Food Is Medicine

We’re connecting the CommuniCare community through growing, sharing, cooking and enjoying local food!

Why does CommuniCare consider food as medicine? Food has the power to heal and to bring people together. Chronic diseases can be prevented or better managed when people have access to healthy foods like vegetables and fruit, and when they have the skills and support to make them a regular part of their diet.


Yolo County is an agricultural powerhouse, and CommuniCare partners with local producers to ensure that the food system delivers good health for all.

Our Impact

  • 5,000 pounds of garden produce distributed to CommuniCare patients
  • Dozens of cooking classes delivered
  • 80 patients participated in cooking classes
  • 3,500 patients taking home garden-grown produce and recipes
  • 300 pounds of food waste diverted from landfill via community composting in addition to all garden plant matter waste
  • 700 volunteer hours contributed to gardening and teaching cooking classes

Garden and Outdoor Classroom

Culinary Education

Key Contact

Edye Kuyper

Food & Wellness Manager


The Hansen Food is Medicine Garden

The garden connects CommuniCare patients to good food and builds community to support holistic health and well-being. Staff and patients can relax, garden, or enjoy a lunch break in this healing environment just outside of Hansen Family Health Center in Woodland. CommuniCare clients are invited to take freshly harvested, garden-grown fruits and vegetables, recipes and nutrition information free of charge in waiting rooms. Cooking classes and food demonstrations also feature garden-grown produce!

Learn More or Get Involved in the Food is Medicine Garden!


Hansen Family Health Center opened to offer comprehensive health care services to the Woodland community in 2014. Staff and patients advocated to repurpose an empty lot south of the health center for producing food, herbs, and flowers; and to extend health care services to an outdoor setting.


Local community members and businesses generously supported the installation in-kind and monetary donations and garden groundbreaking began in February 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted livelihoods, the looming economic and hunger crisis made the garden’s mission even more urgent.


Our 12 raised garden beds produce a variety of vegetable crops, and three beds are accessible to all abilities. Fruit trees, a grape arbor and herb beds complement the annual vegetables with perennial plantings. The garden includes accessible pathways, a shade structure that serves as our Outdoor Classroom, seating and picnic tables, storage sheds, and a greenhouse for plant propagation.

Culinary Education

Cooking Matters at CommuniCare! CommuniCare’s trained staff and volunteers lead hands-on Cooking Matters classes that inspire and support families in making healthy, delicious and affordable meals. CommuniCare classes are facilitated by staff, community partners, and local chefs, and ingredients and high-quality instruction are available to patients for free!

Can’t make it to a live class? Check out our videos!

Black Bean and Vegetable Quesadilla

Mango Salsa

Locations Offering Food Is Medicine Services:

(530) 405-2800 – Primary Care

(530) 405-2808 – Perinatal and Women’s Health

(530) 405-2811 – Dental Care

(530) 405-2853 – Safe Care Clinic

(530) 405-2815 – Behavioral Health

FAQ’s for Food is Medicine

Produce is harvested and shared in the Hansen Family Health Center waiting rooms for Primary Care, Behavioral Health and Dental Care patients.

It’s free! We use our produce in our cooking classes and distribute the rest in clinic waiting rooms.

Yes! We distribute recipe cards and other nutrition and cooking information along with garden produce. Need more materials? Contact us!

Absolutely! Volunteers are essential to our work. The garden space is managed by Brian, the CommuniCare Farmer, who works with volunteers to grow produce for patient distribution and for cooking classes. Contact us to get involved!

Meet Our Team

Brian Boyce
Boyce, Brian,
Garden Coordinator
Marina Contreras
Contreras, Marina,
Food Education Coordinator
Edye Kuyper
Kuyper, Edye,
Food and Wellness Manager