Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Sierra Harvest exists to transform lives and strengthen community through fresh, local, seasonal food. The only path to achieving this is to make sure that everyone truly does have a seat at the table. Only together on our food justice journey, can we end racism and inequality as we build community around local food.

Aimee Retzler, Executive Director

Where we’ve been…

Sierra Gardens was designed to increase equitable access to fresh food, building 119 gardens and providing 7,000 hours of garden education.

Farm to School was intentionally started at an economically disadvantaged school in Nevada County and now provides 7,100 Western Nevada County students fresh food and nutrition education.

Sierra Harvest adopted the volunteer Gold Country Gleaners in 2018 to get more fresh, local food into the distributions of a local food pantry. In the first four years, over 85K pounds of food has been rescued and shared with those in need.

In 2020, Sierra Harvest staff completed Soul Fire Farm’s Uprooting Racism training.

In 2022, Farm to School focused on creating partnerships with more historically underserved farms and farmers to source produce for our Harvest of the Month program.

Where we’re going…

Supporting the transformation of food served in school cafeterias. This will provide a scratch cooked meal program featuring fresh, whole foods that meet the dietary needs of all students from pre-K through 12th grade — increasing meal access for 43% of the student population in Nevada County.

A more robust scholarship program to support more equitable access for Food Love Farm summer camp and Farm Institute programs.

Changing organizational behaviors and conversations to support more equity internally amongst our staff.

Adopting more principles of Community Centric Fundraising to help bring more social and economic justice in our development strategies.

Expanding farmer training to help build their markets and connecting a more diverse group of beginning farmers to resources needed to succeed.

Sierra Harvest programs take place across Nevada County and beyond, on land that is unceded territory of Native tribes who lived here for thousands of years, and still live here, including the Nisenan, Tsi Akim, and Mountain Maidu.

Read more about this history and why it is important to our work.