Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Foodwise serves diverse communities, including city dwellers and rural farmers representing a wide range of intersecting identities across race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

As we strive to grow thriving communities through the power and joy of local food, we recognize our responsibility to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) within our organization, Bay Area community, and food system at large.

Farmers markets have a reputation for being predominantly white spaces that are accessible and affordable to a privileged few. We acknowledge this legacy of systemic racism and commit to actively dismantling it. Since our organization’s founding, our leadership and programming have not always reflected our diversity and the interests of our communities, and we are working to change that.

This commitment outlines our values and actions we are taking to build a truly equitable and sustainable food system, one that nourishes, celebrates, and empowers all. For more details about our programs and impact, please see our latest Impact Report.

Our Values

  • Healthy food for all: We believe everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy, and sustainably grown food. We strive to make our farmers markets welcoming spaces with affordable options for any budget.
  • Equity and representation: We ensure our markets reflect the community’s diversity and offer opportunities for BIPOC entrepreneurs. We support small farms and food businesses, so they can thrive. 
  • Everyone has food wisdom: We celebrate the food wisdom in each person, community, and culture, facilitating connections and knowledge sharing through educational programs and experiences.
  • Students first: We provide student-centered, anti-racist, and culturally relevant curriculum and programming that nurtures young people’s food curiosity and wisdom.
  • Accessible and inclusive communications: We strive to make our communications clear, inclusive, and accessible to all. We prioritize people’s power and agency in telling their own stories.
  • Community-centric fundraising: We value everyone who participates in our work, honoring people’s time, skills, and contributions at all levels
  • Authentic partnerships: We work to build trust with our partners and the communities we serve. We don’t assume we know best and believe the best decisions come out of listening.
  • People are our mission: We believe our community and team are the drivers of our mission. We cultivate a culture of care and respect.

Actions and Initiatives

Foodwise is committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice across all aspects of our organization.

  • Ensure equitable access to healthy food for low-income residents at our farmers markets by accepting CalFresh EBT, WIC, and other benefits, and double shoppers’ benefits through nutrition incentives like Market Match.
  • Provide market opportunities for BIPOC, immigrant, and limited-resource food entrepreneurs at all Foodwise farmers markets through our Building Equity Program. Reduce barriers to entry and support participants’ success through technical assistance, financial support, and marketing.
  • Nurture community partnerships with BIPOC-led organizations through our Building Equity Program and work in collaboration to meet the needs of participating entrepreneurs and ensure that they thrive.
  • Create transparency around our market seller criteria, recruitment, and application process.
  • Participate in regional, statewide and national coalitions and advocacy efforts to advance food access, farmers markets, and equity for farmers and farmworkers.

  • Offer free educational programming to welcome eaters of all ages and backgrounds at the farmers market and help them learn about and prepare fresh produce.
  • Highlight BIPOC farmers, food makers, and chefs in our public cooking demos and talks, and provide honoraria for sharing their time and expertise. 
  • Provide free Foodwise Kids and Foodwise Teens programs to San Francisco Unified (SFUSD) students and their families, prioritizing schools with high percentages of students who qualify for free and reduced priced meals (FRPM) and Title 1 schools and high percentage of BIPOC students.
  • Integrate culturally relevant food traditions, cuisines, and perspectives into our curricula and programming, fostering a deeper understanding of food systems.
  • Incorporate food justice, advocacy, and activism in Foodwise Teens curriculum and adult programming.
  • Share food access resources, such as information about CalFresh and Market Match, with families.
  • Engage and survey program participants to understand their needs and wants, and ensure that our programming is relevant.

  • Ensure that our communications are inclusive and accessible for our diverse audiences, including multilingual translation of our website, farmers market signage, and educational materials.
  • Center diverse voices, perspectives, and foodways in our storytelling, including BIPOC farmers, food makers, and youth.
  • Use our communications platforms to educate about the intersections of food, race, and social justice, and share opportunities and resources to take action.

  • Enable participation from our full community in development and fundraising projects by creating inclusive spaces and opportunities, for example, by including sliding scale tickets at some fundraising events. 
  • Uphold community-centric fundraising principles to disrupt the harmful aspects of donor-centric fundraising, which perpetuate inequity and white saviorism.
  • Create practices and systems that value the time, energy, and resources of all participants in development and fundraising, such as providing stipends for farmers, food makers, and chefs who participate in our fundraising events.
  • Ensure planning and host committees reflect the diversity of our communities.

  • Cultivate a diverse team (staff, board, interns, volunteers) who represent and understand the demographics and interests of the communities we work with, and provide training and support in cultural competency. 
  • Value the time, talents, and contributions of staff members by providing fair pay, annual cost-of-living raises, and a 401(k) with employer match. Ensure compensation transparency by including pay scales in job descriptions.
  • Nurture a culture of employee care and well-being through benefits such as paid vacation, work-from-home flexibility, and a monthly wellness reimbursement stipend. 
  • Invest in team members’ learning and career growth by offering an annual professional development allowance.
  • Provide ongoing DEIJ training opportunities for staff and board members.
  • Institutionalize checks-and-balances in internal systems to prevent conflicts of interest and abuses of power.
  • Value the time, skills, and contributions of interns by providing stipends and on-site training.
  • Foster a culture of care and appreciation through celebrations for staff, volunteers, market sellers, and other stakeholders.

Vision for the Future

This is a continuous work in progress, and we are committed to the ongoing journey of dismantling inequity, systemic racism, and white supremacy in our organization, as we work to create an equitable food system for all.

We are accountable to you, our community, and your partnership and feedback are crucial in this work. We invite you to tell us how we can do better, and join us in building a fair, regenerative, and delicious food future for all. Contact us.