USDA Cooperative State Research, Education & Extension Service Awards Grant

The USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) has awarded a three-year $293,215 Community Food Projects grant to the Community Food Bank in Tucson.

The grant will be used to create long-term solutions to improve food security in Pima County by providing education and training to low-income youth about food systems, sustainable farming methods and micro-enterprise opportunities and increase the amount of locally grown fresh produce consumed in our community.

The Marana Heritage Farm Youth Program, will take place at the 10-acre Community Food Bank Marana Heritage Farm.  Sixty low-income youth (ages 13-18) will participate in five apprentice sessions occurring each year; two low-income young adults (ages 18-24) will participate in six-month internships; and approximately 500 school children will visit and volunteer at the Marana Heritage Farm annually.

As part of the apprentice and intern programs, youth will have hands-on experience in small-scale, sustainable agriculture practices, actively direct farm projects, learn how to prepare produce they grow and create presentations that they will share with school and community groups.  Details and registration information are available at

“The Community Food Bank is proud to have this opportunity to teach middle and high school students and young adults about growing food and the effects of the food system on our health and community well being,” said Varga Garland, PhD, Director of the food bank’s Community Food Resource Center.

For more information contact Varga Garland at (520) 622-0525 x 220.