Our Work

ARC East Bay

ARC’s Regional Food System Initiative serves to increase and help coordinate institutional demand for local, sustainable, and equitably-produced food with a priority towards BIPOC producers and processors within 250 miles. Initiative participants include local farmers, food entrepreneurs, food and economic justice organizations, workforce non-profits, ARC anchor institution partners, and representatives from East Bay county and city governments.  

The initiative is driven by 3 goals: 

  • Aggregate institutional demand for local and sustainable food products
  • Increase community-owned food businesses and manufacturing opportunities
  • Increase opportunities for local BIPOC producers who have been historically excluded from institutional markets. 

The initiative does this by increasing contracting opportunities for “hyper-local” farmers and food entrepreneurs of color to enter the institutional market. ARC’s work with anchor institutions such as UC Berkeley, Stanford (University and Medical), and Common Spirit, has resulted in shifted procurement budgets where institutions are directly sourcing from local BIPOC farmers and food producers such as Dig Deep Farms or through distributors such as Bay Cities Produce.

ARC East Bay will foster a vibrant local food economy of food producers, microenterprise developments, and community-owned businesses that can meet the growing demand of anchor institutions in the region.

East Bay anchor institutions spend $6.8 billion a year on goods and services... ARC identified a high demand for healthy, sustainably-made food products and services among multiple anchor institutions, presenting an opportunity to bolster local and regional food production.
– The Democracy Collaborative
Sustainable Ideas - light bulb with nature growing around it

ARC Model Expansion

The ARC model is currently being explored and replicated in multiple geographies across the country.

As the ARC model continues to evolve as a “learning laboratory” for anchor/community deep engagement, it was featured as a case study in an anchor guidance resource for healthcare institutions, released by HCWH in May 2023. HCWH has incorporated this guidance as a dissemination tool throughout their regional and national networks of health system partners and is supporting the implementation of this model development across the country.

Anchored by Health Care: Strategies for Health Systems supports healthcare organizations in thinking critically about a specific project or initiative while shifting the work to focus on community engagement to drive more systemic change. 

“We believe that communities know what is best for their community, and the involvement of local stakeholders and partners from the start is critical to equitable processes and lasting progress.”

For those that are interested in learning more about these efforts, contact our team! 

Our Method

ARC provides systems-level thinking to create a community where everyone thrives – local businesses, families, and the institutions committed to our region. Our strategy in reimagining our local economy involves facilitated partnerships, curated co-learning opportunities, and solutions that are tested and scaled. 

ARC Governance

ARC’s decision-making and core activities are implemented through a structure and governance that includes a steering committee and project-specific work groups. ARC staff convenes these groups to ensure equity is embodied in all aspects of our work.

The ARC Logic Model connects the actions we take to our larger vision through short, medium, and long-term outcomes.  

Logic Model Summary flowchart detailing ARC activities, outcomes and vision.

View the full logic model here

ARC Activities Table