Philip Yates, Nutrition Programs Director
PO Box 4666, Medford, OR 97501
ACCESS is a non-profit community action agency, based in Medford, which provides food, housing, warmth and other essential services to Jackson County’s low-income children, families, seniors and people with disabilities.
ACCESS partnered with another non-profit, THRIVE, to host 4 half-day “FEAST” planning workshops and 9 shorter “community food conversations” across Jackson and Josephine counties. Those events drew together nearly 400 community members to discuss food system interests. The organizing effort informed publication of a comprehensive community food assessment for Jackson County in 2013. An action plan was also released in 2013 focused on eight goals to improve access to local food, promote healthy eating, enhance social equity and develop economic vitality.
ACCESS became one of the founding members of the Rogue Valley Food System Council in late 2013.
ACCESS has expanded consumer demand for healthy local food with twice monthly cooking demonstrations at 5 food pantries and at other 25 other community sites in 2014-2015. Our volunteers logged over 2,000 hours, reaching a total audience of 9,811 people.
ACCESS surveyed five convenience stores in Jackson County to assess their interest and readiness to participate in a healthy food retail project. Two stores were selected for a pilot “Go 4 REAL FOOD” campaign, with signage and shelf-tags identifying healthier food choices in stores.
A Go4RealFood Prescription Program was developed in 2015 with support from local care organizations and Jackson County Public Health. A six-week pilot at two clinics provided patients with $10/week in tokens for purchases at the Rogue Valley Growers Market.