The goal of Petaluma Bounty is to increase access to healthy food for low-income consumers while improving the economic viability of local farms.
Petaluma Bounty is a hub of activity dedicated to community food security. Not a food bank or pantry, Bounty is a small group of community organizers, facilitators and farmers that, over the past ten years, has played a large role in shifting the local conversation from just hunger relief to addressing underlying systemic problems for long term and lasting change toward hunger prevention.
For us, community food security means that community members obtain safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice.
Bounty’s programming is guided by the question: how can we address the immediate food needs in our community while also proactively working toward systems improvement for the future?
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 hunger prevention and community food security through programming that expands our community’s capacity to feed ourselves to achieve long-term community resilience.
Through our programs, Petaluma Bounty improves the quality of food offered by emergency food distributors through the Bounty Hunters gleaning program and advocacy. We increase low-income consumers’ purchasing power through local affordable food incentives such Market Match, sliding scale farm stands and CSA memberships, as well as maximize awareness and participation in federal food programs such as WIC, SNAP, and Meals on Wheels.
Strategies for improving food access include:
1. Nutrition Incentives for healthy, local produce:
These initiatives have multiple projected outcomes including: increase consumption of healthy, local, sustainably grown food by low-income community members; improve the economic viability of local farms; and reduce the distance and disconnect between consumers and farmers.
2. Improving the quality and quantity of emergency food outlets to provide more healthful food through Food Recovery through:
The main way Bounty engages with food recovery is through our Bounty Hunters Gleaning Program. However, we are also involved in emergency food recovery initiatives and continuously working to expand and coordinate these entities with other local groups.
3. Expanding and supporting the capacity of emergency food providers through:
Specific to the nature of emergency food distribution systems, Bounty engages in various direct services that grow or shrink depending on community need as well as volunteer and funding capacity. We are continuing to collaborate with local food systems organizations to streamline efforts and effectively serve our community in times of disaster and uncertainty.