Design by Marissa Espiritu / Photo by Andrew Nixon
Sacramento, CA – October 4, 2021: Capital Public Radio (CapRadio) and Valley Vision today announced the Food System Resilience Poll — an initiative designed to explore the connections between food, farm and community in the Sacramento region — and the release of the October 2021 report. The report examines the strengths and weaknesses of Sacramento’s food system, and offers insights that can help build an equitable and accessible farm to fork culture that benefits all communities in the region.
In conjunction with the report’s release, the CapRadio newsroom is launching a weeklong reporting series today that dives deeper into the findings and impact on communities. A glimpse of CapRadio’s upcoming coverage includes visiting an indigenous-led farm in West Sacramento to explore solutions that help increase access to farm-grown food; examining how equitable Sacramento’s farm to fork movement is with regional advocates and stakeholders; and discussing the challenges of accessing farm-grown and specialty cultural foods with residents of South Sacramento's Hmong community.
“There are too many Sacramentans who cannot access food or who go without healthy meals,” said Nick Miller, managing editor of news at CapRadio. “Our goal is to not just spotlight this inequity, but also to offer real-world solutions and affect systemic change through our reporting efforts.”
Additionally, CapRadio is highlighting the findings in a data visualization story, interviewing Valley Vision CEO Evan Schmidt during Morning Edition on October 4 and featuring segments on Insight With Vicki Gonzalez. CapRadio’s Food System Resilience Poll reporting is available at capradio.org/foodpoll and throughout the week on the CapRadio News broadcasts.
“The promise of the Farm to Fork Capital, combined with a devastating pandemic, leaves critical questions about immediate and long-term actions needed to support a resilient food system,” said Evan Schmidt, CEO at Valley Vision. “This latest poll looks at how well our food system actually meets the needs of all residents and if all of us have access to sufficient and nutritious foods we need.”
As an extension of the Food Resilience Poll, the Sacramento Region Community Foundation partnered with Valley Vision on the Sacramento Region 2021 Food System Action Plan initiative. The Action Plan, expected to be released publicly in the coming weeks, will create a common framework and identify the strategic priorities, actions, resources and leadership needed to transform the regional food system, reduce hunger, increase local healthy food consumption, improve health outcomes and grow the regional economy.
The public opinion poll, administered by Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research, occurred in August 2021. With a survey panel of just over 1,260 respondents, it is demographically representative of California’s Capital Region, encompassing Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.
Key takeaways from the report include:
- Self-reported food insecurity was higher in the Farm to Fork Capital than the U.S. average.
- Racial and economic disparities adversely affect lower income people and people of color when shopping for healthy and culturally appropriate foods.
- Federal stimulus checks during the pandemic were an important means of increasing food security during a hard time.
- Even though they live in the Farm to Fork Capital, many residents in the region have not had opportunities to grow their own food or participate in a neighborhood garden.
- One-fifth of survey participants have not participated in local food and agriculture activities.
- The farm to fork brand is popular overall, but it is less popular among Latinos who are more likely to disagree that it is a positive brand for the region. Further, those who live in small towns or rural settings are more likely to agree with the brand than those living in cities.
- Respondents highly value wild, open lands and farmland, and enjoy living in an area with farms and agriculture.
- Over half of respondents throw away food, but most see the value in food recovery programs that help reduce food waste and address hunger.
The October 2021 report, a special data visualization project and additional CapRadio reporting on Sacramento’s food system are available at capradio.org/foodpoll.
CapRadio serves California’s Capital Region, Central Valley and Sierra Nevada as the public-supported alternative to for-profit media. As the NPR Member station based in Sacramento, CapRadio connects with communities through seven broadcast stations, live streaming, podcasts, digital communities, live experiences and more. Known for its award-winning newsroom, CapRadio is recognized as a leader in community-engaged journalism and state government reporting, and CapRadio Music is the exclusive broadcast source of classical and jazz in the region. With more than 500,000 weekly listeners on-air and online, CapRadio provides a trusted and indispensable source of information, music and events.
About Valley Vision
For nearly 30 years, Valley Vision has used research to help governments, businesses, foundations, and community groups better understand the issues facing our region. We believe that knowing and understanding the facts is the best way to establish a common working foundation for collaborative problem-solving. That’s why Valley Vision conducts, produces, and interprets research that includes scientific public opinion polls, focus groups, community needs assessments, best practice studies, and other research tools that bring to light the facts local leaders need to make informed decisions that improve our communities.
About Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research
ISR supports community partners in improving programs and policies in the region and throughout the state. Located at the university’s downtown location, the Institute offers a broad range of expertise conducting surveys and applied research. Since 1989, our collaborations with government agencies and nonprofit organizations have contributed to public accountability, program fidelity, and the strengthening of communities.