By thinking “Beyond the Box,” Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is working to solve hunger in our community through many programs. CFBSA is "distributing nutritious food — including lots of fresh produce — to struggling communities and supporting people in need to build skills and pursue opportunities that create financial stability and self-sufficiency,” according to Feeding America.
Our CFBSA does so much for the people of our region that in 2018 it was named Feeding America’s Food Bank of the Year. Its programs and partnerships provide food for the hungry, but its help extends far beyond the much-needed daily fix.
In addition to providing healthy food for hungry people in Southern Arizona’s five counties, the organization runs myriad assistance and outreach programs. This is vital because the poverty rate is over 20% in the areas they serve.
Here are 10 things you might not know about the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona:
If you're thinking about emptying your pantry to donate to CFBSA, that’s awesome, but
make sure to check the expiration date before you hand over the goods.
Also, CFBSA focuses on healthier food options including low-sodium and fresh alternatives, so keep that in mind.
Poverty is directly linked to serious diet-related illnesses. Curate before you donate!
So CFBSA is finding solutions for the poverty epidemic, which goes hand-in-hand with food insecurity!
They are looking to double that by 2021.
If Southern Arizonans shifted just $5 of their existing spending toward local food, it would
generate an additional $287-million a year in income to local farms and small growers.
Need a way to support our community’s farmers and economy? Buy local — it matters (and it tastes better).
McDonald was chosen, after an intensive nationwide CEO search, as CFBSA’s leader. Way to go, local boy!
CFBSA realizes that a big problem in the hunger puzzle is shipping. Facepalm!
Per the CFBSA, “Each year, over 5.9 billion pounds of fresh produce come through the port of entry in Nogales, Arizona, on the border of Mexico. Much of this ends up in landfills. CFBSA’s Produce Rescue team works to save fresh fruits and vegetables from landfills and distribute them to those in need.”
“The bill appropriates $400,000 of the State general fund in fiscal year 2018-2019 to be used for a produce incentive program (like Double Up Food Bucks Arizona) for SNAP participants so they can purchase Arizona-grown produce items at participating farmers markets, farm stands, community support agriculture (CSA) sites, and grocery stores,” said Cable.
The food bank is always seeking volunteers, donations, and people to initiate food drives.
Individuals, families, groups, and organizations can assist in many ways. Click here for opportunities to serve your neighbors.
For more information, visit communityfoodbank.org.
[Both Angela Orlando and Jennifer Teufel Schoenberger contributed to this article.]