categoryMenu_new
 
  Home
  EXTRAORDINARY AH Teaching from Spiritual Hierarchy
  AbundantHope
  NEW READERS! Read Here First
  Supporting AH
  Leadership of AbundantHope
  Announcements
  Regional AH Sites
  Other Sites with AH material
  Contact Us
  Becoming A Messiah
  OUR PUBLIC FORUM IS OPEN TOO ALL
  Mission Ideas
  System Busting
  Cleric Letter/English
  Translations of Cleric Letter
  AH Member Writings
  Candace
  Ron
  Rosie
  Jess
  Brian's Poetry
  James
  Giuseppe
  John Taylor
  Esteban
  Telepathic Messages
  Candace
  Jess Anthony
  Vince
  Leonette
  John
  Adam
  Bela
  Joyce
  Hazel
  Kibo
  Peter
  Rosie
  Johan
  Lucia
  Lucia G
  Rubens
  Shellee-Kim
  Ben
  Dorothea
  Solon
  Others
  Targeted Messages
  Hano
  Light Flower
  Changing The Face Of Religion
  - Phoenix Journals - PDF in German
  Candace on Religion
  Other Spiritual Pieces
  Spiritual Nuggets by the Masters
  Phoenix Journals
  Phoenix Journals - PDF
  Telepathic Messages PDF books
  Selections from the Urantia Book
  CMGSN Pieces
  THE WAVE
  David Crayford and the ITC
  Environment/Science
 
  Health and Nutrition
  Podcasts, Radio Shows, Video by AH
  Political Information
  True US History
  Human/Animal Rights
  The Miracle That Is Me
  Education
  Resources
  911 Material
  Books - eBooks
  government email/phone #'s
  Self Reliance
  Video
  Websites
  Alternative News Sources
  Art and Music
  Foreign Sites
  Health and Healing
  Human/Animal Rights
  Scientific
  Spiritual
  Vegan Recipes
  Translated Material
  Dutch
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Jess
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Candace
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Anderen
  Artikelen/berichten
  French
  Canal Jess
  Par Candace
  Other Channels
  Articles
  German
  Telepathische Nachrichten (Candace)
  Telepathische Nachrichten (Jess)
  Telepathische Nachrichten (div.)
  AH Mitgliederbeiträge (Candace)
  AH Mitgliederbeiträge (Jess)
  Spirituelle Schätze
  Italian
  Translations - Candace
  Translations - Jess
  Translations - Others
  Portuguese
  by Candace
  By Jess
  By Others
  Spanish
  Anfitriones Divinos
  Bitácoras Fénix
  Creadores-de-Alas (WingMakers/Lyricus)
  Escritos de Candace
  Escritos de Otros
  Monjoronsón
  Telemensajes de Candace
  Telemensajes de Jess Anthony
  Telemensajes de Otros
  Chinese
  By Candace
  By Jess
  By Others
  Korean Translations
  Hungarian Translations
  Swedish Translations

Search
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Health and Nutrition Last Updated: Oct 10, 2017 - 2:29:52 AM


This Isn’t Just Another Urban Farm—It’s a Food Bank for the Poor
By Sammi-Jo Lee
Oct 9, 2017 - 9:24:09 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page Share/Bookmark

Partnerships between food banks and local agriculture are on the rise.

October 2, 2017, 12:00 PM GMT

Former farm staff, Zotero Citlacoatl, and Las Milpitas volunteers in the greenhouse, learning about heritage fruit tree propagation. The fig and pomegranate tree cuttings pictured grew out over the spring and were given to program participants and community partners. 
Photo Credit: © Groundwork Promotions (via Yes! Magazine)

Just off the banks of the parched Santa Cruz River in Tucson, Arizona, gardeners at Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Farm are harvesting a bounty of produce. They grow hot and sweet peppers, summer squashes, Nichols and Punta Banda cherry tomatoes, basil, okra, beans, corn, and the striped, oval Tohono O'odham watermelon: a desert-adapted watermelon with sweet orange-yellow flesh, cultivated by the Tohono O'odham tribe over generations in the Sonoran Desert region.

An urban community farm in Tucson? Guess again. This isn't just urban permaculture-it's a food bank.

In Pima County, which includes Tucson, one person in seven is food insecure-slightly above the national average. Food banks, including this one, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, have been starting gardens and farms where they teach people to grow their own food. These are local, small-scale initiatives that teach "food literacy"-nutrition, cooking, budgeting, grocery shopping and gardening-to communities that suffer from food insecurity or simply a lack of fresh produce.

This is a common concern, and food banks across the U.S. are increasingly taking on added responsibilities of not just providing food to low-income communities, but also addressing health issues associated with food insecurity, such as malnutrition and diet-related illness like high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and obesity.

Las Milpitas-a name chosen by the community which means "little fields" or "little gardens" in Spanish-is a few miles from the food bank's primary distribution and services center. The farm is in a primarily Latino neighborhood on Tucson's west side, and closely connected to two nearby mobile home communities. It's also a four-mile drive from the nearest grocery store.

On one part of the six-acre farm, three full-time paid staff members grow produce that later gets included in hot prepared meals for food bank clients or is sold to sustain the farm at the food bank's SNAP- and WIC-eligible local farm stands.


Las Milpitas volunteers, pictured in front of the greenhouse, make organic potting soil and work on other farm projects in February. Photo © Groundwork Promotions (via Yes! Magazine)

But the heart of Las Milpitas is everything set aside for free use by the community, says Elena Ortiz, Las Milpitas' Farm Engagement Manager and Advocacy Coordinator. There are around 60 individually-assigned plots, a shared community plot, a greenhouse, a composting toilet, and an adobe oven. At times the farm borrows other equipment, such as a solar dehydrator or a solar oven, which are used in cooking demonstrations and native plant workshops.

Gardeners plan their own plots and take home what they grow, Ortiz says. And they come back for other events such potlucks and yoga classes. Local elementary schools also use Las Milpitas as an outdoor classroom to teach a food literacy curriculum about nutrition, plants, gardening, and cooking.

And since there are no parks in the neighborhood, Ortiz says, people also come to Las Milpitas simply to enjoy the green space.

The gardeners come from all over Tucson. Most of them are women, and many are recent immigrants. Many have never gardened before. Among the watermelons and weeds, some are reconnecting with an agricultural heritage, Ortiz says.

"A lot of our gardeners will remember their grandparents in Sonora who had a ranch, and they'll remember them growing food," she says.

Partnerships between food banks and local agriculture are on the rise. Food banks are farming produce, recovering (or "gleaning") agricultural surplus straight from the fields, building urban demonstration gardens and seed libraries, and teaching classes in underserved neighborhoods for those who want to grow food in their backyards or in balcony bucket gardens.

Domenic Vitiello, an assistant professor of City Planning and Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, researches the changing role of food banks in regional food systems. To put these agricultural initiatives in context, he says, we have to balance two considerations. One is the scale of need-the millions of pounds of "emergency" food that a food bank has to provide. The second is that the traditional food bank structure reinforces dependency on the industrial food system, which also is able to take advantage of tax breaks and low wages, thus perpetuating deep economic inequality.

An example of a different agricultural approach is Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, which serves seven North Carolina counties, recovering and gleaning about 6 million pounds of food a year that would otherwise have gone to waste. The Food Shuttle also runs a 10-acre production farm, which provides 18,000-30,000 pounds of food per year for its clients-just a fraction of its total distribution.

But some of that land, says Farm Manager Fred Baldwin, is set aside exclusively for 12 Burmese Karen refugee families who grow food for their own community. The Food Shuttle has also transformed unused lots into two small urban gardens in low-income and historically Black neighborhoods of Raleigh and Durham, where they teach a five-week backyard gardening course called Seed to Supper.

Vitiello says that while community gardens like these and Las Milpitas can't feed large numbers of people, they can strengthen poor communities to be just as healthy and food secure as any.

"They are not producing anything resembling the scale of the big industrial gleaning programs," Vitiello says. "They're building skills-basic capacities for people to feed themselves."

There are other ways to measure a food bank's successes than the quantity of food it gives out.

Erik Talkin, CEO of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and author of the blog From Hunger to Health, is supportive of food banks like the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona who have successfully pioneered complex approaches.

"They wanted to focus on these programs that would build long-term food literacy as opposed to just short-term giving people food. They realize that they can build a bigger and bigger food bank, but it's not actually solving the problem they're trying to deal with."

It takes paid staff and a lot of networking for a food bank to create a thriving community garden like Las Milpitas. "They're doing some good things there that we at the moment don't have the resources to be able to achieve," Talkin says.

And Ortiz believes that a resilient community is worth the work.

"That's why our food bank has been really interested in growing, because gardens provide this beautiful space for those connections to happen," she says.


Sammi-Jo Lee is a solutions reporting intern for YES! Magazine. She is based in Seattle, Washington, and is passionate about storytelling that uplifts the voices of marginalized people. Follow her on Twitter @_samjolee. She/her/hers.

https://www.alternet.org/food/isnt-just-another-urban-farm-its-food-bank




All writings by members of AbundantHope are copyrighted by
©2005-2017 AbundantHope - All rights reserved

Detailed explanation of AbundantHope's Copyrights are found here


Top of Page

Health and Nutrition
Latest Headlines
Australia votes YES on same-sex marriage
Opioid-Related Deaths Drained $500 Billion From The US Economy In 2015
Medical Destruction: It’s Not Just Opioids
Study Confirms that Alcohol is Ten Times Deadlier Than Cannabis on the Road
Planned Parenthood Partner Gave Staff Bonuses for Harvesting Aborted Baby Brains, Hearts: Whistleblower
Poppy Output Hits Record High as US Troop Surge in Afghanistan Completed
Bruce Lipton - Mind Over Matter
Meet the Jewish Family Making Billions From The Opioid Crisis II
Study: Medical Cannabis Significantly Reduces Prescription Drug Use
Shocking Increase Of Weedkiller In People’s Bodies Found In 23 Year Study
Cancer is a Lifestyle disease:
Happy Holidays – California City Demands Church Stop Feeding the Homeless
Evidence Mounts that PLAGUE Outbreak in Africa is an Engineered Depopulation Bioweapon
The Economics of the Abortion Industry:
Why Were Vatican And RC Church Hierarchies NOT Unnerved About Infertility “Ingredients” In WHO’s African Tetanus Vaccine Campaign?
Harvard University hosts anal sex workshop
Drugs, Money and Political Prostitution
We Don’t Have Just A ‘Mental Health Crisis’ In America. We Have A Spiritual Crisis.
Microwave Radiation: Why Should Consumers Be Concerned?
Kenya Faces Deadly Plague Outbreak, WHO Warns