CIRS Blog about Rural California
This article is adapted from a presentation on Food Justice given to the American Planning Association California Chapter meeting in Visalia, CA in 2013.
When addressing food justice, there are several issues farm workers deal with. The two to be discussed here are: access to food and cost of food. When addressing planning issues for rural regions in the context of food justice, we need to review what the barriers are to farm worker justice in the built environment and develop ideas for improvement.
PLANNING ISSUES TO KEEP IN MIND
• Where do laborers work and where do they live?
• How does this affect housing, transportation and food access?
• How do we balance farmland preservation and affordable housing for workers?
• What does transit oriented development mean in creation of affordable and accessible transport in rural regions?
FOR THE FARMWORKER POPULATION, WHAT DOES FOOD JUSTICE MEAN?
In 2007, CIRS completed a study in Fresno of farm worker food security. We found that 45% of the workers interviewed in the most productive agricultural county in the US, are food insecure. We conducted a similar study in the Salinas Valley (America’s Salad Bowl) and found a staggering 66% of workers interviewed were food insecure.