Food Agriculture & Nutrition Network of Solano County
Written by Solano County Public Health Intern Shannon Sweeney
Gio Miramontes is the first in our series highlighting the work of the Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition Network of Solano (FANNS) partners. In this series, we hope to provide readers with more information on the resources our partners provide and the goals of our network.
Gio is a Project Assistant at Innovative Health Solutions, an organization that aims to “improve the health and wellness for thousands of families in underserved and vulnerable communities.”
When asked about her favorite food, she shares that it is sandwiches, an often underestimated but highly versatile food shared by many cultures in unique variations and flavors. I also ask what place in Solano County she would like to explore, and she tells me Glenn-Mahoney Park in Vallejo has been on her list to visit.
With Innovative Health Solutions, Gio works hands on with Solano’s diverse community ranging from children to older adults. Although Gio wears many hats, the central theme of her work is promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of our community through outdoor recreation activities.
Gio’s work and passion for physical activity promotion was instrumental in bringing the OuterSpatial app as a physical activity resource in our county. OuterSpatial is a mobile application designed for organizations to share recreational activities within parks and other forms of public lands. The app can be found on the apple or android store. The app is divided into communities, ours being Xplore Solano with over 160 recreation areas and 15 organizations. Activities listed in the Xplore Solano Community range from Shakespeare in the park to “10 Great Bike Rides and Walks in Benicia.” The app also has a social function to share activities with other community members.
During our interview Gio shared the stories of how families reacted to hearing about the OuterSpatial app at a community resource fair. They agreed that OuterSpatial is a great resource not only for families who are new to the Solano County Community, but also community members with little experience in outdoor recreation. Gio recommends that people explore the parks and recreation areas that are local to them before venturing out. To find out what those areas area, download the OuterSpatial and Xplore the Solano Community!
Connecting Physical Movement & Food
Gio’s work highlights not only the importance of physical movement and outdoor space, but the importance of fueling our movement with food that is local and beneficial to our bodies. Along this same line, Gio values that physical activity and exercise can look very different from what we would normally consider it to mean. She provides the example of gleaning. Gleaning is the act of collecting left over crops from farmers’ fields – this can be considered a form of physical activity! On a local scale this gleaning can be practiced by community members sharing the surplus of their homegrown crops with the public, especially those in need of food.
Thanks to the contributions of FANNS members like Gio, the group plans to find ways to incorporate the connections between physical activity, local food sources, and nutrition into upcoming projects. Our network values taking a holistic approach to nutrition and physical activity. As well as the importance of making parks, gardens and other recreational areas within the county more accessible for all community members. Thank you Gio Miramontes for taking time to sit for this interview!