April 4th, 2014
12:05 AM ET
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In "the nation's salad bowl," as California's Central Valley is often called, fresh produce grows in abundance.

But for many area residents, healthy food is out of reach.

"Here we are in this agriculturally rich area and yet people who live here and work here are hungry, are impoverished," said Sarah Ramirez, an educator who grew up in the area.

"(Some) are working in the fields that feed the entire country and then they don't have the resources to support them and their health. It's heartbreaking."

For the last two years, Ramirez has been on a mission to build a healthier community in her impoverished hometown of Pixley.

She and her husband launched Be Healthy Tulare, a grass-roots movement to collect produce that would otherwise go to waste and get it to neighbors in need. The group is named for the county where Pixley is located.

"Looking outside and seeing trees just loaded with fruit, I was just feeling like, why aren't we connecting these pieces?" Ramirez said.

Twice a month, Ramirez and volunteers gather fruit and vegetables from farms and backyard trees. They glean from growers and residents who contact them about their excess produce. The group then provides the bounty to a local food bank that distributes it to families in need.

So far this year, Ramirez said, she and her group have collected and donated 20,000 pounds of produce.

Read - Building a healthy community in 'the nation's salad bowl'

Previously:
How to nominate a CNN Hero
Urban farmer: 'If I do not farm, I’ll get sick.'
Where are the female and minority farmers?
What should a 'local' farm (and farmer) look like?
Why women and kids should farm
Urban farming roots community after BP spill

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Filed under: Food Deserts • Food Politics • Human Rights • Hunger • Local Food • Local Heroes • Urban Gardening


soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. zoltanwelvart

    Don destroy last fertile soil.yourfarms use tomuck water . you're notputting all necessary elements in soil cause you can't. Kill whales make floodplane more element free(disolvables, soluables).acid body(elements), acid floodplane.bank on cancer industry.greendirt from continentsl drainpoint is such a big deposit, if it is not fought over or hidden, like now.couldrestore humanities mmiserable bodies and warped minds .inland plankton is super nutrition. Algae can eat fish.only thing worse than malnutrition is over nutrition. Elements are toxins.so small, cell, so big deposit.so incredable.

    April 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  2. farmfoodie

    Reblogged this on Farm Foodie and commented:
    Hunger in the nation's "salad bowl" is a true tragedy. A similar problem to "food deserts" but on the opposite spectrum.

    April 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Reply
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