Roots of Change
Roots of Change (ROC) is a think tank-and-do tank working to ensure emergence of a sustainable food system in California. ROC provides road maps to food movement power and policy victories. ROC has a clear change strategy, an extensive statewide network of change agents and a track record of spawning and leading projects that are transformative because they unify actors to push for progress using multiple intervention points simultaneously. ROC is focused primarily on California because it is a bellwether that can positively influence the nation.
Food Movement Power in California as a Catalyst for Food Movement Success Nationally
To continue accelerating policy change momentum in California and model an approach to food movement victory for the nation, Roots of Change will catalyze, coordinate and support action by the networks of allies it has cultivated over ten years, with the emphasis on advising and coordinating.
Here's How We're Making a Difference
PHI's Roots of Change Launches California Market Match Consortium
PHI's Roots of Change (ROC) conceived the California Market Match Consortium (CMMC) to increase access to fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables for underserved communities that suffer disproportionately from nutrition-related diseases using food assistance programs.
In 2009, the California Department of Food and Agriculture awarded ROC $500,000 to launch the CMMC. In the four years of the pilot phase, the consortium catalyzed 150 farmers markets in 16 counties to increase the consumption of fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables by 37,000 low-income families, while building sales for nearly 900 fruit, nut and vegetables farmers. The program now lives on through ROC partner, the Ecology Center.
Putting More Healthy Food on the Table for California Families Who Need It Most
PHI and Roots of Change, one of PHI's programs, co-sponsored a California State Budget Proposal to set aside five million dollars to support healthy food incentives. The funding for incentives will help double the value of each dollar spent on California-grown fruits and vegetables for people on SNAP benefits (food stamps), and it's estimated that they will create nearly 2,000 jobs in rural communities.
In a farm economy still hurting from drought, this modest $5 million investment is expected to boost farmers’ sales ten times and increase employment in rural communities—all while improving the health of local families on SNAP benefits.
A recent study showed that for every $1 million in produce purchased directly from farmers, 32 jobs are created. With the amount of additional spending unleashed by the nutrition incentive program, the program can expect to generate more than 1,900 more jobs on small farms. As a result of this new funding, families will get more healthy food on the table, farmers and small businesses will sell more produce, and agricultural communities will see economic growth.
Sponsoring Statewide Legislation to Improve Food Access for Low-Income Californians
|Photo credit: Rob Bertholf/Flickr|
In 2015 PHI and our program Roots of Change co-sponsored and helped pass into law AB 1321, a California bill establishing a statewide nutrition incentive program that aims to increase access to healthful foods and stimulate local economies by securing matching funds that double the purchasing power of consumers using food stamps when purchasing California fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables.