The Network for a Healthy California—African American Campaign and Farm Fresh Choice, a Berkeley Ecology Center program, are teaming up to bring fresh produce and healthy eating habits to the Berkeley community.
The now-expanded produce stand is located on the corner of Sacramento and Oregon Streets adjacent to Spiral Gardens — an organization that consists of a community farm where the public can help plant and grow food for wholesale purchase — after the re-opening ceremony on Tuesday.
The stand will be open every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and in addition to selling fresh produce, they will also offer nutrition classes, food demonstrations and a community garden.
Youth from ages 16 to 24 will staff the stand, making the program much more youthful, according to Farm Fresh Choice program manager HuNia Bradley.
“The produce stand offers produce at wholesale price and encourages physical activity with hula hoops and jump roping on site,” Bradley said.
The new stand will feature a larger selection and variety of produce as well as more community events for the public to participate in, according to African American Campaign assistant Jamar Moore.
“The stand will bring a good variety and give people a healthy alternative instead of just fast food,” Jamar Moore said. “We hope that overtime this will make the community healthier and reduce their risk of preventable diseases.”
The re-opening featured local organizations, who offered health information and resources to local residents, and an appearance from celebrity chef Nikki Shaw.
Shaw has been featured on the Food Network’s “The Next Food Network Star” and the Sirius radio show “Today’s Flavor” on The Foxxhole.
Shaw showed residents how to make traditional meals in a more healthy way using the foods grown in Spiral Gardens, according to a Network for a Healthy California press release.
The release said the network’s goal is to come together with several other organizations in an effort to bring healthy foods to low income African American communities in the Bay Area.
“We want to encourage the community to eat healthier, more organic food,” said Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore. “In West Berkeley, we have more incidents of people affected by obesity, Type 2 diabetes and many other diseases, and we want to decrease this amount through healthy eating and exercise.”
Jamar Moore said one of the goals is to provide more access to fresh fruits and vegetables and show people that there are affordable places to purchase produce.
In the press release, Bradley said the stand will also provide a closer location for fresh produce for senior citizens living in the area.
“We want to bring health and vitality to the community through this new expanded produce stand,” Bradley said.