Arizona Food Heroes are planting seeds of change across the state 

This month, we highlighted two Arizona Food heroes who are making a difference in their local food systems and communities. We are always inspired when individuals and organizations go above and beyond to give back to their neighbors and promote healthy lifestyles in their areas. Check out the stories below to learn more about these food heroes: 

Peaches for Teachers: Payson girl sells fruit to benefit local schools and causes

11-year-old Brooklyn Klein has been selling her homegrown fruit at the Payson Farmers Market every week since she was 7. She donates 100% of her earnings from the produce she harvests back to local schools and other organizations. Click here to learn more about her fruit stand! 

You can keep up with her fruit stand on the  Brooklyn's Peaches for Teachers Facebook page. 

TigerMountain Foundation activates space and engages community, one garden at a time

TigerMountain Foundation works with groups of potentially at-risk youth, veterans, homeless populations and people who have previously been incarcerated. The program embraces youth and connects with neighbors through three community gardens located on previously vacant lots in South Phoenix. Those involved with the nonprofit's programs learn about gardening and landscaping, as well as essential work and life skills. Click here to learn more about the foundation and its incredible work! 
Support the  Hernandez Farm Flood Relief  

On Monday, July 17 a severe thunderstorm heavily damaged the Hernandez family's farm. The family grows vegetables and makes tamales, tortillas and salsa to sell at the Flagstaff, Chino Valley, Prescott and Prescott Valley Farmers Markets throughout the year. 

We love our hardworking Arizona farm families, and encourage everyone to support this dedicated farm in their time of need. The next few months will be difficult as the farm gets back on its feet. You can help by donating through the link below:

Celebrate our local agriculture and markets for National Farmers Market Week

Next week (August 6 -12) marks the 18th annual National Farmers Market Week! National Farmers Market Week is a celebration sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that highlights the important role farmers markets play in the nation's food system. Farmers markets impact their communities in various ways, and this is an opportunity to highlight the economic, social and health benefits they bring to neighborhoods across the state. 

Farmers markets support local agriculture, stimulate local economies, promote sustainability, foster community, and increase access to nutritious food. Visit this site for events, resources, contests and more to celebrate National Farmers Market Week 2017. 

All month long, Double Up Food Bucks Arizona has been highlighting some of our amazing Arizona markets and growers. Check out the Double Up Food Bucks Arizona blog, Facebook, and Twitter, for market spotlights, stories and more! 
#PlayOnJuly for National Park and Recreation Month

July was National Park and Recreation Month, and we joined people across the country to celebrate all the ways to get your play on. The National Recreation and Park Association is encouraging everyone to stay active by visiting local parks and recreation centers. Check out this blog to learn more about activities, recreation centers and summer programs across the state to keep you and your family active all summer long.
New program encourages nutrition, increases access to healthy food for Flagstaff families, while supporting local farmers

A nutrition-based program, spearheaded by Arizona nonprofit Pinnacle Prevention, is helping people bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables while also supporting local farmers. Double Up Food Bucks Arizona is a federally funded effort that doubles the value of SNAP benefits used at farmers markets across the state. Through a partnership with Flagstaff Foodlink, Double Up Food Bucks is now be available at both Flagstaff Community Market sites. 

Sun Valley Farming: 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Phoenix

Via FoodTank

Abandoned land, backyards, front yards, and even trucks have all contributed to Phoenix Arizona's flourishing urban agriculture scene. Food Tank explores ten of the city's most innovative urban agriculture projects.

Summer meals program rebound

Via Foothills News, by  Chuck Huckleberry

Advocates and Arizona education officials say they are confident the summer meal program for low-income children will start to climb this summer, after five years of steady declines, which saw meals served drop more than 50 percent.

Final numbers will not be available until this fall, but officials point to an increase in the number of serving sites, a new focus on the basics of the program and more outreach efforts as indicators that the program will turn the corner.

5 Ways Schools Can Boost the Local Food Economy

Via Civil Eats, by  Maggie Tauranac

Getting local food into a public school system's meal program seems pretty much like a no brainer. The practice would boost local economies and support smaller-scale farms. It would likewise reduce the environmental impacts related to wide-range distribution. Perhaps most importantly, offering locally sourced lunches would provide the potential for connecting students to agriculture and providing nutrition education, paving the way for future shifts to our food system.

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