Mardi Gras 2008

Schedule of Events:

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Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Live entertainment by blues pianist Arthur Migliazza
Silent Wine Auction
Caricatures by David Fitzsimmons
Tarot
Palmistry

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*After-party tickets are available for purchase at the door. Tickets are no longer available online or by phone.*

After-Party 10:00 p.m. (Dinner tickets include access to the after party)
Live Entertainment by the King Bees, winners of the 2006 Southern Arizona Blues Challenge
Trapeze Performances

Valet Parking Included

Last year’s costumes

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Lawyers and Students Pitch In

LCAHLegal services at CFB have become a vital part of helping those in need. They improve access to income, food and health care for our clients. Lawyers and students working through the Public Benefits Legal Clinic have been making a difference this way. “This innovative collaboration with CFB has been extremely successful. Many of the families we have helped at the clinic were not aware of our services, but were in dire need of the type of legal assistance we could provide them,” says clinic attorney Lydia Glasson.

The legal clinic is an outreach office of Southern Arizona Legal Aid. This Tucson-based nonprofit provides free civil legal services to qualified low-income persons. Legal Aid assists people with housing, domestic relations, public benefits, disability, consumer, bankruptcy, education and immigration cases.

Under the supervision of Glasson, a Legal Aid public benefits attorney, student interns from the U of A College of Law provide legal services to individuals and families with problems involving Food Stamps, Social Security, Medicare Part D, Medicaid and several other programs. In addition, a social work intern from ASU helps clients apply for benefits, and provides supportive services such as locating housing, food, and healthcare for clients.

The legal clinic’s services are coordinated with the services offered by CFB’s Community Food Security Center. “The opportunity to coordinate our services with CFB has resulted in providing effective services to the low-income community in Pima County,” says Glasson. CFB advocates refer clients with legal issues to the clinic. Many of these families have multiple legal and social problems that ultimately affect their ability to become self-sufficient.

Most legal clinic clients are elderly, disabled or immigrants. Often they are either unaware of or confused about their eligibility for various formal food assistance programs. The legal clinic does a full assessment of each individual’s needs to determine how available programs such as job services, utility assistance, Food Stamps, WIC or health insurance can be maximized. In addition to providing legal assistance, the clinic educates clients about services offered by CFB such as food boxes, farmers’ markets, the Value Foods Store and gardening programs.

Since the establishment of the clinic in 2004, over 240 cases have been opened, leading to the referral of over 500 individuals to Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s central office or other agencies in the community for legal or social services.



Nourishing News Online Newsletter

To view the Winter 2008 issue of the Community Food Bank’s newletter the Nourishing News, Click Here (.PDF)



Teaching People How to Fish

Teaching People Hot to Fish“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” This Chinese proverb is often a hot topic around the Community Food Bank. While much of CFB’s mission is fulfilled by distributing food to the hungry, the organization is taking several additional steps to prevent hunger and support health.

Advocacy, outreach, education, food production, gleaning, economic literacy, food cooperatives, community partnerships and legal aid: these are just some of the tools CFB’s Community Food Security Center uses to help people.

CFB often sees clients who express a desire to find solutions to hunger. While many beleive they lack the economic power to better their situation, the center can help.

The center tackles the basics, like assisting clients in accessing Food Stamps. It also wrangles with more complex issues, like the link between inadequate nutrition and poverty, and the effect of local agriculture on nutrition.

The award-winning programs of the center are focused on long-term solutions.

Innovation Award
Healthy food is the cornerstone of a healthy life. However, many people cannot afford the kinds of food needed for a balanced diet, leading them to adopt unhealthy eating habits. This can create a domino effect for many low-income people. Home gardening is an equalizer. Over the past three years, about 400 home gardeners have learned how to grow food through CFB’s bilingual gardening education program.

The Innovation Award from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, given to CFB in November, provides $5,000 to support home gardening. The award represents the foundation’s support of CFB’s efforts to provide people with knowledge and resources.

Glynwood Harvest Award
Where does your food come from? A farm around the corner? A food plant in Ohio? Overseas? The CFB knows that a healthy, hunger-free community needs a food system in which all people, regardless of income, can participate. The 2007 Harvest Award—Connecting Communities, Farmers and Food—was awarded to CFB for a variety of programs that tackle these issues. These programs do everything from growing food to educating people about food economics.

Open Space Award
A 2007 Common Ground Award was given to the Marana Heritage River Park in November. The park features the Learning Farm, a 10-acre sustainable farm that will provide not only farming education, but locally grown produce for the community and for CFB programs. This partnership between the Town of Marana and CFB, as well as local farmers and businesses, illustrates  an enhanced understanding of the importance of local agriculture to healthy communities and people



Farm to School Day

Farm to School pictureSt. John School and the Community Food Bank cordially invite you to Farm to School Day, Tuesday, January 15, 2008
during St. John School’s “Eat Well, Be Well” Health Week.
Come to school to eat an Arizona-grown salad bar and celebrate healthy children and local small-scale agriculture. St. John School Health Week features the

 

Community Food Bank Mobile Market, special recess activities, agriculture education in classrooms, and a community health fair with dental health checks by Reach Out America.

Location
Saint John The Evangelist School
School Cafeteria
600 W. Ajo Way, Tucson, Arizona 85713

10:30 a.m. Introduction to Farm to School
11:00 a.m. Enjoy a free Arizona-grown salad bar with the students


Please RSVP by January 11, 2008
To: Amber Herman, National Hunger Fellow at the Community Food Bank

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Email: aherman@hungercenter.org
Phone: (520) 622-0525

Learn More



Tucson School to Support Local Agriculture on Farm to School Day

View Event 

farmtoschool.jpgFarm to School Day, January 15, is part of St. John The Evangelist Elementary School’s “Eat Well, Be Well” Health Week, January 14 through 18, 2008, which features the Community Food Bank Mobile Market, energetic recess activities, agriculture education in the classroom, a community health fair, and dental health checks by Reach Out America. St. John’s Farm to School Day will provide local, fresh produce at lunch and a direct-market opportunity for local farmers.

St. John School partnered with the Community Food Bank to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables to serve during lunch on Farm to School day, January 15, 2008. Students will share an Arizona-grown salad bar with parents, farmers, government officials, Tucson community members and local political leaders to draw attention to child health and obesity, the local agriculture economy, and healthy school lunch.

The National Farm to School program is designed to link schools with local farms. Farm to School programs serve local, fresh, fruits and vegetables in school cafeterias to improve student nutrition. On average food served in school lunch travels 1,100 miles reducing its nutritional value and freshness. The vegetables served on Farm to School Day traveled less than 150 miles from farms in Marana, Amado, Phoenix, and Willcox. The school, through education and providing healthier options in the cafeteria, will help students learn how their food choices affect their own health. 

The partnership between St. John School and local farmer was facilitated by the Community Food Bank Community Food Security Center. The Community Food Bank is uniquely posed to facilitate Farm to School relationships between food service directors and growers. The Food Bank operates two farmers’ markets, a 10-acre farm, and a variety of innovative child nutrition programs. Bill Carnegie, CEO of the Community Bank stated, “The Community Food Bank is excited about this new opportunity to bring high quality fresh vegetables to local students. We know that when children have increased access to these types of products that they will eat more servings thereby improving their eating habits and nutritional health.”

For further information, please contact Amber Herman, National Hunger Fellow currently working for the Community Food Bank. Visit the National Farm to School web site.



Quail Creek Run/Walk to benefit the Green Valley Community Food Bank

A 5k Run/Walk and a 2k Fun Walk will be held at Quail Creek on Saturday, February 9 to raise money for the Green Valley Community Food Bank.  Your dog is invited to participate in the 2k Fun Walk.  Early registration fee is $20.  Entry forms are available at the Quail Creek Clubhouse, Fitness Center, Pro Shop & on-line at http://members.cox.net/quailcreekrun/.  The event is open to everyone.  There will be drawings for over $2,500 in prizes.  For more information contact Mary Ellen Pruess at (520)399-2314.



Farm (& Food) Bill Update

Now that both the Senate and House have passed their versions of the farm bill, members from both House and Senate Agricultural committees are working as a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the two bills.  The proposed legislative package that the conference committee comes up with will then come to the floors of both the House and Senate for a final vote.  If the package passes, it will then go to President Bush for a signature or a veto.

A key issue that we have been following is funding for the Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants program. CFP has been funding innovative grassroots efforts (over 240 of them) to promote Community Food Security and local food systems since 1996 to the tune of $5 million per year.  In the Senate version, the CFP program is slated to receive $10 million a year in mandatory funding, which is much better than the House version of $30 million a year but in discretionary funding (which means we would have to fight every year for it to receive any funding). So we want to encourage the conference committee members to go with the Senate version on this issue.

Another issue we have been following is Geographic preference language that would remove restrictions that keep school districts and institutions from using preferences for locally grown food when buying food for their meal programs.  Fortunately, geographic preference language is strong in both the House and Senate bills going into the conference committee process.

We have also been following efforts to strengthen the Nutrition Title of the Farm bill that includes positive efforts to expand and reform Food Stamps and other nutrition programs.  The following four paragraphs come from a January 2, 2008 action alert from FRAC (Food Research and Action Center):

Procedural Outlook:  Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees reportedly met in late December to establish a framework and timetable for ironing out differences between the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill that passed in July and December, respectively.  Although conferees have not yet been formally appointed, informal negotiations are expected to proceed, with leaders aiming to complete conference negotiations by February 1st.  See “Federal farm bill passes in Senate,” by Erik Posz, Redwood Gazette, 12/27/07.

House and Senate leaders also are expected to play significant roles in decisions about the financing and priorities in the Farm Bill package.  And members of Congress who are not on the Conference Committee also still can influence the direction of the package and should be asked to weigh in on behalf of nutrition title priorities with their leaders and Conference Committee Members. 

What’s at Stake:  The Senate version of the Farm Bill that passed in December and the one that passed the House in July each contain important new investments in the Food Stamp Program and TEFAP.  These include, among other changes:  increasing and then indexing both the Food Stamp Program $10 minimum monthly benefit and the standard deductions for households of three or fewer; lifting the cap on the child care deduction; raising food stamp household asset limits and then indexing them; and boosting TEFAP commodities purchases.   For details of the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill, go to agriculture.house.gov and agriculture.senate.gov, respectively (Senate version to be posted). 

The House-passed Farm Bill is preferable with regard to the duration of Food Stamp Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) improvements—there are permanent law changes under the House bill, but only five-year changes that would theoretically sunset under the Senate version unless renewed (and paid for) at the end of the five years. The House provisions on the $10 minimum monthly benefit, standard deduction and TEFAP also are preferable to the Senate bill:  the minimum benefit boost would take effect earlier (FY 2008 rather than FY 2009); the standard deduction raise would be more significant ($145 rather than $140); and the TEFAP commodity purchases increase would be indexed for inflation. Improvements to food stamp asset rules, however, are more significant under the Senate bill (with asset limits increased from $2,000 to $3,500, and $3,000 to $4,500, before indexing). Advocacy to secure the best provisions on each key point from each bill and to finance these investments for ten years  is critically important for the potential gains to be realized for hungry families.
Finally, there were many other efforts we (the Community Food Bank) did not follow as closely that were aimed and larger reforms of the Farm bill that did not do so well:

Dorgan and Grassley’s amendment to limit commodity payments and redirect funds to nutrition, rural development and conservation failed. Its main opponents were southern senators. Due to a procedural technicality that required the amendment to pass with 60, not 50, votes, it didn’t pass with 56 votes. Ugh.
Klobuchar’s amendment to limit commodity payments to those with an adjusted gross income under $750,000 failed
Tester’s amendment against unfair livestock competition failed
Brown’s amendment to cut crop insurance subsidies failed
Lugar and Lautenberg’s amendment to phase out commodities altogether and strengthen other areas, including the nutrition title, failed.

Farm Bill Timing

*Congress has scheduled votes for the two weeks of Jan. 11th and the 18th, so the farm bill conference committee could meet during those weeks, after having worked casually on the farm bill over their break. Chairman Harkin has said he hopes to finish conference by the end of January.

*Veto threats have been issued by the Bush administration against both the House and Senate Farm bills. It’s not clear whether this threat is only intended to pressure the conference committee.

Message:  Even though, as far as we know, no Congressional members from Arizona will be part of the conference committee, you are still encouraged to contact your Senators and Representative to urge them to weigh in on the process.  You can encourage them to voice support for mandatory funding of $10 million a year for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants program, and big increases in Food Stamp program benefits (including the minimum monthly benefit and the standard deduction).

If you have any questions, please contact Kitty Ufford-Chase at the Food Bank.  She can be reached by phone at 622-0525, x251, or email: kitty@communityfoodbank.org.