10 Food Champions in Long Beach

Food Day Long Beach announced the first annual local “food champions” this week at the Sustainable City Commission.

The awardees represent each of the nine city council districts, plus one city-wide champion. Each of the nine districts featured “a tremendous amount of candidates,” says Food Day Co-Coordinator Valerie Smith. “It was incredibly difficult for our team to distinguish only a few, but we are confident that those awarded highlight the variety of exemplary people, businesses, and organizations that make the food movement so strong in Long Beach.”

The awardees by district are:
Cesar Chavez Children’s Gateway Park, the first ADA-accessible community garden in Long Beach (District 1);
Rainbow Juices, providing locally-sourced, organic, raw juices at their new brick-and-mortar (District 2);
Panxa Cocina, showcasing local, seasonal, fresh and sustainable sourcing at the newly opened Latin-influenced restaurant (District 3);
Laura Som of the MAYE Center, who uses agriculture as a way to create trauma healing, resiliency, and wellness (District 4);
Honey Pacifica, a 25-year veteran producer of backyard raw honey (District 5);
Centro CHA, which recently became a CalFresh (food stamps) enroller to help fight hunger in our community (District 6);
Little Owl Preschool, utilizing the edible schoolyard method to teach children through gardening, food, and nutrition (District 7);
Khmer Farms, an oasis of healthy food for the Cambodian community in North Long Beach (District 8);
South Forty Community Garden, a patch of green that hosts chickens, bees, and diverse gardeners near industry and retail corridors (District 9).

In addition, Food Day awarded the Citywide Food Champion to Roland Tamai, owner of Tamai Farms, which is one of the largest suppliers of sustainable produce to both residents and businesses across the city.

Food Day (October 24) is a national day that highlights healthy food habits and healthy food policies, and is being celebrated with various events this October. Food Champion awardees will be honored at Food Day’s main event, to be celebrated at Dia de los Verdes festival at The Growing Experience in North Long Beach on Saturday, October 24th from 11am-7pm. The Growing Experience will also receive the city proclamation in honor of Food Day.

Food Day has also partnered with Food4Kids’ launch party (October 17); Long Beach Grocery Cooperative and Voicewaves to host food documentaries at the Art Theater (October 18, 11am) and MADE (October 22, 5pm); LB Fresh and Slow Money’s Funding Foodmakers event (October 21rd, 6pm at MADE). and Sustainable Long Beach’s workshop on fall vegetable planting and care (October 20), Those interested in participating or creating their own event should contact Valerie Smith at projectplateful@gmail.com

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