Contributing Author: Rachel Hommel
The inaugural San Diego Food Tank Summit is on November 14th and is almost sold out! The theme is “Growing the Food Movement” and across San Diego, food system advocates are using education, collaboration, and innovative ideas to build a community of safe, healthy, and nourished eaters. The San Diego Summit will close out a year of engaging and thought-provoking Food Tank Summits that bring industry experts, farmers, chefs, journalists, and policy makers into conversations that matter most to the food movement.
The Summit will be streamed live at FoodTank.com and on Food Tank’s Facebook page for free. Some conversations will also appear on our podcast, “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” along with videos on the Food Tank YouTube channel. Now is your chance to join us in-person, in sunny San Diego to learn what individuals and organizations are doing to make the food system more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. To secure your spot at this unforgettable Summit, visit our Eventbrite page! To apply for a ticket scholarship, please click here!
In preparation for the upcoming Summit, Food Tank is highlighting 25 organizations around San Diego that are helping to grow the food movement.
The Berry Good Food Foundation believes that a strong local and sustainable food community is good for San Diego and San Diegans, advancing a healthy, integrated food system by educating, connecting, and supporting food producers and consumers. The foundation envisions a region where all people can choose local, sustainably produced food.
Since 1972, City Farmers Nursery has been San Diego’s source for organically maintained plants, organic soils, and homesteading supplies. Part working-farm, City Farmers carries on the traditions of over four decades of advice, working to promote products that help heal our planet.
Coastal Roots Farm cultivates healthy, connected communities by integrating sustainable agriculture, food justice, and ancient Jewish wisdom. Since inception, the organization has donated over half of their harvest to community members who lack access to fresh food through their pay-what-you-can farm stands, Community Support Agriculture (CSA) program, and direct donations to local hunger relief organizations.
Dr. Bronner’s is a family business committed to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality and dedicating our profits to help make a better world.
ECOLIFE Conservation is an international organization providing solutions to mutually benefit underserved communities and imperiled wildlife around the world. In the United States, their Aquaponics Program provides youth education and community-based solutions to the global issue of industrial agriculture.
Edible San Diego aims to connect San Diego County residents with local growers, retailers, chefs, and food artisans, while telling the stories of San Diego County’s diverse regional food system through their magazine, website, social media platforms, and events.
Friendly Feast is a nonprofit organization that produces fun food and drink events to benefit the local community. Founded in San Diego in 2017, Friendly Feast supports charitable organizations through culinary fundraising events that foster friendships between chefs, farmers, and food producers.
Food2Soil is an enterprise-based collective of San Diego businesses and gardeners transforming food waste into soil, food, and jobs. The fruit of their labor is SoilFood, handcrafted compost teeming with microbial life.
Jimbo’s…Naturally! is a complete natural foods grocery store, founded in San Diego. In order to fulfill its mission of providing the highest quality organic and natural foods, Jimbo’s…Naturally! places a strong emphasis on local and organic produce, embodied in the company’s vision statement, “a piece of organic fruit in every child’s lunch bag.”
Kitchens for Good breaks the cycles of food waste, poverty and hunger through innovative programs in workforce training, healthy food production, and social enterprise. Bridging the gap between wasted food and hunger, Kitchens for Good believes that kitchens can be drivers of social and economic good in communities.
Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market was born as a small neighborhood buying club in 1971, dedicated to helping people live in ways that are ecologically sustainable and that promote personal health and well-being. Ocean Beach Co-Op believes that consumer ownership through a cooperative structure provides consumers with an optimal democratic forum to meet the needs of the community.
Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center empowers students and families from diverse backgrounds to be healthy and active citizens through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education. Their vision is to reconnect students and families to the natural environment through food, education, and community engagement.
Primal Pastures is a family farm in Murrieta, California offering the highest quality pasture raised chicken, pork, lamb, beef, honey, and wild seafood. The goal at Primal Pastures is to produce food that we feel good about feeding to ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren—food that is grown responsibly, sustainably, and according to nature’s brilliant design.
ProduceGood is dedicated to reducing waste, feeding the hungry, and finding sustainable solutions to alleviate hunger, reclaim and re-purpose waste, and promote the health and well-being of all by harvesting the extra bounty of San Diego county.
Project New Village is transforming the political and economic environment using neighborhood-based agricultural cooperatives as strategies of resistance to food insecurity and removing barriers that impede universal access to good food through community and civic engagement and building alternative food ecosystems.
San Diego Caught offers 40+ varieties of healthy, sustainable, local seafood, caught by local fishermen you know, committed to protecting ocean ecosystems. Celebrating San Diego’s rich fishing heritage, The San Diego Caught mark ensures high quality, responsibly sourced seafood, harvested by San Diego fishing families!
San Diego Coffee Training Institute
The San Diego Coffee Training Institute (SDCTI)’s mission is to empower and elevate vulnerable populations to self-sufficiency through the advancement of coffee. In addition to immersive coffee education and highly-regarded SCA certifications for these marginalized populations, the non-profit program also assists with job placement and supplies each of these individuals with general workforce skills.
San Diego Food System Alliance
Cultivating a good food future for all San Diegans, the San Diego Food Systems Alliance is a nonprofit collaborative that brings together businesses, nonprofit organizations, government entities, farmers, fishermen, and passionate community members to improve the food environment in San Diego, bringing good food to the 3.3 million people who live, work, play, and eat in San Diego County.
San Diego Hunger Coalition leads coordinated action to end hunger in San Diego County supported by research, education, and advocacy. Their vision is that everyone in San Diego County has enough food for an active, healthy life.
When owner Brijette Peña came to the stark conclusion that few companies were producing regionally adapted seeds for Southern California climates, she took an oath. An oath to produce organic, regionally adapted seeds that gardeners, farmers, and market growers could depend on. Through her seed company she not only produces heirloom varieties well adapted for the Southern California growers but she also facilities and promotes ethical seed production.
The Second Chance Youth Garden is a six-week job training program for young people ages 14-21 in San Diego. The program combines classroom and experiential learning to increase youth awareness of urban agriculture and food justice, and help move them towards successful high school graduation or employment. All garden produce is sold through a CSA, restaurants, and pop-up farm stands, with revenue providing youth with stipends as well as supplies and materials.
Slow Food Urban San Diego seeks to create connections and strengthen community around issues of critical importance—including environment, health, culture and equity—to San Diego’s food system. Through educational programming, community outreach, awareness campaigns, and social gatherings, they unify food growers, harvesters, fishermen, makers, eaters, and drinkers around a shared vision of a good, clean and fair food system for all San Diegans.
SMARTS Farm actively pursues its mission of supporting healthy and productive lifestyles for the community while teaching, enhancing, and connecting residents and youth to fresh produce and education about urban gardening. Programs include multiple workshop venues and hands-on gardening opportunities for young people, as well as community garden plots for nearby residents.
UC San Diego Center for Community Health
The Center is dedicated to improving and promoting health and wellness in communities where people live, work, learn, play, and worship. Transforming health and wellness in diverse communities, the center promotes optimal health in all populations through interventions that target chronic disease and obesity prevention.
Wild Willow Farm & Education Center is a six-acre working farm in its third year of growing food while educating local citizenry about sustainable farming, permaculture, and how to live sustainably in our region. The farm continues to evolve rapidly both on and off the ground.