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Love What You Eat - Angela Wooton of Foodies Project


Love What You Eat
Foodies Project helps make local, organic food accesible to EVERYONE

By Aleta Parseghian

We all have fond memories of a kitchen full of women, weaving around each other, hands moving swiftly dicing onions or whisking eggs, talking and laughing while working on some culinary masterpiece. It’s a beautiful scene to watch, the fluid movements, the sharp sounds, the tantalizing smells. Watching the process makes the meal itself even more delicious.

For some, creating a homemade, healthy meal simply isn't financially realistic. Dinnertime preparations are reduced to choosing which box in the pantry to throw into a pot of water, then to sit and wait. A box of Mac n’ Cheese costs less than fixings for a salad, and when you’re on a tight budget, it’s an obvious choice. Or is it?Foodies Project - Foodie Exchange 2015 - Sebastopol, Sonoma County, CA

Angela Wooton of Foodies Project is on a mission to transform the way people eat when on a budget. Her goal is to provide resources to low-income families on how to purchase local, organic, healthy foods at a reasonable price.

Angela’s latest venture, Foodie Exchange, takes her mission a step further than just buying healthy food, but cooking it as well. On January 14th, seven people gathered in the kitchen of the Sebastopol Grange to cook a feast. Each participant shared a recipe that was affordable and easy to make. Angela purchased all the ingredients, enough to make 196 meals, with the generous help from the Sebastopol Grange. Most of the food came from local farms and farmers markets, while the harder to find ingredients came from Whole Foods.

Foodies Project - Foodie Exchange 2015 - Sebastopol, Sonoma County, CAThese seven strangers got to work, helping one another, learning about each other, and sharing a valuable experience. The end result were seven delicious dinners for each participating family. At the end of the evening they all gathered for a meal of healthy pizzas and salad cooked by Lauren of Slow Foods Russian River.

This valuable experience helped these families discover how easy it is to afford local, organic food, and provided them with a week’s worth of healthy dinners.

Many local CSA’s and Farmers Markets are now accepting EBT (CalFresh), as do many health food stores in the area. Foodies Project offers additional services such as farm tours, grocery store tours, farmers’ market tours, and cooking classes, all in an effort to open up the world of healthy eating to those on a tight budget or who are receiving CalFresh. Foodies Project also offers resources on their website,, like which Sonoma County farmers’ markets and CSA farmers accept EBT, a Meetup group for upcoming Foodie events, and as well as some great info on their Facebook page. All events are free and open to everyone interested in eating healthier, no matter what their budget is. The next event is on February 7 at Pepperwood Preserve in Santa Rosa. It will include a moderate hike through the preserve, followed by a farm-fresh lunch. Reserve your spot at Project - Foodie Exchange 2015 - Sebastopol, Sonoma County, CA

If you would like to support Foodies Projects mission, they are always in need of a little help to keep these events and meals free. Please visit the Sponsor or Contribute link on their website to see how you can help. If you are a farmer, you can also find resources on how to accept EBT (CalFresh) for your CSA or farm stand. Angela’s ambitious goal of providing good food at a reasonable price would not be possible without the help of local organizations like Slow Foods Russian River, Laguna Farm, and all the local farmers who are devoted to making their food affordable to everyone.