People eating food in a community garden

Food and Agriculture

Our goal: Create healthy, just and sustainable food systems, and put an end to food insecurity.

SPUR’s Five-Year Priorities:

• Make healthy food easier to find, afford and choose.

• Preserve agricultural land and reduce the food systems’ environmental impact.

• Support Good Food Purchasing practices, access to farmland and industrial land for farmers and producers, and quality jobs in the food industry.

 

Read our policy agenda

 

Double Up Food Bucks California

Piloting a scalable model for making healthy food more affordable

One of the biggest obstacles to healthy eating is the affordability of healthy food. Our Double Up Food Bucks California project helps families overcome that barrier. The project provides matching funds so that families and individuals participating in the CalFresh program can buy even more fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.

 

 

 

 

 

Medically-Supportive Food and Nutrition

Expanding health care coverage to use food as medicine

The need for these food-based interventions in Medicaid has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which highlighted many health and social inequities, especially for Black and Brown communities. This pandemic emphasizes the need to use food to treat and prevent chronic disease and to decrease the effects of health disparities and food insecurity on chronic disease.

Close-up of apples

SPUR Report

Healthy Food Within Reach

One in 10 adults in the Bay Area struggle to find three meals a day, while more than half of adults are overweight or obese. To meet our basic needs, improve public health and enhance our quality of life, Bay Area residents must have access to healthy food. SPUR recommends 12 actions that local governments can take to improve food access in Bay Area communities.
Fruit haning from a tree

SPUR Report

Locally Nourished

The Bay Area’s food system supports our greenbelt, employs hundreds of thousands of people, and helps reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. SPUR's recommends a series of policies to help us more effectively capture the benefits of our regional food system.

SPUR Report

Public Harvest

Urban agriculture has captured the imagination of San Franciscans in recent years. But the city won't realize all the benefits of this growing interest unless it provides more land, more resources and better institutional support.

Ongoing Initiative

Double Up Food Bucks California

Double Up Food Bucks California provides matching funds so that families and individuals participating in the CalFresh program can buy even more fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. For example, a shopper who spends $10 of CalFresh benefits on California-grown fruits and vegetables at participating stores will get an extra $10 to spend on any fresh produce in the store.

Updates and Events


How Are Oakland and San Francisco Spending Their Soda Tax Revenues?

News /
Each year SPUR tracks how Oakland and San Francisco allocate the revenues from soda taxes, which are meant to reduce the harms of soda consumption. Specifically, we’ve looked at how well each city’s budget reflects equity-focused recommendations aimed at keeping the spending aligned with the taxes’ stated purpose. This year, we added a new dimension to our analysis by asking whether the two taxes reflect key principles of good government. We found that their implementation could be more transparent and efficient.

Why Food Insecurity Is Still High in California — and What the State Can Do About It

News /
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment and food insecurity greatly increased in California, and enrollment in CalFresh — the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — went up significantly. As need has significantly increased, especially for Black and brown Californians, too many of the state’s residents still don’t have enough to eat. This article looks at ideas to help eliminate hunger in California, including automatic enrollment, targeted outreach, state administration of CalFresh, permanently streamlining enrollment and expanding pilot programs that help low-income Californians afford more fresh foods.

Research Fellows and Interns Make Major Contributions to SPUR’s Work

News /
During the last two academic years, SPUR has been fortunate to host a talented group of policy researchers through partnerships with graduate school fellowship and practicum programs. Their research has contributed to SPUR’s work, including policy changes and proposed legislation at the regional and state levels. Learn more about the work they’ve done with SPUR and what they’ve gone on to do after collaborating with us.

Key SPUR Food and Ag Policies Get National Limelight

News /
After a 50-year hiatus, the White House is hosting its second-ever Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. In an effort to frame the agenda for the conference, a coalition of organizations has released a report proposing 30 federal policy recommendations. Three of SPUR’s top priorities at the state and local level are among those recommendations, and they are now firmly in the national spotlight as the conference approaches.

Our Bill to Make Healthy Food More Affordable Died in Committee. Here’s How Far We Got.

News /
Earlier this year, the California Legislature considered a proposal aimed at making healthy food more affordable for Californians with low incomes. The proposal — introduced by Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, co-sponsored by SPUR and Nourish California, and backed by a broad coalition — would have provided a penny-for-penny rebate for people buying California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables with their CalFresh dollars at participating retailers. Though the proposal didn’t pass this year, the momentum behind it demonstrated strong legislative interest in the idea, bipartisan support and positive response from people who see the value in expanding an existing program that reduces hunger, improves health and supports California’s agricultural economy.

The State of Good Food Purchasing in 2022

Policy Brief
Bay Area schools, jails and hospitals are working to align their spending with the five core values of the Good Food Purchasing Program, procuring food that is local, sustainable, fair, humane and healthy. SPUR and The Center for Good Food Purchasing identify seven strategies to support institutions in aligning supply and demand to build a more resilient, sustainable and equitable regional food system and share a regional data dashboard to track progress.