School

Over 50,000 San Diego County students have access to locally grown fruit and vegetables in their cafeterias, thanks to the Harvest of the Month Program. The Harvest of the Month in the Classroom Program curriculum is aligned to national and state academic standards.

School Garden

We co-facilitate the San Diego County School Garden Collaborative to support and advance garden-based learning for all youth in San Diego County.  Training, networking, and local resources are provided to classroom teachers and garden educators to sustain healthy school gardens.

Farm

The Harvest of the Month Program has inspired new connections between our local farming community and San Diego County school cafeterias, worksites and food retailers.   In elementary school classrooms, children now have the opportunity to learn about their local farmers, see how their fruits and vegetables are grown, and taste seasonal farm produce in their school salad bars.

Business

We work with over 20,000 employees from 150 worksite locations to increase access to fresh, seasonal produce in the workplace setting through efforts like community supported agriculture (CSA) programs and healthy cafeteria makeovers, as well as Harvest of the Month marketing and promotion.

Community Garden

We connect with garden groups like the Linda Vista Community Garden and Mt. Hope Community Garden to help provide urban growers with new opportunities to sell and promote their produce in neighborhood markets. We also serve in a leadership capacity with the San Diego Food System Alliance, organizing advocacy efforts to promote the passage and implementation of AB551: Urban Agriculture Incentives Zones in San Diego County and its cities. This policy increases access to vacant urban land for agriculture use and can benefit our community garden partners.

Food Market

We work with small neighborhood markets like Louie’s Market Place, in the Oak Park neighborhood of San Diego, to improve and promote access to healthy affordable fresh foods using multiple strategies such as: market design and layout support, shopper surveying, neighborhood resident engagement, and connecting market owners to local produce growers.

Farmer's Market

We help promote universal access to EBT at farmers’ markets and advocate for Market Match to support low-income shoppers’ ability to afford fresh, healthy, and locally grown foods. We also work with youth and residents to advocate for walkable and bikeable pathways to healthy places like the City Heights Farmers’ Market.

Place of Worship

Working within the cultural framework of religion, our interfaith, intergenerational approach has established partnerships with faith-based organizations across the County to implement Healthy Eating and Physical Activity policies, create community gardens, become food distribution sites and initiate joint-use agreements with local recreational centers in a culturally sensitive and aware manner that responds to the specific needs of our diverse communities.

About Us

Understanding food environments and the factors that influence a food system, insecurity, and access is a complex task. Race, class, and gender play critical roles in determining population health, poverty, hunger, and access to affordable healthy foods. We help cultivate a food system that actively considers the environment, economy, equity, and education by engaging with community partners in schools, grocery stores, faith-based organizations, and worksites.

What We Do

We collaborate with public and private entities, and community residents to develop and implement effective solutions in multiple settings. We strive to increase opportunities for access to healthy, fresh, and affordable foods. Additionally, we focus on building educational capacity on the connection between a thriving food system and the well-being of a population. The following provides a snapshot of our work and services.

Education, Policy, & Collaboration

From large corporations to local service groups, we help our partners implement healthy food projects in their communities.

Education

Harvest of the Month is an educational initiative to promote the region’s seasonal produce items in schools, worksites, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, faith institutions, and other community-based settings. We collaborate with growers and community organizations to develop an annual San Diego Harvest of the Month calendar that highlights in-season produce items to look for each month. At intervention sites, participants try new produce items and learn how to prepare and store seasonal selections through our comprehensive technical assistance approach.

Policy

We work on building solutions towards a more equitable food system by collaborating with multiple stakeholders on a common policy agenda that promotes a healthy and thriving San Diego for all. Our staff leads and participates in several coalitions and advisory groups to provide expertise on food system policies.

San Diego Food System Alliance

UCSD Center for Community Health invests in the core operation of the San Diego Food System Alliance to enhance collaborations and promote public policy changes to impact our food system. Specific areas being supported include:

  • Healthy food access
  • Urban agriculture
  • Food recovery

The Alliance is comprised of 33 Voting Members and over 80 organizations in the broader network, representing nonprofits, government institutions, businesses and community members.  Due to the diverse nature of the membership, the Alliance is  best-positioned to provide thorough recommendations, both programmatic and policies, to further our food system goals in San Diego county.

Our Partners

  • San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency
  • San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative
  • Community Health Improvement Partners
  • San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce
  • Leah's Pantry
  • Lemon Grove Neighborhood Market
  • Wrigley's Supermarket
  • La Posta Market
  • Wally's Marketplace
  • Primo Foods
  • Tropicana Market
  • Big B's
  • Garden Farms Market
  • Foodland
  • City Heights Farmers Market
  • El Cajon City Farmers Market
  • Red Bird Market
  • Rema Halal Food
  • Bruno's Market
  • Fresh Garden Market
  • La Tiendita Clairemont Mesa
  • La Tiendita de Linda Vista
  • Louie's Marketplace
  • Minne Haha
  • Linda Vista Community Garden at Bayside Community Center
  • Lakeside Union School District
  • Cajon Valley Union School District
  • Julian Union School District
  • Chula Vista Elementary School District
  • Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District
  • La Mesa-Spring Valley School District
  • San Ysidro School District
  • Oceanside Unified School District
  • Vista Unified School District
  • Escondido Union School District
  • Santee School District
  • Lemon Grove School District
  • Diamond Business Improvement Association
  • El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association
  • Barrio Logan Maintenance Assessment District
  • Oak Park Community Town Council
  • Circulate San Diego
  • Environmental Health Coalition
  • Project New Village
  • The Urban Collaborative
  • SAY San Diego
  • San Diego County Department of Environmental Health
  • E3 Civic High
  • International Rescue Committee, New Roots Program

Harvest of the Month

San Diego’s seasonal produce helps communities maintain healthy lifestyle habits.

Download the calendar

Harvest of the Month promotes the region's seasonal produce items.

Download
January calendar icon

January

Grapefruit & Salad Greens

January Resources

February calendar icon

February

Beets & Mandarin

February Resources

March calendar icon

March

Cooked Greens & Kiwi

March Resources

April calendar icon

April

Cucumbers & Berries

April Resources

May calendar icon

May

Strawberries & Carrots

May Resources

June calendar icon

June

Peaches & Corn

June Resources

July calendar icon

July

Plums & Avocado

July Resources

August calendar icon

August

Green Beans & Melon

August Resources

September calendar icon

September

Pears & Pepper

September Resources

October calendar icon

October

Grapes & Zucchini

October Resources

November calendar icon

November

Persimmon & Root Vegetables

November Resources

December calendar icon

December

Apples & Winter Squash

December Resources

Join the Movement

Get in touch to request research, facilitation, training, and/or technical assistance services to support your own food system efforts.

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