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SNAP-Ed Partnerships Support a Healthier Community for Individuals in Perris, CA

| California

2024

Note: CalFresh Healthy Living is SNAP-Ed in California.  CalFresh is SNAP.

Summary

The Perris Green City Farm (PGCF) operates 21 gardens. One of those gardens cultivated and distributed over 1,900 pounds of produce to local food pantries. This was accomplished through a partnership between the Riverside University Health System’s CalFresh Healthy Living program and the City of Perris. 

Two people stand next to a table with the CalFresh logo

Challenge

The City of Perris, a subcontractor of Riverside County’s CFHL program, partners with local food pantries to implement the Leah’s Pantry Nutrition Pantry Program (NPP) and conduct healthy food pantry assessments. 

The NPP’s Seven Focus Areas are: 

  • Client Feedback 
  • Community Connections 
  • Nutrition Education 
  • Environment 
  • Inventory and Waste Reduction
  • Cultural and Dietary Accommodations 
  • Policies and Procedures

The Healthy Food Pantry Assessment Toolkit (HFPAT) is used for all food pantry policy, system, and environmental (PSE) change interventions to achieve the goals of the NPP and assess existing food pantry practices to support healthier environments. 

Using the food pantry assessment and results, and support from the CalFresh Healthy Living program, the City of Perris and the food pantry created a workplan focused on offering nutrition education and expanding access to fresh produce.

kids gardening

Solution

The City of Perris partnered with a variety of agencies, including nonprofits, faith-based organizations, mental health facilities, and schools to establish a total of 21 community and local school gardens under its Grow Perris Initiative. 

The City of Perris, through the Perris Green City Farm, provided over 1,900 pounds of healthy produce to the community and food pantry clients. The clients also received recipes from SNAP-Ed partner Leah’s Pantry, via the EatFresh.org website. Each week, the City of Perris provided recipe cards that matched the produce donated to St. James Food Pantry. 

The City of Perris implemented environmental changes at St. James Food Pantry. Changes included increasing signage with healthy messages that promoted healthy food and beverage consumption and providing fresh produce from the Perris Green City Garden to supplement the shelf stable food often distributed by food pantries. Based on the changes implemented, Leah’s Pantry awarded St. James Food Pantry a NPP gold-level certification. 

produce in baggies with recipe cards

As a result of these initiatives, St. James has transitioned and adopted a system change that identifies and prioritizes healthier food items in their food distribution on a day-to-day basis. The City of Perris continues to partner with St. James and the Concerned Family Food Pantry.

Sustaining Success

The COVID-19 pandemic posed many challenges for the Perris community. During the pandemic, the City of Perris continued to prioritize the development of equitable green spaces. The city secured $455,000 in funding from the California Natural Resource Agency Urban Greening grant to assist with expanding the PGCF and connecting to the neighboring park, Foss Field Park. Today, the expansion of the PGCF and Community Park Access Enhancement Project is near completion and includes new sustainable elements, including trees capturing carbon from the atmosphere. 

Some upgrades include new demonstration spaces with an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor amphitheater paid for by the City of Perris and the California Natural Resource Agency (CNRA). These spaces will support SNAP-Ed nutrition education classes and food demonstrations. 

Additionally, there are plans for the garden to include:

  • CalFresh Healthy Living nutrition and physical activity educational programs.
  • Expansion of a kids’ corner.
  • Additional garden systems and landscaping upgrades.
  • Horticultural workshops.

The City of Perris continues to invest in infrastructure that supports healthy built environments for residents who live, work, and play in Perris.  


CalFresh CDPH Logos

 

 

City of Perris  

Riverside University Health System – Public Health

City of Perris and Riverside University Logos
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