California rolls out a pilot program for CalFresh recipients to have more affordable access to homegrown produce. What this winter’s epic snowpack means for the state’s water needs. A unique infused aperitif tasting room in Winters.
CalFresh fruits and vegetables pilot program
This year over 5 million Californians rely on CalFresh benefits, according to the state Department of Social Services. Many know the program as “Food Stamps” or by the federal name “SNAP,” which stands for the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” During the pandemic, many received additional benefits that provided a minimum of $95 every month for food as the state expires its COVID-19 emergency declaration that additional food assistance has come to an end. Although with inflation, some would argue the need is still very much here. This month, the state launched a pilot program to make California-grown fresh produce more accessible and affordable for those using CalFresh. Joining us to talk about “California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Project” and how it’s being applied on a statewide level is Eli Zigas, the “Food and Agriculture Policy Director” with the non-profit SPUR, which stands for the “San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association.” Also, Emma Burke joins us with the “Alchemist Community Development Corporation,” which is rolling out the pilot program at farmers’ markets in Sacramento County.
Today is a ceremonial day in a sense when it comes to California’s water supply forecast. Department of Water Resources is conducting its April manual “snow survey” along Highway 50 in El Dorado County just before Echo Summit; this is in addition to more than 100 electronic readings done throughout the state’s Sierra Nevada. But the April snow survey historically is the best predictor of California’s water supply. This year is reminding us of record-setting years in the past. From the southern to central and northern Sierra, the snowpack varies but overall is looking to be above average, and that has great implications for water supply, but that also brings the challenge of striking a cautionary balance for flood control during the warmer, drier months. Jeffrey Mount is a senior fellow in “water policy” at the “Public Policy Institute of California” or PPIC for short, and founding director of the “Center for Watershed Sciences” at UC Davis. Jeffrey joins us once again with a bigger picture of the winter season and the stress test this can pose as all that snow melts.
Spring is definitely in the air this week. Northern California is starting to dry out, and the temperatures are heading into the mid to upper 70s by the end of this week. You might be looking for a short getaway. Somewhere close with lots to offer. If you head west on I-80 for about 40 minutes from Sacramento, the town of Winters is well worth the drive. A historic downtown lined with restaurants, shops, and breweries, but its newest attraction, is a one-of-a-kind tasting room, one you will only find in Winters. It’s called “L’Aper les Trois,” and it’s a tasting room of aperitifs. Aperitifs are low-alcohol, wine-based drinks usually served before a meal to open the palette. And “L’Aper les Trois” is already making waves just a few months after opening, as it was just listed as one of the top “11 tasting rooms in the Bay Area” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Co-owner George-Anne Brennan tells us it’s French, it’s Californian, and it celebrates the local flavors of Yolo County in every sip. And the story of how the tasting room came to be is just as interesting as the aperitifs served at “L’Aper les Trois.” George-Anne Brennan joined us a few months ago with more on her latest project.