Pinnacle Prevention Collaborates with Local Farmers to Expand Access to Food
By Cindy Dempski -
Thursday Apr 23, 2020
Many Arizonans have feelings of uncertainty towards access to food and nutrition, more than ever, due to COVID-19. An initiative was launched by Pinnacle Prevention called Seeds to Grow that aims to foster healthy families and communities through annual funding that support Arizona’s small farmers, the heart of food systems. With seed funding for farm equipment and essentials, small farmers are able to expand access to locally grown produce.
"According to the most recent Agriculture Census data for Arizona, the average net income per farm in Arizona is $18,231/year – down 39% since 2012,” said Adrienne Udarbe, Pinnacle Prevention Executive Director. “There are several barriers impacting entry and growth for new and beginning farmers, one of which is access to equipment to expand operations. At the same time, we are experiencing disproportionately high rates of food insecurity in our rural and tribal communities showing that farmer livelihood and food access are intimately intertwined.”
Seeds to Grow’s first recipients and inspiration behind the initiative, are Coffee Pot Farms and the Navajo Nation Green Team. Coffee Pot Farms is an Arizona food producer located on the Navajo Reservation, whose sole focus is producing high quality produce that is available to low income families. All of this great work was possible with equipment sales, support, expertise and training from Steadfast Farm, a 2-acre bio-intensive market farm in Mesa, Arizona.
Arizona has seen a growing movement towards buying local and supporting Arizona food systems and farmers. More than ever Arizona needs local farmers, with the Double Up Food Bucks Arizona program in place. Double Up Food Bucks Arizona helps families who utilize SNAP benefits take home twice as many Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables, at participating farmers markets, corner stores, and select grocery stores across the state. After seeing a community need during the coronavirus outbreak, there is no longer a $20 daily limit, so Arizona families can double any amount of SNAP benefits when purchasing local fruits and vegetables at participating retailers. At the end of the day, the goal is expanding Seeds to Grow to expand access to fresh food for the community, through supporting the hard work of local farmers.
About Pinnacle Prevention
Pinnacle Prevention is an Arizona-based nonprofit organization dedicated to growing healthy families and communities. Our mission is to inspire and advance a healthy food system and opportunities for active living. Learn more at http://www.pinnacleprevention.org.