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Somos Semillas (We Are Seeds) Program – El Centro Santa Barbara

El Centro Santa Barbara’s Somos Semillas (We Are Seeds) program is a community garden that provides space for place-based learning, public health, nutrition education, and community empowerment. The garden – and an open pantry that has provided more than 1,600 fresh produce boxes to families – was started in 2020 in response to the community’s concern about the levels of food insecurityFood Security / Food Insecurity: Food security refers to the economic and social condition of reliable access to an adequate amount of food for an active, healthy life for all household members. A household is food insecure when food security does not exist. experienced by residents of the Lower Westside of Santa Barbara. Through partnerships with community organizations, non-profits, local farmers, educational institutions, and mutual aid networks, El Centro Santa Barbara has been working to bridge the gap between food-insecure communities and abundant food sources in Santa Barbara County to provide direct service, equitable food accessFood Access: A person’s ability to access food while considering many barriers such as geography, transportation, availability of healthy foods, and affordability., and educational opportunities to empower the community and restore food sovereigntyFood Sovereignty: The right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems..

The Somos Semillas program models a seed-to-seed closed loop food systemClosed Loop Food System: As opposed to a linear food system that follows consumption of food from field to plate to waste, a closed loop food system is a more sustainable model that follows food from field to plate to field with little or no waste. to grow, distribute, compost, and harvest, including saving seeds for the next cycle. Parents and children volunteer for garden work days to plant seeds, tend the plants, harvest, and compost. Their physical space, the Children’s Park / Parque de Los Niños, is a welcoming space for all.

Follow El Centro on Facebook and watch SBCFAN’s storytelling video below to learn more about their Somos Semillas program and how they are building food resilienceFood Resilience / Resilient Food System: A food system that can withstand and recover from unforeseen disturbances and changes over time to supply sufficient, appropriate, and accessible food for all..

Activating Food Action Plan goals

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