Everyone’s Harvest offers programs to make local food affordable, accessible

Everyone’s Harvest is a sustainable food movement in Monterey County in the form of local Farmer’s Markets. “Everyone’s Harvest’s mission is to provide access to healthy, affordable fruits and vegetables through certified farmers’ markets and community food programs,” said a co-founder Reid Norris.

Everyone’s Harvest began as the brainchild of Iris Peppard in 2002. Peppard is an alumni of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the program began as her senior capstone project when she was an Integrated Studies major.

The program now hosts five certified farmers markets in the area and is a strong proponent of healthy living in the community. Everyone’s Harvest has many different programs to get people in the area eating a healthy and environmentally sustainable diet.

A unique program that Everyone’s Harvest adopted is the Market Match program. This program gives individuals $10 to spend on fresh produce when they spend $10 of their CalFresh or EBT (electronic transfer benefit card) at the farmer’s market.

This allows low-income families to eat fresh and local fruits and vegetables using their EBT. Reid says this program is extremely important to the company because: “the majority of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, are related to poor diet,” and Market Match can help change that.

In 2008 Everyone’s Harvest partnered with local doctors to begin a program called Fresh Rx. This program is focused on the preventative health of young overweight individuals. With Fresh Rx doctors can “prescribe” fresh fruits and vegetables to their patients and give them $25 to spend on produce at a local farmer’s market.

Markets in Marina, Salinas and Pacific Grove serve more than an estimated 2,000 families weekly in the area. Everyone’s Harvest works with more than 25 small operation farmers who come to sell fresh produce and flowers.

Everyone’s Harvest also puts on a workshop called Edible Education. This is a cooking class for locals to take to learn how to cook their produce in a healthy and yummy way. They host these cooking workshops regularly.

There is a local farmer’s market almost everyday if you know where to find them. The closest one to CSUMB happens every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is located at 215 Reservation Road, Marina in the Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree parking lot.

In the future, Everyone’s Harvest is looking to start a farmer’s market on CSUMB’s campus. Although the specifics are not worked out yet, there is hope for the student oriented farmer’s market.

For more information about Everyone’s Harvest and more locations you can visit their website: https://everyonesharvest.org/ or call (831) 384-6961.

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