AIM receives $145,000 in grants promoting food access for older adults.The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM), a Bay Area non-profit organization, announced it will launch a second day of operations of The Rollin’ Root, a mobile market stocked with seasonal fruits, vegetables, and dairy products from the farmers market for older adults and other communities. Beginning this Friday March 15, The Rollin’ Root will serve the Parnow Friendship House (164 N. San Pedro, San Rafael, CA), Mackey Terrace (626 Owens Drive, Novato, CA), and Kaiser Permanente San Rafael (99 Monticello Road, San Rafael, CA).
“AIM’s goal is to ensure nobody gets left beyond when accessing fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. The Rollin’ Root ensures that older adult communities have greater access to affordable, healthy food choices from local farmers,” said Andy Naja-Riese, AIM’s Chief Executive Officer. AIM received a $100,000 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) grant from the Public Health Institute and California Department of Social Services to fund Rollin’ Root operations. The grant also pays for nutrition education lessons tailored to low-income older adults delivered by trained nutrition educators from Leah’s Pantry, a California-based non-profit organization.
An innovative component of the SNAP-Ed grant includes recruiting “Older Adult Ambassadors” who are local community champions trained in community outreach to promote The Rollin’ Root and food access.
AIM was also awarded a $45,000 grant from the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) program for older adults. The HEAL program supports changes in policy, systems, and neighborhoods to foster healthy eating and active living for low-income people in Marin. With this HEAL grant, AIM will plan and launch a third day of Rollin’ Root operations in summer 2019 serving West Marin communities.
Since August 2019, AIM has operated its inaugural Rollin’ Root operations every Thursday with four stops: Whistlestop Active Aging Center (930 Tamalpais Ave., San Rafael, CA), Marin Valley Mobile Country Club (100 Marin Valley Drive, Novato, CA), Marin City Community Development Corporation (441 Drive Avenue, Marin City, CA), and Maria B. Freitas Senior Community (455 Manuel T. Freitas Parkway, San Rafael), CA. During the first four months of operation, the Root served 1,537 participants, or on average, 57 participants per day.
“The Rollin’ Root is a mini-marketplace offering a unique opportunity for neighbors to meet and socialize. Residents have the opportunity to diversify their diet by trying new things each week, and to learn about seasonality of local produce availability, as opposed to foreign imports. This is a key provision of the Rollin Root,” said John Hansen, resident and ambassador from Marin Valley Mobile Country Club.
For more information about The Rollin’ Root, visit: www.therollinroot.org
Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization which organizes seven year-round certified farmers markets and a mobile market in three Bay Area counties, thereby supporting local farmers, strengthening local economies, increasing food access, and improving public health.
For 35 years, AIM has been passionately educating the public about the health, environmental, and economic benefits of buying locally grown food directly from farmers, while connecting and supporting communities and local and regional food systems so the public can access healthy and sustainably grown food.