The Food Security and Community Health program ensures that refugees are knowledgeable about nutrition and have access to healthy affordable food. This department operates five distinct programs:
Food Pantry: The IRC operates a food pantry and provides bags of fresh groceries to refugees clients on a monthly basis. Struggling with a limited budget and lacking information about dietary choices, refugees are often vulnerable to diet-related diseases; the IRC strives to provide our clients with the information and resources necessary to navigate our food system and to support community-driven initiatives that promote local food security and community health.
School Garden: The Food Security Program partners with the Students Plus program to form the Gardening and Food Justice Team to operate a school garden on the Crawford High School campus. Students have the opportunity to use food as a medium to discuss and share slices of their own cultures, learn about food justice, and prepare a meal together with the ingredients grown in their own garden. Many of these students come from agrarian backgrounds and the garden has become a way to involve family members and their agricultural knowledge.
New Roots Community Farm: The New Roots Community Farm provides growing space for 80 families in the City Heights area. Many of the participants were farmers in the home country and this is their first opportunity to grow crops in the United States. The farm is located at the intersection of 54th Street and Chollas Parkway. One Saturday every month, New Roots hosts a work day open to volunteers.
City Heights Farmers' Market: IRC partners with the San Diego Farm Bureau to coordinate City Heights Farmers' Market every Saturday from 9am to 1pm. At the market, you can find entertainment, unique hot food vendors (papusas, Ethiopian, Korean BBQ, Kettle Corn), and children’s activities. And of course there is fresh produce – all pesticide free and sustainably, locally grown.
You can also buy a Produce Bag for $15. The Produce Bag includes a variety of produce from the farmers who sell at the market and includes $20 worth of produce for $15. Customization is available. Order your bag by Friday at 5pm and pick up Saturday during the market. For more information or to submit an order, please contact Fernanda.Decampos@Rescue.org.
The City Heights Farmers' Market is located on Wightman between Fairmount Ave and 43rd Street (just south of University). There is free parking.
REAP (Refugee Entreprenuerial Agriculture Program): REAP provides practical and classroom training to assist refugees to become full time farmers again. Watch this video to learn more: http://vimeo.com/15761422
For more information, contact Anchi.Mei@Rescue.org