Since 2018 Community Health Councils (CHC) has been serving as the organizational backbone for the Region 2 Best Start Community (a First 5 LA investment). One of the principal tenets of this place-based initiative is to create the type of equitable environments that promote collaboration with and between key stakeholders and community leaders, to improve the lives of children and strengthen communities within South Los Angeles and Compton. Included in Region 2 are four communities located in South Los Angeles and Compton: Broadway/Manchester, Compton/East Compton, Watts/Willowbrook, and West Athens.
Thinking Outside The Farm Box
Click the image to open the report (PDF)
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Best Start leaders expressed a strong desire to find ways to support their communities during a time of unexpected crisis. To quickly understand how to translate this desire into action, a survey was disseminated across the Best Communities that revealed fears about food security as one of the top concerns voiced by community residents.

To address food insecurity, CHC partnered with Best Start Region 2 residents and Sustainable Economic Enterprises of LA (SEE-LA) to establish a Farm Box Grab and Go to distribute over 17,000 farm boxes to residents. A network of community-based organizations, faith-based entities, and dozens of volunteers across the 4 communities worked together to distribute a week’s worth of fresh, locally grown produce and eggs for a family of four along with other essential resources, weekly for 10 weeks.

This brief offers an overview of the Farm Box Grab and Go, including its challenges, impact, and implications for addressing access to healthy fresh food through a systems change approach.

Key Outcomes:

  1. Over 17,000 boxes of fresh produce distributed
  2. Established hyper-local food network that was 100% community led
  3. Increased visibility of the Best Start initiative
  4. Provided a revenue stream and new business opportunities for local farmers impacted by COVID-19
  5. The food network was able to quickly ramp up for an additional 6 weeks of distribution adding an extra 9,525 boxes (total for both efforts was 26,875 boxes distributed)