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.
Knoxville, Tennessee (CNN) - Helen Ashe experienced many hardships growing up in Abbeville, South Carolina, during the 1930s and '40s. Her family's first house had no lights or running water.
But even during tough times, she and her twin sister, Ellen, were taught to be selfless.
"My daddy taught us not to take the last piece of bread from the table; somebody may come by that's hungry," Ashe remembered.
Since 1986, Ashe has been leaving a whole lot more than bread on the table.
As the founder of the Love Kitchen in Knoxville, Tennessee, she has helped serve more than 1 million free meals to those in need.
FULL STORY: 'Love Kitchen' delivers for Knoxville needy