Food System Resources
Phoenix Resilient Food Systems Program
One of the City's most successful Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) funded programs was the food assistance provided through the Feed Phoenix and Funds to Feed programs that delivered 5,246,566 healthy meals to COVID-19 impacted individuals and families. The Phoenix Resilient Food Systems Program builds off the success and provides additional resources to develop a stronger, connected local food system with more sustainable food options for Phoenix residents. The Phoenix City Council approved over $9 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for food related programs under Economic Development and Innovation, Equity and Inclusion, Local Food Consumption/Production, Food Banks and Pantries Support, Meals That Work, and Resilient Food System. More details for each program can be found below:
Economic Development and Innovation - $3,400,000
Equity and Inclusion - $2,400,000
- Feed Phoenix Program – This program is a continuation of the CRF funded Feed Phoenix Program. Local First Arizona Foundation managed this program and prepared and delivered more than 80,000 meals using local farmers, restaurants, and caterers.
- Worker Cooperative Sustainable Food System Business Incubator – This program will focus on developing worker cooperatives for sustainable food business enterprises through a collaboration with the private sector and Arizona State University.
- Agri-Food Technology Innovation Grants – This program will provide funding and incentives to encourage food system entrepreneurs and innovative food businesses to expand or locate in Phoenix.
Local Food Consumption/Production - $1,500,000
- Funds to Feed Phoenix – This program is a continuation of the CRF funded program that provides funding for community and grassroots organizations and school districts. LISC Phoenix managed this program and delivered 5,165,806 meals.
- Phoenix Urban Agriculture Fellowship – Provides funding for a one-year fellowship for high school and college age students with local food producers with 60% for Black, Indigenous, and persons of color participants.
- Council District Food Action Plans or Initiatives – The program will focus on districts with food deserts, high food insecurity and hunger rates to identify specific projects or initiatives that are needed within the district.
- Farmland Preservation – In partnership with nonprofits and land trusts, this allocation assists in the purchase and preservation of land for agriculture in Phoenix.
- Backyard Garden Program – Provides grant funding for up to 100 residents located in food deserts for backyard gardens and community gardens using aquaponics, raised beds, and other water conservative growing methods.
Food Banks and Pantries Support - $1,300,000
- This funding will be used to provide resources for local food banks and food pantries to provide food and other resources for struggling families. Staff will ensure broad engagement with foodbanks and pantries ensuring outreach and emphasis with smaller community-based food banks and food pantries.
Meals That Work - $700,000
- This program will prepare and deliver 1,000 meals weekly for 26 weeks to social service organizations, such as St. Vincent de Paul, schools, and more. Fourteen food service employees at the Convention Center will be utilized to prepare the meals.
Resilient Food System - $200,000
- Resilient and Sustainable Agriculture Projects – Provide grant funding to farms for advancing technologies and methods that address growing food in our changing climate.
City of Phoenix Food Resources During COVID-19
The city of Phoenix provided $2,644,000 for preparation and delivery of 5,246,566 healthy meals and 5,491 fresh produce boxes to 539,096 individuals and 336,184 families from August 2020 through March 2021. The initiatives provided much needed meals and created a more connected, resilient food system.
The work was completed through two programs, 1) the Feed Phoenix Initiative administered by Local First Arizona Foundation that included farms, restaurants, caterers, event venues, and social service organizations, and 2) the Funds to Feed Phoenix and Funds for Schools Initiatives administered by LISC Phoenix that included grassroots/nonprofit organizations and school districts.
FEED PHOENIX INITIATIVE
The Feed Phoenix Initiative was a collaborative project between Local First Arizona and the city utilizing CARES Act dollars to bring healthy, high-quality meals to COVID-impacted families in the city of Phoenix. Local restaurants, caterers, and farms located in Phoenix were employed to help prepare meals from Phoenix-grown produce in order to sustain local jobs and supply chains, strengthen the local food economy and, most importantly, help keep all Phoenicians healthy during the ongoing COVID-19 economic, health and social crises. View the Feed Phoenix Report for more details.
Impact: Businesses Supported:
- 80,760 meals served 12 participating farms
- 6,405 Thanksgiving meals served 45 participating restaurants
- 5,491 fresh produce bags distributed 29 distribution centers
FUNDS TO FEED & FUNDS TO SCHOOLS INITIATIVES
The Funds to Feed Phoenix and Funds to Schools Initiative was a collaborative project between LISC Phoenix and the city using CARES Act funds to bring 5,165,806 healthy meals to COVID-19 impacted families. Grassroots, nonprofits and community organizations partnered to enhance existing food delivery occurring in communities by communities. The initiative engaged vulnerable and marginalized populations to provide input on equitable practices for the grant application process in order to reach organizations that may had not be familiar with government grant funding and to design processes that built the capacity of the organizations. Healthy meals and fresh produce boxes were delivered and connections to other nonprofit agencies were developed to increase opportunities for continued partnerships.
The Funds to Schools Initiative provided funding to assist four school districts located in food deserts and serving COVID-19 impacted families. The funding enabled school districts to continue to provide summer and weekend meals for an 8-month period. View the Funds to Feed Phoenix Report for more details.
Other Food Resources During COVID-19
Many organizations are working to provide food for our community. You can find a food bank near you. You're asked to call ahead to check hours and availability. Parents and caregivers can also text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find the nearest sites. Locate Maricopa County School Food Distribution Sites or access St. Mary's Mobile Food Pantries information. WIC is a year-round program from Public Health which provides healthy food to pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as infants and children up to five years old. Get started here. To find additional food system resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit Pinnacle Prevention.
The Local First Arizona Foundation good food finder is a great resource that provides information about finding local food for delivery and open farmers markets. Support Arizona Farmers as they work tirelessly to grow and transport the good food we need to keep nourished and healthy. Many farmers markets remain open (with extra precautions), and several farms & local food retailers are offering delivery & curbside pick-up!
If you are interested in learning to garden, compost, and other related skills, The Urban Farm is offering their classes free for a limited time.
Interested in creating a community garden? Start here: Phoenix Community Garden Policies Guide.
Need seeds for your garden? The Phoenix Public Library allows you to "check out" seeds from their seed bank. For more information, go to the Phoenix Seed Library Page.
The University of Arizona Extension has also created Maricopa County Seed Library, School and Community Garden Map.
Community Gardeners of Maricopa County is a collaborative group of community gardeners focused on strengthening and creating community spaces for growing healthy, organic, local and affordable food.
Mesa Community College Center for Urban Agriculture
Small-scale aquaponic food production. Integrated fish and plant farming
Urban Farming Workbook