Stories

The Homemade Food Operations Act passed the California Assembly on January 29th 2018, paving the way to decriminalize existing home food sales, creating a new income stream for some of California’s most vulnerable populations, and developing a model for rest of the country to follow.

“California is now a step closer to building a more inclusive food system. Legitimizing these home businesses will stimulate an important lever of economic empowerment for immigrant, minority, and other vulnerable populations while creating healthy, self-reliant communities statewide,”

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia

 

  Mariza Ruelas and her family

Mariza Ruelas and her family

“I am a home cook currently facing trial on criminal charges for occasionally selling extra portions of food to neighbors and friends through Facebook. As a single mother, sharing food helped me cover ingredient costs and support my six children. Unfortunately, I now face the possibility of multiple misdemeanor charges and fines.

My case has been covered by Time Magazine, the Washington Post, and LA Times and a petition against my conviction has received 80,440 signatures.

As a home cook, I was simply feeding neighbors the same food I feed my family. Cooks like me should have access to training and resources rather than being faced with criminal charges and fines.”

Mariza Ruelas

(Stockton, CA—Home Cook and Mother of Six)


“Until last year, I lived in Saigon, Vietnam my whole life. My grandmother started a neighborhood restaurant there 60 years ago. She left the restaurant to my father, and he left it to me... Last year, I relocated to Emeryville.

Though I love California, I missed cooking my authentic Vietnamese foods. I'd love to open a small restaurant here to share my favorite dishes, but really can't afford to do that now.”

Hai

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“This bill matters to me because I know how difficult it can be to find food that meets dietary restrictions. As a certified Nutrition Consultant, I specialize in creating meals and snacks that work for people with food sensitivities, allergies, and chronic illnesses. However, I cannot legally make and sell food for these people that need it. They instead exhaust themselves cooking every single meal and snack from scratch to make sure they are consuming foods that work for their bodies and won’t make them sick.

If I could make bulk meals and snacks at home, and sell them to my clients, they could get some relief from constantly preparing foods for themselves, and I could get some extra income. Additionally, I am ServSafe certified and certified to run a commercial kitchen space, so my food would not only be incredibly nutrient dense and healthy, it would also meet all industry safety standards. It’s a win-win for me and my community.”

LISA M PRICE, Certified Nutrition Consultant


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