritious food offered at the more than 700 farmers markets in California. 

You can read the full story on NBC Bay Area News.

Put more fresh food on the dinner table for poor families

June 19, 2015 Michael R. Dimock

Despite California’s agricultural bounty, many rural and urban communities lack access to healthy foods, with millions relying on CalFresh for basic needs. Likewise, despite a thriving food movement and bustling farmers markets, smaller-scale farmers and businesses struggle to remain economically viable.

Assembly Bill 1321, which is scheduled to be heard Thursday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, would help change that by giving an incentive to CalFresh recipients to buy fresh produce: If they buy $10 worth of California-grown fruits and vegetables, they could get an additional $10 that day for more produce.

Families get more healthy food on the table. Farmers and small businesses sell more produce. Urban and agricultural communities see economic growth. Everybody wins.

Read the whole article in the The Sacramento Bee.

Native Food Sovereignty

May 18, 2015 Roots of Change

Tribe members explore importance of tradition in diet

Days of active genocide and diaspora may have passed for local native peoples, but the consequences of that violent history have been far reaching, resulting in a seemingly endless battle to recover and reinstate traditional uses for ancestral lands.

This was the topic of discussion at an event put on by the Community Food Council for Del Norte County and Adjacent Tribal Lands on Thursday evening as a part of the two-day Northern California regional meeting of the California Food Policy Council, where a panel of local tribal members and activists spoke about issues pertaining to native food sovereignty. 

You can read the full story in the The Del Norte Triplicate.

Setting the Table for a Better Food Policy

November 28, 2014 Roots of Change

Consider the turkey sandwich. There are worse places to start if you’d like to make a difference.

From its factory-farmed protein to its industrially processed soybean-oil mayo, let’s face it: You can do better. Not to mention that leftover chemical-laced boxed stuffing now being nuked as a side dish. Or that sugary soda that’s washing it down.

For most Americans, whether something healthier, more socially responsible or even tastier could be on the menu typically isn’t subject to much thought. The market is what it is, thanks to economics and this country’s food policy, or dearth of one.

Read the whole article in the Sacramento Bee.

Food and Farm Report Grades Policy

November 24, 2014 Roots of Change

A recently released report by the Humboldt Food Policy Council, Roots of Change and the California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) unveils 2014 food and farm policy voting results by California elected officials. The 2014 Report on Legislation Related to Food and Farming illustrates how despite making modest progress on food and agriculture issues, the Legislature continues to miss the mark when it comes to passing the transformative — and often controversial — policies needed to address our state’s food, farming and economic challenges. Most importantly, it reveals the great representation of Humboldt Assemblymember Chesboro, and Senator Noreen Evans toward supporting an improved food system.

Read the article in The Redwood Times.

Food Groups Give Report on Legislators

November 22, 2014 Roots of Change

Two food advocacy groups have released a report on how California legislators voted this year on 15 bills related to food and farming.

The report, released last week in Petaluma, was produced by Roots of Changes, a program of the nonprofit Public Health Institute, and the California Food Policy Council, a coalition of 25 local food policy councils around the state.

“We’re pleased to see local legislators had very strong voting records on the bills tracked,” Steve Schwartz, executive director of the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, said in a statement. The non-profit group works in Sonoma and Marin counties.

You can read the full story in the Press Democrat.

Food and Politics Both on the Menu

Roots of Change

The organic farmer was introducing the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ incoming chairman when the crowd at the brick-walled restaurant parted for the governor and his wife and their entourage.

Handshakes. Back pats. White-aproned staff poking their heads out of the kitchen. Patrick Mulvaney, the restaurateur, and Gov. Jerry Brown giving each other the sort of hearty hello you’d expect from a celebrity chef and a celebrity politician.

You can read the full story in the Sacramento Bee.

How well has California legislature tackled food and farm issues?

November 18, 2014 Roots of Change

The 2014 Report on Legislation Related to Food and Farming [PDF], came from the California Food Policy Council, a relatively new coalition of 26 organizations from around the state. The report tracks 15 bills that made it through the legislature this year, identifying what changes the bills proposed to make, who voted for them and whether the bills were ultimately passed into law.

You can read the story at SF Gate.

Most Important Action Is Local

Roots of Change

When it comes to food and agriculture policy, “the important action today is most likely to occur within states, counties and cities,” says Michael Dimock, president of the Roots of Change, in a column written to accompany a 2014 grading of California’s state legislature by his group and the California Food Policy Council.  “And most concrete food system innovations have been happening there anyway.” That’s why he says the CFPC began publishing its annual report on California.

You can read the story at Politico.

Food Policy Report Gives CA Legislators a Mixed Review

Roots of Change

From the labeling of sugary drinks and genetically engineered foods to a proposed increase to the statewide minimum wage, California’s legislature has tackled no shortage of hot-button issues related to food policy in the past year. According to a new report, a total of 22 bills appeared before the state legislature that advocates believed would have a sweeping impact on making California’s food system more sustainable and equitable.

You can read the full story in the East Bay Express.