BACKGROUND & PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Stanislaus County is located within California’s Central Valley which is known as the “Fruit and Nut Basket of America.” As reported by California’s Water Science Center, the Central Valley produces 25% of the Nation’s food, including 40% of the Nation’s fruits, nuts, and other table foods. Despite this, I have always found it ironic that those who spend their days working in the fields and orchards are struggling to find food to feed their own family. This summer, I have addressed food insecurity within my community by delivering fresh produce, eggs, and non-perishable goods directly to farming families across Modesto and adjacent towns. Each box has been delivered in partnership with the Food Initiative of Stanislaus County via their Healthy Food Pantry as well as the Free Mobile Farmers Market.
I have started growing and harvesting several varieties of produce at my grandparents’ ranch, including zucchini, onions, basil, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. The Central Valley’s rich soil is filled with a variety of minerals conducive to high crop yield.
Additionally, in early June, I installed a chicken coop in my backyard for four chickens. I have started collecting their eggs in addition to produce. I have placed the produce and eggs in recycled containers that I have repurposed from cardboard wine boxes for efficient delivery to farmworker communities.
Over the next week, I am working to set up healthy non-perishable food collection boxes within local businesses, including the E&J Gallo Winery.
-Amelia Tyler ’23