OUR MISSION

Our mission is to help create a place-based, resilient food system, by sourcing fresh food from local, organic and sustainable farmers and delivering it directly to families – and supporting our whole community in the process.

OUR STORY

For the last several years, Growing Together has been teaching gardening and nutrition, planting trees, greening schoolyards, and connecting students with nature in the Oakland Unified Schools District (OUSD). During the last school year, we were also running produce stands at three OUSD schools – Manzanita SEED, Global Family and Markham Elementary. The purpose of these stands was to bring fresh food to our families and give our students hands-on lessons in financial literacy and entrepreneurship. With help from our school communities, Mandela Partners produce distributors, and our donors including the Numi Foundation and Clorox, these produce stands were a great success! We sold approximately 1,000 pounds of fresh produce every week! This assured us that many of our families were getting fresh, nutritious food on a regular basis.

After the pandemic hit in March of 2020, schools were closed, and many people began to lose their jobs. Like many other organizations, we quickly realized that our students, families, and even the farmers we had been working with, were going to need support throughout the pandemic. We decided to come together as a community to connect local farmers with families who needed fresh food. We started by working with our three original schools and Mandela Partners, with support from the Clorox Foundation, to deliver fresh produce to 200 families in Oakland.

In partnership with the Numi Foundation, we added an additional supplier, Pacific Rim Produce, and expanded the service to families in San Francisco and Richmond. We were also able to provide jobs by hiring parents from our schools to pack the food and deliver it to the homes of families. After ten weeks, with the help of the Numi Foundation, we were given a generous donation from the Salesforce Foundation, Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, and the TomKat Foundation, which has enabled us to partner further with OUSD and expand our program from 400 families a week to 3,200 families a week! We were also able to support our community by purchasing from several local organic and sustainable farms owned by women and people of color; and hiring more community and family members to pack and deliver the food.

We expanded our produce procurement as well, working with Full Harvest to order from Epic Farmshop, Asian Business Institute and Resource Center, and more. Since mid-April, we have delivered 263,452 pounds of fresh produce!

We are deeply grateful for our funders, partners, packers and delivery people, farmers, and our families who have connected with us in new ways. Without all of you, none of this would be possible! Through this process it has become clear to us that we can work together as a community to support each other through the pandemic and continue creating a healthier, more resilient, place-based food system into the future.

In order for us to continue this initiative, we are now rebranding this new program as Farms to Communities and transitioning to a community supported model that allows everyone in Oakland to get involved and become part of the solution.

Please read more about the new program, sign up for delivery, and support our community!

Thank you so much,

Farms to Communities & The Growing Together Team

Thank You to our Sponsors and Partners

Join FARMS to COMMUNITIES

Start receiving farm fresh fruits and vegetables – delivered to your door –
and help your community at the same time!

Join Today

Thank you!