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