Tag Archives: association of arizona food banks

foodbank

Wells Fargo Arizona collects more than 19 tons of food

Wells Fargo Arizona’s team members collected 39,328 pounds of food during the company’s statewide food drive that took place June 10-24. The amount of food collected was equivalent to providing 66,124 meals and benefitted Association of Arizona Food Banks members throughout the state at a time when the need is so great.

Food collection bins were placed in all Wells Fargo Community Banking stores, Mortgage and Finance stores and the company’s processing and operations facilities located throughout the state.

Arizona food banks collectively distributed 139.4 million pounds of food in 2013 – equivalent to 72,625 meals per 1,600 sites, or 199 meals each day. People who wish to donate cash can send checks to their local food banks or to the Association of Arizona Food Banks whose mission is to deliver food and quality services to food banks and to foster relationships in support of their commitment to eliminate hunger.

“As America’s – and Arizona’s — Community Bank, we are proud of our 15,000 Arizona team members who continue to be so dedicated to supporting our communities throughout the state,” said Pam Conboy, lead regional president for Wells Fargo in Arizona. “Team members collected food, volunteered and truly gave their all for this food drive and it has become an event that all look forward participating in each year.”

Needs of families and individuals around the state continue to be strong, according to the Association of Arizona Food Banks:
· Nearly 1 in 5 Arizonans (17.8%), including more than 1 in 4 children (28.2%), suffer from food insecurity – meaning they do not have regular access to enough food for a healthy, active life.
· Arizona is ranked 6th highest (18.7%) for individuals living in poverty, and 5th highest for children (27%)

“We are very thankful for Wells Fargo’s annual commitment to helping so many through this food drive,” said Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of the Association of Arizona Food Banks. “They have been a tremendous supporter and community partner for a long time and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Produce

Local Non-Profit, Phoenix Public Market, Offers Food Connections

All across Arizona, communities are growing nutritionally. More farmers’ markets are opening in cities statewide, and areas that at first had difficulty finding homegrown and fresh food now have more options close by. A driving force behind this change is the non-profit organization known as Community Food Connections (CFC), based in Phoenix, Ariz.

Cindy Gentry, founder and executive director, started CFC in 2002.

Phoenix Public Market, Photo: Mark Caron

“The motivation was to create opportunities for low-income families, in particular to move beyond needing emergency food assistance by creating programs and developing and supporting policies that increase access to healthy food, while supporting local food production and distribution,” Gentry said.

Since its launch, CFC has gained $600,000 to support two food programs for low-income seniors. They have started a farm-to-school program in Arizona and founded the Phoenix Public Market in 2005.

The Phoenix Public Market, much like Farmers’ Markets across the state, is a unique program and currently the largest open-air market in the state. Local, small-scale agriculture and local artists and crafters showcase their work and products at the market.

farmers market, Photo: Mark Caron

“The difference between our market and many of the others is that it is a program of the non-profit Community Food Connections where we are actively working to create jobs, support micro-business development, help keep farmers on the land and create a vibrant gathering place in what has been a blighted area to-date,” Gentry said. “We are working actively to establish a public market like they have in other great cities of the world.”

CFC is in partnership with other non-profit organizations such as Arizona Homegrown Solutions, the Phoenix Permaculture Guild, the Association of Arizona Food Banks, LISC, and St. Luke’s Health Initiatives. Their work and goals are geared towards self-sufficiency rather than the emergency and supplemental support that many other food programs offer.

“Our goal is to help create community food security – focusing on growing the assets of the community to make it possible for every person to have adequate, affordable, safe and culturally-appropriate food at all times that maximize self-reliance and social justice,” Gentry said.

For more information or to contribute, visit www.foodconnect.org.