This is a piece I reported over several months and produced with support from the UC Berkeley 11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship. Thanks to my fellowship colleagues and editors for all their support and insight along the way. Thanks to all the people I interviewed for this story. And thanks to Valley Public Radio for airing it. Hunger and food access disparities in the middle of our nation's most productive agricultural land have to be addressed.
Hundreds of different food crops are raised in and around Fresno County. But many of those who live and work nearby have little access to the fruits of their own landscape. In fact, more people go hungry here in the Fresno metropolitan area than almost anywhere else in the entire nation. It’s this not-so-modest problem that Food Commons Fresno wants to solve — starting with their Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) brand, OOOOBY, or Out Of Our Own Backyards. Their vision is to support smaller farmers, and get more fresh produce into the area’s food deserts. And nine months in, they’re making some progress. But their goals are ambitious. And the basic cost of food for those who need it most, may still be too high. Listen to hear more.