Formed in summer 2006 as a result of a Community Needs Assessment with initial seed funding from the Hub of Petaluma Foundation, Petaluma Bounty’s mission is to create a thriving local food system with healthy food for everyone through collaboration, education and promoting self-reliance.
Most small scale farmers can’t afford to feed low-income people (since they are low-income) and most low-income consumers can’t afford to buy locally grown produce. This is a systems problem and Petaluma Bounty seeks to design community solutions. We push beyond hunger relief toward community food security (and hunger prevention) through programming that expands our community’s capacity to feed ourselves. Petaluma Bounty’s vision is to grow a thriving local food system where consumers make informed decisions; farmers make a decent living while prioritizing ecological stewardship of the land; and all people – regardless of income – have access to healthy food.
Through our programs, Petaluma Bounty is improving the quality of food offered by emergency food distributors through the Bounty Hunters gleaning program. We are increasing low-income consumers’ purchasing power through local affordable food incentives such Market Match, sliding scale farm stands and CSA memberships, as well as maximizing awareness and participation in federal food programs such as WIC, SNAP, and Meals on Wheels. We are increasing food literacy – knowledge of how food is grown and where it comes from – for children, youth and adults. We are working to change attitudes and appetites for healthy food and active lifestyles. We are expanding our community’s capacity to grow its own food by supporting the construction of community gardens and empowering others by sharing our knowledge. And finally, we are engaging our whole community to become active, informed agents of change of their food system.
Bounty’s programs include Bounty Hunters gleaning program which turns a food waste problem into a food access solution; Local Affordable Food Incentives including Farmers’ Market LIFE, Bounty Farmacy sliding scale farm stands, and Sponsor-A-Box; Food and Farming Literacy; Grow Your Own supporting individuals and groups to have a garden; the Bounty Farm, an educational urban farm growing sustainably-raised produce and teaching sustainable agriculture to students, interns and the general public; and advocacy for policies and governmental services that promote community food security.
1) Access: Increase access to healthy food for low-income families and seniors while improving the economic viability of local farms;
2) Education: Foster positive relationships to food and increase healthy behaviors and lifestyles for all people, especially those facing diet-related diseases;
3) Empowerment: Build skills and community capacity in gardening, farming, food preparation and preservation, as well as hands-on experiences addressing malnutrition in our community
4) Engagement: Expand community engagement, collaboration and action around solutions to food waste, food insecurity, ecological harm and other shortfalls of our conventional food system with methods that empower food insecure community members into a greater sense of agency-turning recipients into participants.
- Collected and distributed close to 630,000 pounds of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables to Petaluma children, families and seniors in need through the Bounty Hunters gleaning program;
- Created seven community gardens and numerous backyard gardens with the help of the Garden Starts and Backyard Bounty where families grow their own healthy food and strengthen their connection to the land and their community;
- Welcomed thousands of children and adults to the Bounty Community Farm to learn about our local food system and the importance of eating sustainably grown produce;
- Created valuable partnerships with health care organizations and long-term programs such as Petaluma Health Center’s PLAY and Gestational Diabetes Group; St. Joseph Health “Your Heart, Your Health”; and Kaiser Permanente making fresh, locally grown produce available to people in need; and
- Created farm education and internship programs at the Bounty Community Farm, and established important partnerships for growth including: PPSC Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps, Sonoma County Experience Works, Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Conservation Corps North Bay.
- Through the Farmers’ Market LIFE Program (operated at 12 markets across Sonoma and Marin County) over $46,000 was distributed in CalFresh and $37,000 was distributed in incentives resulting in a total of $83,000 spent on healthy, fresh, locally grown food.