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​2025 Phoenix Food Action Plan

The 2015 Phoenix General Plan​, entitled PlanPHX included the Goal: Promote the growth of a healthy, affordable, secure and sustainable food system that makes healthy food available to all Phoenix residents. To meet this goal, the Office of Environmental Programs (OEP) partnered with several organizations and other governmental entities to collect baseline information about the food system, food access, and related health data. Extensive community and stakeholder engagement was initiated in 2018 and continues. The result of this research and outreach was the development of the City's first food action plan.

The 2025 Phoenix Food Action Plan (PDF), Plan de Acción Alimentario 2025,​ was adopted by city council on March 4, 2020. OEP and many other food system stakeholders collaborated on the implementation of the food action plan. ​The Plan contains five goals, each with several strategies and recommended actions. 

Strategies and Actions in progress:​ ​​​

Goal 1: Healthy Food for All

All people living in Phoenix should have enough to eat and have access to affordable, hea​lthy, local, and culturally appropriate food.

Strategy 1: Incorporate agriculture, food processing, and distribution into existing and future land use plans with an initial focus on designated food desert areas. Collaborate with key partners to facilitate new opportunities for urban-scale gardens, farms, gleaning, and distribution systems.

  • ​​Progress on Action: The City's Planning and Development Department included health as a main planning element in the 2022 South Central Transit-Oriented Development Plan, which emphasizes key aspects of the built environment that impact public health and the availability of healthy foods.

  • Progress on Action: Since 2020​, the Funds to Feed Program facilitated by LISC has delivered approximately 5 million meals to Phoenix residents impacted by COVID-19.  ​

  • Progress on Action: From 2020 through 2023, the Feed Phoenix program, facilitated by Local First Arizona Foundation, has worked with 25 local farms, 55 restaurants​, and 43 distribution centers to serve 379,759 meals, 17,200 holiday meals, and 15,375 bags of fresh produce to COVID-impacted families in Phoenix.

Strategy 2: ​ Use existing or develop new financial resources for food production and infrastructure. 

  • Progress on Action: OEP received a total of $16.7 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and the American Rescue Plan Act for the Phoenix Resilient Food System Initiative which is funding 14 programs in all spectrums of the food system. 

  • Progress on Action:​ OEP established a municipally funded Food Systems Program in 2021 with funding for staff and programmatic activities.​

  • ​Progress on Action: In 2022 and 2023, OEP provided $2,590,300 in grants through the Food System Transformation, Agri-Food Technology Innovation, and Resilient & Sustainable Agriculture programs to small, local businesses and nonprofits in the local food system to fund projects promoting a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable food system, including improving food security and accessibility, adopting sustainable practices, and creating jobs.

  • Progress on Action: In 2022 and 2023 OEP's Phoenix Backyard Garden Program will install 178 free garden systems to residents living in food deserts and impacted by COVID to promote healthy eating, physical activity, and reduce food insecurity, offering a choice of three gardening systems with training and support for one year included.​

  • Progress on Action: OEP and Arizona State University will establish an AgriFood Tech Incubator in 2023 to accelerate ventures in sustainable food systems and agriculture while generating sustainable and equitable economic impact.​

  • ​Progress on Action: OEP's Farms to Food Banks program in 2023 partners with St. Mary's Food Bank to provide fresh produce from small, woman-owned, veteran-owned, or BIPOC farms to vulnerable Phoenix residents in COVID-19 impacted areas. 

Strategy 3: Partner​ with schools and others to support and promote education for youth and adults.

  • ​​​Progress on Action: ​OEP is partnering with Cartwright and Roosevelt School District to facilitate aquaponic garden training for our Backyar​d Garden Program​ participants. 

  • Progress on Action: OEP will launch a free Food Waste and Composting Education Program in 2023 to provide residents in food deserts and COVID-19-impacted areas with composting education and access to a compost service to reduce food waste, save money, and reduce their carbon footprint.​

Goal 2: Stre​ngth​en the Local Economy

Businesses that produce, process, distribute, and sell local and healthy food should be recognized as integral to the economy and encouraged to grow and thrive in Phoenix.

​​Strategy 2: Incorporate agriculture, food processing, and distribution into existing and future economic development plans.

  • ​​​Progress on Action: Food System Entrepreneurship & Innovation strategy adopted in the Phoenix Economic Development Action Plan for Fiscal Year 20-21 to support, promote, and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation and community resilience within each step of the local food system. 

  • Progress on Action: Finalizing​ a Food Policy toolkit with user-friendly information on the requirements of food prod​​uction, processing, and distribution businesses.

Strategy 4: Partner with stakeholders to support and promote a Buy Local Food campaign.

  • Progress on Action: OEP launched Phoenix: Let's Eat Local!​ with Local First Arizona in February 2023 in conjunction with Super Bowl 2023. The campaign encourages residents to celebrate and learn about Phoenix's local food communities, promoting stronger food systems and supporting local businesses. It highlights five neighborhoods with rich histories and dynamic food scenes: South Phoenix, Roosevelt Row/Melrose, Nuestros Barrios Unidos/Eastlake Park, Miracle Mile, and Maryvale.​

​Goal 3: Celebrate Local and Diverse Agriculture

Growing food in Phoenix and the region should be easy and valued whether for personal use or for business. 

Strategy 1: Update codes and ordinances where appropriate to eliminate barriers and encourage developing a healthy food infrastructure.

  • Progress on Action: In 2022, OEP and the Planning and Development Department contracted with a consultant to assist in developing an Urban Agriculture Text Amendment that will clarify and update city codes and ordinances.

Strategy 2: Explore development of agriculture community land trusts and/or preservation mechanisms.​

  • Progress on Action: Initiated a City Farmland Preservation Interdepartmental Work Group to identify opportunities to conserve existing urban farmland and create future innovative food production.

  • Progress on Action: Collaborating with the Coalition for Farmland Preservation and the Maricopa County Food Systems Coalition to create more access to land for food production.

  • Progress on Action: Supporting research efforts of the Maricopa County Food Coalition in creating a Farmland Preservation Toolkit.

Strategy 3: Explore the utilization of city of Phoenix owned parcels as opportunities for urban agriculture, focused on food deserts within irrigation district.

  • Progress on Action: Developing an inventory of city-owned land through the Farmland Preservation Interdeparmental Work Group available for food production with the goal to offer land for lease in 2023-2024.

Strategy 4: Support the growth of land uses that contribute to a healthy and sustainable food system (i.e. grocery stores, community gardens, urban farms and other urban agriculture elements).

Strategy 5: Use existing and explore new job training resources, where feasible, and partner with others to provide training opportunities.

Goal 4: Maintain a Sustainable Environment

Food-related waste should be prevented, reused, or recycled. Sustainable food production practices that maintain a healthy environment are desired. 

Strategy 1:  Update codes and ordinances to clarify food waste diversion, i.e., composting opportunities.

  • Progress on Action: In 2023, OEP is launching a pilot food waste reduction challenge called Project REDUCE with the help of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Food Matters Initiative, which aims to reduce food waste from restaurants and divert it from landfills through prevention, surplus food rescue, and composting.
  • Progress on Action:  In 2022, OEP and the Planning and Development Department contracted with a consultant to assist in developing an Urban Agriculture Text Amendment that will clarify and update city codes and ordinances.

Strategy 2: Support and promote methods to prevent edible food from entering the waste stream.​

  • Progress on Action: In 2023, OEP will launch a Food Waste and Composting Education Program. This free, one-year program provides food waste and composting education, training, and access to a compost service for residents living in food deserts and COVID-19-impacted areas in Phoenix. Participants will learn how to decrease food waste through practical tips, such as better food purchasing, storage practices, meal planning tools, and composting. By adopting better practices, residents can save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
Strategy 3: Promote and support sustainable practices in all areas of the food system.
  • Progress on Action: In 2022 and 2023, OEP provided $2,590,300 in grants through the Food System Transformation, Agri-Food Technology Innovation, and Resilient & Sustainable Agriculture​ programs to small, local businesses and nonprofits in the local food system to fund projects promoting a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable food system, including improving food security and accessibility, adopting sustainable practices, and creating jobs.

Goal 5: Develop a Resilient Food System

Develop policies and actions that address local and global challenges posed by climate change, urbanization, political and economic crises, population growth, and other factors.​ ​

Strategy 2: Convene local food producers with city staff, leaders, and elected officials to build trust and understanding.

  • ​​Progress on Action: OEP in partnership with Local First Arizona Foundation, the Coalition for Farmland Preservation, Pinnacle Prevention, and Council Districts 7 and 8, four convenings were held with local food producers from 2020-2023.​


South Phoenix Local Foods, Local Places Project

In 2018, the City of Phoenix received a technical assistance grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Local Foods, Local Places program.  In partnership with the community and institutional partners, a South Phoenix Food Action Plan was developed and is included within the city-wide 2025 Food Actin Plan.