Community Food Resource Center

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The Community Food Resource Center works to build a community where all people at all times have access to sufficient food for a healthy life—a food secure community.

Since 1976, the Community Food Bank has met the food needs of hungry people. In 2001, the Community Food Resource Center was established to pursue a comprehensive strategy to support people in providing healthy food for themselves and families in the long term. The vision of the center reflects the concept of community food security. 

Community Food Resource Center brochure


VISION:
Improve community food security for the people of Southern Arizona, by promoting, demonstrating, advocating for, and collaboratively building an equitable and regional food system, which supports food production and strengthens communities.

DEFINITION:
Community Food Security is when all people, at all times have fair access to sufficient and healthy food for a successful life.

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WHAT WE DO:
The Food Resource Center supports community organizations, schools and individuals in becoming more food secure through:

EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY

Child Nutrition Programs: We address hunger from infancy to adulthood through numerous programs that fill in the gaps where schools, food stamps and other assistance programs leave off.

Economic Literacy: The Community Food Bank Teaches an Economic Literacy Curriculum to immigrants with low incomes in Family Literacy Classrooms.

Family Advocacy and Legal Aid: Education and advocacy with families, agencies, faith institutions, and community groups on federal and state food programs and other community services to increase peoples well-being.

Farm-To-Child Program: The Farm-to-Child Program improves children’s access to healthy food in schools and the preschool/childcare environment. We use our expertise in growing food to help parents and teachers learn to garden. We provide technical assistance and workshops, troubleshooting and training on issues such as composting, hen raising, aquaponics, container- and in-ground gardening, and food safety. Kids involved in gardening show an increased preference for fruits and vegetables, increases in scientific achievements, and overall improved attitudes, knowledge, and academic achievement.

FOOD PRODUCTION AND DESERT GARDENING EDUCATION

Nuestra Tierra Demonstration and Market Garden: A 7,000 square foot garden on the northwest corner of the Food Bank grounds. The garden is managed organically with two 10′ X 10′ compost bins, a 15′ X 15′ greenhouse, and a spacious hen house. The garden demonstrates and promotes desert food production methods and provides a peaceful place for all.

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Home Gardening: Assistance is provided to people to grow some of their own food and meet peoples’ existing motivation with the knowledge and materials to be a successful gardener in the Sonora Desert. Compost, seeds, and starter plants are provided as available.

Gardening Workshops: Through hands-on activities and conversations, learn the basics of designing and caring for a new garden in our desert climate.

Las Milpitas Community Farm: An urban community farm that provides educational opportunities, capacity building, and a place for area residents to grow their own food. It also serves as a working demonstration site in desert food production, composting, ecological restoration, and permaculture for the greater Tucson community. The Farm welcomes youth and adults for volunteer and educational opportunities.

Youth Farm Project: Youth ages 14-18 learn the basics of organic agriculture in the desert, as well as green job skills like water harvesting and natural building, as they train to be the next generation of farmers and informed consumers

Gleaning: Harvesting, primarily during citrus season (January thru April), of fruits and vegetables from area homes, schools, farms, and the University of Arizona for distribution to Food Bank clients.

Community Foods Consignment: An opportunity for home gardeners and small farmers to sell their produce and other locally produced food products (honey, eggs, etc.) on consignment at the Farmers’ Markets. 


FM_websizeFARMERS’ MARKETS: HEALTHY FOOD ACCESS

Everyone is welcome at the market! Public farmers’ markets sell local, naturally grown, chemical-free produce. Buying directly from the farmer keeps farmers farming, assures that you and your family eat fresh and flavor-filled produce, and you get to know the people who grow your food! The markets accept cash, SNAP (food stamps), WIC Checks, Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers, and debit and credit cards.

Click the name of the market to learn more about each individual farmers’ market or to receive updates in your inbox each week.

Market Schedule:

Community Food Bank Farmers’ Markets

El Pueblo Seasonal Mobile Market
*Seasonal May – October
Monday | 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm | Irvington Rd & S. 6th Ave | (El Rio clinic parking lot)

Community Food Bank Farm Stand
Tuesday | 
8:00 am – Noon | 3003 S. Country Club

Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market
Thursday | 3:00 -6:00 pm Oct – April | 4:00 – 7:00 pm May-Sept | 100 S. Avenida del Convento
Our Largest Farmers’ Market!

 

GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

Punch Woods Endowment Grant

 

FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE

The Hunger Gap Conference

At food banks across the country, lines are getting longer and the need for food assistance is on the rise. According to the USDA, more than 50 million people in the U.S. are in a state of food insecurity.

And while hunger relief organizations extend their reach to meet the growing need, poverty rates continue to climb and the strain on assistance programs grows. As anti-hunger organizations all over the country are stretched thinner, many have begun to ask some tough questions:  Can we adequately meet the growing need?  What are the long-term goals of the anti-hunger movement?  How can we provide a diversity of strategies that decrease the overall need for food assistance?  How do we evolve as organizations in this new climate of hunger?

Please join us in Tucson, AZ, September 18-20, 2013. Join with other food banks and key allies from across the country to engage in meaningful dialogue around our role in achieving resilient community food systems.

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WHAT OTHERS DO:
Here is some additional information from many organizations on the topic of community food security.

1. World Hunger Year: Food Security Learning Center: articles, policy and program examples, more links

2. Community Food Security Coalition: information sharing, technical assistance and networking among organizations working to achieve community food security. Great links page!

3. The Food Project: Massachusetts-based organization that works with youth on building sustainable agricultural systems.

4. The Food Trust: organization working in Philadelphia on nutrition education, local food marketing and policy initiatives.

5. Community Farm Alliance: community-organizing organization in Kentucky that works to connect farmers with the community and work towards food, land and economic justice

6. The Center for Food and Justice at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policy Institute: research, education, and capacity-building around local food systems.

7. FoodShare Toronto: a vast array of programs, research, training and technical assistance around improving access to affordable and healthy food. Great resources in the learning center!

8. Pima County Community and Economic Development: For more information on Pima County’s residents, click on the link and view the power point presentations under each service area.

9. The Partnership to End Childhood Hunger has launched an online community through Change.org