Fruit and Vegetable Advocates Are Not Nuts


It’s great to know that people and organizations that are leading the way locally are, in fact, leading the way for the state as well.

During the recent CalFresh Forum in Sacramento, sponsored by California Food Policy Advocates and the California Department of Social Services, the Shasta Growers Association and Healthy Shasta, and Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency’s Community Development Coordinator Laura McDuffy received awards for their service to low-income people.

The growers association and Healthy Shasta won plaudits for bringing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) technology to local farmers’ markets and for promoting its use with vouchers for CalFresh (formerly called the food stamp program). CalFresh is the federal nutrition program that aids 22,600 people in Shasta County, the majority of whom are children. Thanks to the efforts of the growers association and Healthy Shasta, program recipients can spend their government benefits on fruits, veggies, eggs, meat and other fresh, locally grown items.

McDuffy, who helps people apply for CalFresh and other social service programs, won recognition for her efforts to reach the county’s most vulnerable residents – elderly people, homeless people, children and those who don’t speak English well. She and her assistants helped cut into the backlog of 9,000 Shasta County residents who are eligible for CalFresh benefits but have not registered, often because of troubles such as a lack of transportation and the inability to complete forms.

By the way, the Shasta Growers Association Saturday morning market at Redding City Hall is scheduled to resume in April.


Speaking of healthy eating … Turtle Bay Exploration Park is hosting a workshop and cooking demonstration from 10 to 11:30 a.m. this Saturday, March 5, called “The Sustainable Kitchen: Cooking Better Together from Farm to Table.” Guest chef Guenn Johnson-Gentry from Fedora Catering will be providing the shopping and cooking tips. The event is free with park admission.

Second chance … The film “From the Quarters to Lincoln Heights,” which drew a big crowd to Redding’s Old City Hall last week, will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday (March 2) at the Shasta College Theatre. The film is about the migration of African-Americans from the South to lumber mill towns, such as Weed, during the 1920s. Admission is free.

Everybody’s a comedian … The organizers of Golden Umbrella’s annual “Shasta County’s Got Talent” show are still seeking singers, dancers, musicians and comedians for the event, which is set for March 12 at Win-River Casino in Redding. Auditions are scheduled through Friday (March 4). You may download the application packet from the Golden Umbrella website, or call 226-3028 for details and available audition times.

Hold your horses … The slide that hit Highway 96 near Happy Camp in Siskiyou County last month is taking longer to clean up and stabilize than expected. Caltrans now says it should finish the job by March 15. In the meantime, expect delays of up to 15 minutes at all times of day and night.

Hold your horses, part 2 … The Dana to Downtown bike path in Redding will be closed from 8 p.m. Monday (March 7) until 7 the next morning to accommodate construction of Interstate 5 and Highway 44 interchange improvements.

Feel better … The latest Healthier Living workshop for people suffering from chronic diseases is scheduled to begin Thursday morning, March 3, at Redding Christian Fellowship church. The free, six-week, disease self-management program targets people with diabetes, arthritis, heart or lung disease, chronic pain and other ongoing conditions. Register online right here or by calling the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency at 229-8431.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and is ready for strawberry season. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.