IMPERIAL COUNTY — Revolution Foods — who believe everyone deserves access to nutritious, culturally relevant meals — began delivering meals to temporarily-placed immigrants in Riverside and Imperial counties six to eight weeks ago.
The company was founded 15 years ago by two mothers who were concerned about their children’s nutrition and sought to provide healthy meals to others, according to Director of Business Development James Lee.
A few weeks ago, Revolution Foods began a partnership with the State of California, aimed at addressing the immigration crisis at the border, to extend their nutrition services to immigrants who were severely impacted and misplaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fifty refrigerated trucks travel throughout the State to deliver in different areas, including Riverside and Imperial counties. Between the two counties, more than 600 immigrants that are in motels awaiting processing by the State are provided with three meals, seven days a week.
Lee said though the numbers shift day-to-day, the process of determining who is receiving meals and where has become more streamlined as the program has progressed.
“We think that access to healthy food is sort of a fundamental right. Our mission is to create life-long health eaters and change the course of how we look at food,” said Lee.
Lee said the meals are fully funded by the State. Revolution Foods has adjusted the way meals are offered during COVID to follow safety protocols and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Food is pre-cooked and packaged as individual meals.
The packaging offers heating and storing instructions in eight different languages and includes a pictogram. Lee said this was important because immigrants crossing the border do not only speak Spanish. He said there are at least 18 different languages among immigrants crossing the southern border. The pictogram aims to offer heating and storing instructions for those who cannot find instructions in their language on the packaging.
Some of Revolution Foods meals include spaghetti and meatballs, chicken enchilada with brown rice and black beans, chicken Caesar salad, and Jamaican jerk chicken with rice, according to Lee. He also said each meal comes with fresh fruit. The company’s meals also come with utensils and beverages.
Co-founder and CEO of Revolution Foods Kristin Groos Richmond explained why it’s important to provide meal services to those impacted by the immigration crisis at the border.
"We believe everyone deserves access to healthy and great-tasting food. Our partnership with the State of California, specifically in Riverside and Imperial counties, helps us deliver on our mission to provide families who have been displaced with nutritionally-balanced and culturally relevant meals,” said Richmond. “Knowing that immigrant families and individuals in this program have very limited resources, we’re able to design and provide solutions for nourishing people at scale, while also ensuring the members of this community are able to enjoy freshly prepared, chef-crafted meals despite these difficult times.”