Cultivo: Yolo County’s Crusade Against Farmworker Food Insecurity

Cultivo: Yolo County’s Crusade Against Farmworker Food Insecurity

In the fertile expanses of Yolo County, a paradox exists: the very hands that cultivate an abundance of crops grapple with food insecurity. A new program, Cultivo, aims to address this disparity by bringing food directly to the fields and homes of those who feed the nation.

Yolo County, with its vast agricultural industry, is home to over 7,000 farmworkers who play a pivotal role in the food supply chain. Yet, a staggering 50% face food insecurity. Cultivo, a collaborative effort by the Yolo Food Bank and Sutter Health, is a beacon of hope, designed to mitigate this issue through monthly pop-up food distributions.

The program’s innovative approach circumvents the barriers of traditional food distribution methods, which often clash with the farmworkers’ schedules and remote living locations. By bringing sustenance to their doorsteps, Cultivo ensures that those who toil under the sun don’t retire under the shadow of hunger.

Nourishment as a Right

The Cultivo program is more than a mere distribution of food; it’s a statement that nourishment is a fundamental right, not a privilege. The recent event in Woodland saw 120 farmworkers receive enough provisions to last two to three weeks, a testament to the program’s immediate impact.

Sutter Health’s involvement underscores the belief that food is medicine. Providing access to fresh, healthy options is a proactive step towards preventing chronic diseases prevalent among the farmworker community, such as diabetes and heart disease.

A Sustainable Future

The success of Cultivo’s pilot distribution is just the beginning. With plans to continue for at least two years, the program promises a sustainable solution to a long-standing issue. It’s a model that could inspire similar initiatives across the country, transforming the landscape of food security for farmworkers.