Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
The Central Coast of California is famous for its agriculture, producing millions of dollars in the sale of strawberries, artichokes, raspberries, lettuce and more. Hidden behind this abundance, many of its communities suffer from persistent concentrations of poverty and high unemployment that effect the predominantly rural, immigrant, Latino farmworkers. Unemployment rates in the Central Coast are as high as 27.3% (Watsonville) and 30.9% (Chualar) and poverty rates are as high as s 28.9%. These same communities generate many small, informal food production enterprises that need access to comprehensive, bilingual business development resources to successfully grow, survive, and succeed. This program offers a unique and innovative service to these aspiring entrepreneurs.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Creating opportunities to advance economic security for emerging food-based microentrepreneurs is an effective strategy to build self-sufficiencym and alleviate poverty. Specifically, linking limited-resource, beginner farmers and informal, home-based culinary producers to industry-specific education, access to a shared-use commercial kitchen and equipment, capital, produce distribution networks, and new markets offers affordable, sustainable economic solutions for low-income food producers. By offering comprehensive targeted business support, services and resources, this program creates critical linkages for culinary entrepreneurs to successfully develop sustainable livelihoods, including catering businesses, food trucks, farmers' market stalls and specialty packaged food businesses. This program offers the opportunity for low-income, immigrant micro-entrepreneurs to transition into economic self-sufficiency benefiting themselves, their families and their community.