Prior to the launch of the Berkeley Farm Stand, the Ecology Center operated the Farm Fresh Choice program. In 2001, the City of Berkeley released a Health Status Report that revealed striking disparities in the health and life expectancies between African American and Caucasian residents of Berkeley. Farm Fresh Choice grew out of the Berkeley Food Policy Council, fueled by these findings.

African Americans suffer disproportionately from hypertension and diabetes, diseases that healthy food can prevent and heal. Farm Fresh Choice combines convenience with access, making low-cost, pesticide-free, fresh fruit and vegetables available where low-income residents of color congregate. We also share nutrition information, teach cooking skills, and cultivate the next generation of leaders.

Farm Fresh Choice was committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our community in the East Bay. The program offered the following services:

Nutrition Education: We share easy, nutritious recipes and nutrition information that empowers the community to make healthier choices. We also offer cooking classes, cooking demonstrations, tastings, and a variety of fun, fact-filled presentations on health.

Youth Development Program: Our produce stands are staffed by youth
from the communities we serve. The youth gain valuable job skills and knowledge about food, farming, and nutrition. We are cultivating leadership and effective community advocacy.

Weekly Produce Stands: We bring fresh, pesticide-free produce to three locations every week. We work hard to keep our prices affordable while supporting small, local family farms that reflect our diversity.

We Partner With Local Farms
Avalos Organic Farm, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, Blossom Bluff Orchard, Blue Heron, Brokaw Orchards, Catalan Family Farm, Full Belly Farm, Guru Ram Das Orchards, Kaki Farm, Lucero Farms, Pomo Tierra, Riverdog Farm, Smit Ranch, and Solano Mushroom.

Farm Fresh Choice Funders
Farm Fresh Choice is a grant-funded program. We are grateful for the support of the Clif Bar Family Foundation, E.E. Perkins Foundation, Ecology Center Members, Heart 2 Heart, Network for a Healthy California, USDA SNAP-Ed Innovative Projects, and California Association of Food Banks.