Fields to Tables Exhibit will be on display at Joel D. Valdez Main Library in downtown Tucson

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“Fields to Tables,” is a photo documentary exhibit by photographer Josh Schachter, scholars Anita Fonte and Steve Harvath, and the Community Food Resource Center of the Community Food Bank. The exhibit tells the story of how food is grown, distributed, purchased, and prepared today along the Santa Cruz River through photographs of the land and people.  The photographs honor local food growers and local food traditions which are part of Tucson’s history and culture; and the photos demonstrate that purchasing and preparing locally grown food builds a healthier community. The exhibit provides a visual demonstration of the deep connections between land, food, and people.

Local farms connect local food to local people. Local food growers pictured in “Fields to Tables” grow many varieties of fruits, vegetables, and native foods. The photos depict six summer crops: tepary beans, corn, verdolagas (also known as purslane), chilies, squash, and watermelon; and three farms: the Community Food Bank Nuestra Tierra Demonstration and Market Garden in Tucson, Forever Yong Farm in Arivaca, and the Tohono O’odham San Xavier Cooperative Farm of the Tohono O’odham Nation San Xavier District; all sell at the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market.

The photographs are glimpses into the connection we can have with the local people and places that grow fruits and vegetables for us to eat. The intimate experience of preparing and eating food is enriched when we know who grew it and where the food comes from that we put into our bodies. At a time when the American people are gaining weight and are experiencing chronic health challenges, knowing about the food we eat is an opportunity to improve our personal health and the health of our community. A local food system is a social and economic catalyst, providing an opportunity to improve the health of our local economy and our community.

The “Fields to Tables” exhibit can be displayed in schools, organizations, libraries, or other spaces. To inquire about the exhibit please contact:

Varga Garland
520-622-0525 ext 220
vgarland@communityfoodbank.org
www.communityfoodbank.org

Josh Schachter
520-622-8194
joshsch@cox.net
www.findingvoiceproject.org



Chess for Charity Tournament

What:  Chess Tournament to benefit the Community Food Bank. 100% of proceeds go to the food bank.

When: Saturday, August 22, 2009 – Registration and check-in begins at 8:30 AM.

Where: Pima Medical Society Hall, 5199 E. Farness Drive, Tucson, AZ 85712. From Grant Road turn south onto Rosemont, then turn east on Farness Drive.

Description: 4 round Swiss tournament in 4 sections. Trophies will be awarded.

Schedule:  Round times will be at 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:45 AM and 1:00 PM

Entry Fees: $20 if postmarked by August 19th, $25 thereafter or at the site.

Registration Information – Contact Vaishnav Aradhyula at (520) 299-5666 or log onto http://chessforcharity.giving.officelive.com



Bill Carnegie, Community Food Bank CEO Re-Elected Chairman of the Association of Arizona Food Banks Board

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Bill Carnegie, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Food Bank has been re-elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Arizona Food Banks (AAFB).  He will serve a second one year term.

The Arizona Association of Food Banks was established in 1984.  The Association is a support organization serving its six members regional food bank warehouses and a network of more than 1,600 food pantries and agencies in Arizona.  Members distribute an average of 10 million pounds of food per month to low-income Arizonans.  The association is committed to delivering food and quality services to food banks and to fostering relationships in support of the commitment to eliminate hunger.

“Bill Carnegie’s election to a second term as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Arizona Food Banks for the coming year demonstrates the confidence placed in him by his fellow food bankers and the at-large members of our Board,” said Ginny Hildebrand, President and CEO of the Association of Arizona Food Banks.  “As the CEO of this organization, I appreciate his leadership and mentoring in this time of economic challenge to help the AAFB be the best it can be.”

Mr. Carnegie also serves on the Volunteer Center, Tucson Celtic Festival and Coyote Task Force (Café 54) boards.

For additional information, contact Jack Parris at (520) 622-0525 x 215 or Cell at (520) 444-5412.



Kids Kool-Aid Stand Proceeds go to Community Food Bank

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Pictured left to right are Noah and Jessica Leyva, Jack Parris, Community Food Bank Public Relations Manager and Argeo and Joshua Fernandez.

The four children operated a Kool-Aid stand on Thursday, July 16, 2009 and collected over $11 to donate to the Community Food Bank!



Nogales Community Food Bank and Unisource Food Drive

The Nogales Community Food Bank and Unisource will be holding the first annual “Food Drive”.

The event will be held at the Wal*Mart Supercenters main entrance on August 18th, 2009 from 8:00 am till 12:00 noon.  Nogales Community Food Bank boxes have already been set up at Unisource offices and flyer are being passed out to inform the Nogales community.



Saving Billions With Better Choices

From Nourishing News Summer 2009

Setting aside the effect that poor nutrition has on children, concern for the effects that cheap food has on adults is coming to light. Poor nutrition causes health issues like type-II diabetes and high blood pressure. Over time, those eating poorly are at an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. These conditions are costing our healthcare system billions, billions that simple preventive measures could have saved. The fact of the matter is that poverty, poor health and low-quality food are all interconnected with hunger.

Ensuring that people have access to quality food regardless of their income benefits us all. A 2008 study, Prevention for a Healthier America, showed that a $10 per person investment in prevention programs would yield a net savings of over $61 million in one to two years in Arizona alone. The State of Arizona, Medicare, Medicaid, businesses and individuals would all save money. In 10 to 20 years, savings reaches a staggering $534 million—again just in Arizona. Nationwide, the numbers reach $16 billion in five years, and $18 billion in 10 to 20. This is by investing in programs like nutrition, fitness and smoking prevention.

Source: Prevention for a Healthier America: Investments in Disease Prevention Yield Significant Savings, Stronger Communities, www.healthyamericans.org



Food Forest

From Nourishing News Summer 2009

Local agriculture is an important part of going green, especially when it is grown in a way that has a low impact on the environment. The Community Food Bank’s food forest at the Marana Farm is another way the food bank is bringing environmentally friendly, sustainable food production to Southern Arizona. The food forest is made up of the desert-adapted stock from trees planted here when father Kino came through in the late 1600s. Stock from Kino-era peach, apricot, fig and pomegranate trees was used, as well as several other kinds of seasonal producing plants.

Volunteers from the Peace Corps, Dove Mountain Rotary and the UA College of Landscape Architecture spent one day planting the forest, which occupies about 7,500 square feet of the farm. Areas have been left open in the forest for paths and ramadas. The Dove Mountain Rotary funded the project.



One in Five of AZ’s Children at Risk

From Nourishing News Summer 2009

A food secure child is one that doesn’t have to worry where his or her next meal will come from. A new study shows that Arizona still ranks poorly when it comes to child food security. In fact, Arizona is one of the worst states in the nation (bottom ten) when it comes to food security for families with children—meaning that many struggle to put food on the table.

“Food insecurity is very harmful to the brain architecture of young children because of rapid growth and development,” said John T. Cook, PhD. A long-time child health researcher and advocate, Dr. Cook is an associate professor of pediatrics in Boston University’s School of Medicine. His study, Child Food Insecurity in the US, 2005 – 2007, estimates that during these years there were about 337,000 food insecure children (about 20%) in Arizona. This number has no doubt risen since, however numbers on how much are currently unavailable.

While it’s obvious that taking care of our young should be a top priority, Dr. Cook solidifies for us some of the reasons why:

  • Food insecure children have lower achievement and more behavioral problems when they enter school.*
  • They have below average learning and academic performance throughout their school years.*
  • They are more likely to suffer from negative physical, mental, and social development, growth and health throughout childhood.*

According to Dr. Cook, there are also associations with child obesity. This is a major concern for the food bank. “It’s alarming that children not only don’t have enough food to be healthy, but that food insecure children develop unhealthy eating habits because it costs less to eat poorly,” said Varga Garland, PhD, director of the food bank’s Community Food Resource Center. “The food system makes unhealthy choices the cheapest choices.”

Children seldom choose what they eat. Parents, schools and after-school programs are often the decision makers when it comes to a child’s cuisine. The center helps children access healthy foods in numerous ways:

Education
Probably the most important aspect when it comes to making healthy choices is education. It arms people with the ability to make informed decisions. Nutritious foods are often available for the same cost as low-quality items, but may require some extra work to procure and prepare. Food system education, economic literacy, and nutrition programs are among the ways the resource center works to make sure people can make informed choices.

Advocacy

Qualifying for programs that allow access to high-quality foods is often a big hurdle for our clients. There are several essential programs like food stamps that help families. Each program has its own rules and application process. Food bank advocates make sure that people—especially those new to the system—are aware of available programs that can increase family food security. Often advocates help with the application process and ensure that families have food to tide them over until they are approved.

Food Production & Distribution

The average distance food travels to our plates is 1,500 miles. This is not only an environmental concern, but an economic and nutritional one. As the cost of oil fluctuates, so does the cost of everything we eat. In 2008 when gas prices rose, food prices rose; the price of some staples more than doubled. The resource center combats this and many other issues with local food production, markets, resources for growers and education.

Policy
There are numerous ways to help children at the policy level. In 2006 the state of Arizona mandated the removal of unhealthy snacks for sale in our schools. The mandate doesn’t apply to high schools, but it’s a step in the right direction. The Community Food Bank works with policy makers, organizations like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Activate Tucson to ensure that we are fighting for our children’s health and providing food and programs with their needs in mind.

*Source: Even Very Low Levels of Food Insecurity Found to Harm Children’s Health, Policy Action Brief, John T. Cook. PhD, May 2009, www.childrenshealthwatch.org.



Washington Shows Support for the Hungry

From Nourishing News Summer 2009

One of our network partners, the Capital Area Food Bank, had some special volunteers this past spring. First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and 160 congressional spouses and their children stopped by to pack food bags for children. The combined effort produced 2,000 bags of food for children struggling with hunger in the Washington, D.C., area who participate in the Weekend Bag Program. More importantly, the event gave these public leaders a first-hand opportunity to learn about hunger and help people in need.

After the event, Mrs. Obama remarked “The work that these organizations are doing is vital at a time when so many people are struggling financially and needing to depend on food banks and soup kitchens for their daily meals. I hope we will all continue to stay involved whether it is by donating goods or volunteering our time.”



Nourishing News Summer 2009-Online

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