Phat Beets Produce is a food justice collective. The collective was started in North Oakland in 2007 as a guerrilla produce stand in a North Oakland park. We now support two certified, clinic-based farmer’s markets, one youth-led school farm stand and community nutrition hub, and a youth market garden in partnership with a local hospital obesity prevention program. As a collective, we strive to support social businesses, small-scale farmers, and farmers of color.
Phat Beets Produce aims to create a healthier, more equitable food system in North Oakland through providing affordable access to fresh produce, facilitating youth leadership in health and nutrition education, and connecting small, disenfranchised farmers to urban communities via the creation of farm stands, farmers’ markets, and urban youth market gardens.
Phat Beets Produce was started as a means to close the gap between small farmers’ of color that lack market outlets and urban communities that lack access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate food. We work to accomplish this through the creation of a local food system that empowers low-income families of Oakland to be leaders in the food movement through the creation of school farm stands, clinic based farmers’ market and clinic based gardens.
1. Healthcare without harm
We work to connect community and individual health with our food system, hoping to motivate healthcare providers and institutions to move to action for a healthier food environment. We also work to improve healthy food access for those most dramatically affected by the obesity epidemic.
2. Strong Economic Opportunities for small, disenfranchised farmers
We work to provide economic opportunities for small, historically disenfranchised farmers by creating new economic avenues for farmers to distribute their produce in the Oakland Flatlands. These avenues include the creation of wholesale accounts at local schools and hospitals, distribution through our CSA program, farmers markets, and produce stands. These efforts aided through community organizing campaigns and use of social media.
3. Edible parks, Edible communities
We want to eliminate barriers that prevent people from growing their own food, and abolish policies that prevent access to healthy food and green spaces. We are working on policies via the Edible Parks Task Force to allow for food cultivation in Oakland Public Parks as a means to food justice.
4. Neighborhood Based Food Micro-Enterprise
We are working to stimulate our local economy via our programs. We want to create a sustainable business model that provides space for local urban entrepreneurs to pursue their vision in creating a viable economic enterprise around sustainable healthy foods. We are a founding member of the Kitchen Co-Op, a North Oakland based community commercial kitchen that will allow residents to grow out their cottage food business using our commercial kitchen and distribution networks.
5. Empowered Youth that Shape their Food System
We work to help youth empower themselves to transform their food system, personally and globally. We believe that through an understanding of food justice comes dietary sovereignty. This work is centered around our “Fresh Fellows” program at the Obesity Prevention Clinic housed at the Children’s Hospital Oakland.
6. Resilient Communities Organized Through Food and Healing
Phat Beets Produce is working to create a holistic, equitable food system for North Oakland. Our farmers’ market project and food and justice workshop series uses community organizing as a tool to build power among those affected by diet related disease within the North Oakland Flatlands. The model is based on the Freedom Schools, free classes taught for the community by their peers.
1. Healthy Food is a Human Right
2. What is lacking is not food, but the political will to fairly distribute food regardless of the recipient’s ability to pay.
Read our business plan here