Bring Food Roots Produce Pantry to your community!

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Produce Pantry Project | Online application due 1/15/18

Download this application information as a PDF

Thanks for your interest in the Food Roots Produce Pantry! Food Roots is a project of Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM), a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant API communities through grassroots organizing. Our team advocates for healthy eating, food access, active living, environmental justice, and other issues that make good health possible.

Through Food Roots, we connect our communities to culturally relevant, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables while supporting California farmers of color. The Produce Pantry is a special initiative of Food Roots, made possible by the individual donors and foundations committed to ensuring that low-income community members have access to fresh, local produce.

What am I applying for?
This is an application to bring a Food Roots Produce Pantry to your site for five (5) months, twice a month. In addition to the Pantry, our team will offer a monthly healthy eating class at your site, including a recipe demonstration that provides examples of how your community members can prepare/cook the produce they receive from the Pantry. We’ll also work with you to explore how you can keep this effort going beyond the scope of the partnership.


    • 1/15/18 Applications due by 11:59pm
    • 2/5/18 Winner announced
    • 2/6/18-2/28/18 Planning for produce pantry and class launch
    • 3/2018-7/2018-Produce Pantry (twice a month) on the following Monday dates: March 12th & 26th; April 9th & 22nd; May 7th & 21st; June 4th & 18th; July 16th & 30th. Monthly classes occur throughout; dates/times to be determined during planning phase

Is my site eligible?
To be eligible for Food Roots Produce Pantry, your site must:

  • Primarily serve those living at ≤185% of the Federal Poverty Level (especially those who are eligible for, or participate in, CalFresh).
  • Be located in or near Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, Koreatown, or Little Tokyo, and have an emphasis on serving Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.
  • Be able to allocate staffing or volunteers on a consistent basis who will: 1) receive training from us and work with us to run the Pantry and support classes, 2) conduct regular outreach to your community to ensure turn-out at the Pantry and classes, and 3) be able to interface with your community in relevant language(s).
  • Have storage space for two (2) large coolers, where the space is room temperature or lower.
  • Have an appropriate, accessible location for the Pantry and monthly classes, including tables and chairs.

Preference will be given to sites/organizations that can demonstrate a clear community need, as well as a commitment to expanding access to healthy food in the long-term.

What exactly is the Produce Pantry? What does it look like and how does it run?
It’s pretty simple. We will come to your site twice a month (on Mondays) and work with your staff/volunteers to set up two (6-foot) tables and lay out the produce on those tables. That’s the “Pantry,” and we’ll keep it “open” for about two hours each time we come. We will work with your staff/volunteers during those two hours to distribute the produce to your community members. Before we actually launch the Pantry days, we will meet with you to determine scheduling and outreach.

Where does the produce come from? How much does each Pantry give out?
All the produce comes from small California farms run by Asian Americans and other farmers of color who use sustainable growing practices. Our donor base has contributed money so that we can purchase produce from our Food Roots farmers and distribute it to low-income individuals and families. If your site is selected, we will use those donations to cover the cost of produce from our Food Roots farmers, and bring it to you on Produce Pantry days. Our team will need to deliver the produce in coolers earlier the day of the Produce Pantry, and then return later to set up and co-run the Pantry with your staff/volunteers. Each Pantry will have 25 lbs of produce available for distribution, and each Pantry will have a different variety of produce. For example, one Pantry might offer 10 lbs of oranges (about 20-23 oranges), 10 lbs of bok choy (about 30-40 individual bok choys), and 5 lbs of carrots (about 25 carrots). Depending on the size of the community you serve and expected turnout, we will help you determine the maximum that each individual/family should receive.

APIFM HEAL ClassWhat are the monthly classes about?
To be eligible for the Food Roots Produce Pantry, you must be able and willing to host monthly healthy eating classes at your site. We are able to conduct these classes via funding from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Champions for Change initiative, which seeks to promote healthy living for SNAP/SNAP-Ed/CalFresh-eligible people. Your site would host five (5) classes total, one during each month of our Produce Pantry partnership, and each class would be between 60 and 90 minutes long. The class agenda typically involves at least 30 minutes of education about basic nutrition, about 30 minutes for a recipe demonstration, and some physical activity if time allows. For your site’s class series, we would demonstrate and discuss healthy recipes that use vegetables and fruit we provide at the Produce Pantry, and share the nutritional benefits of those produce items.

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Our food hub’s new brand! Food Roots

We’re excited to officially unveil the new name, brand, and website for our food hub: Food Roots! Check out the press release below to learn more. Shout out to Whole Cities Foundation and Giant Robot Media for making this revamp possible, and to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the national food hub expert consultants that helped us create a comprehensive plan for continuing to expand this area of our work.

Download the PDF of this press release

November 27, 2017

API Forward Movement Launches Rebrand of Roots Food Hub to Food Roots

(Los Angeles, CA) – Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM), a Los Angeles public health community-based organization, today unveiled the new brand of its food hub program: Food Roots. The mission of Food Roots is to connect local and sustainably grown Asian specialty foods to communities and businesses in the greater Los Angeles area while supporting Asian American small farms and other farmers of color in California.

“The new Food Roots brand is a culmination of our team’s efforts to deepen the accessibility and sustainability of this work,” said Scott Chan, APIFM Program Director. “We’ve been supporting local farmers and bringing their produce to Los Angeles communities since 2012. With the Food Roots vision and plan, we have a clear path for growing our farmer network, consumer base, and the community impact of this local food system.”

Formerly called Roots Food Hub, Food Roots started in 2012 as a volunteer-run Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, where volunteers and farmers worked together to bring bags of sustainably grown, local Asian produce to a small subscriber base of individuals and families. The project, managed by APIFM Program Manager Kyle Tsukahira, has expanded since then from 12 to over 100 subscribers across 10 CSA drop-off sites, and now also supplies produce on a wholesale basis to local corner stores, restaurants, and community centers. The corner store distribution work occurs in partnership with Leadership for Urban Renewal Network, Inc. and Los Angeles Food Policy Council as part of the the Community Markets Purchasing Real and Affordable (COMPRA) Foods project, which distributes fresh produce to small stores in “food desert” neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

With the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, APIFM worked with national food hub experts from the Wallace Center at Winrock International to produce a business and food safety plan for Food Roots in 2017. The new Food Roots brand was produced in collaboration with Giant Robot Media, with funds from Whole Cities Foundation.

Read more about Food Roots at http://foodroots.co.

About API Forward Movement
APIFM cultivates healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant Asian and Pacific Islander communities through grassroots organizing. Our programs focus on healthy food access and nutrition education, active living and community-informed transportation, culturally-responsive community health work, and environmental justice. We are working towards a world where Asian and Pacific Islander communities–and all communities of color–have full power to access good health and a healthy environment. APIFM is a division of the nonprofit Special Service for Groups, Inc. Learn more at www.apifm.org.

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