Food insecurity, or the lack of access to nutritious food, affects 15.8 percent of Arizonans, and 24 percent of Arizona children, according Map the Meal Gap’s 2017 food insecurity report. This makes Arizona the state with the fifth-highest national food insecurity rate for children. In Coconino County, 19.9 percent of residents experience food insecurity.
The Access Committee is focused on making healthy produce affordable for all Flagstaff residents. Recent efforts include working with the Flagstaff Community Market and Pinnacle Prevention to bring Double Up Food Bucks Arizona to our local farmers markets. Double Up Food Bucks Arizona is a federally funded effort that doubles the value of WIC and SNAP benefits used at farmers markets across the state. Double Up Food Bucks is now available at two Flagstaff Community Market sites beginning on May 28, 2017. Market customers can take advantage of the program at the Sunday Downtown Market, which runs from 8 a.m. to noon in the City Hall parking lot, and the Wednesday Sunnyside Market, which starts on June 21 and runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Pine Forest School.
When someone uses their SNAP Quest Card at participating farmers markets, every dollar they spend is matched with an extra dollar to spend on more Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables, up to $20 per day.
This increased access to healthy food is important for the many thousands of Arizonans who experience food insecurity, and those who live in food deserts across the state.
The Economic Development Committee is focused on growing the economic strength of our local food system through creating new connections between eaters, growers, and restauranteurs. Efforts include increasing participation in Local First Arizona's Good Food Finder, hosting Eat Local Tuesdays, and sponsoring the Backyard Growers booth at the Flagstaff Community Market.
- The Backyard Growers Booth is an opportunity for community members who grow their food to sell it at the Flagstaff Community Market. Interested in selling your produce or starts at the Backyard Growers booth, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Good Food Finder is a statewide directory of local foods. The goal of the Good Food Finder is to provide a hub where consumers, procurers, farmers, restauranteurs, and other institutions can learn about and connect with Arizona’s local food providers in order to shorten food supply chains, improve access to local, healthy foods, and strengthen community resilience to create a healthier, sustainable food system in Arizona.
- Eat Local Tuesdays is a celebration of the bounty of food grown in and around Flagstaff.
The Resiliency Committee coordinates educational opportunities for community members to learn how to grow food responsibly in Flagstaff's challenging climate. Past efforts include the Growing Community Summer Workshop Series, Flagstaff Community Seed Swap, Fall Food Workshop Series, and exploratory subcommittees to develop a community greenhouse. Check out our events calendar for upcoming events.
- The Flagstaff Community Seed Swap is a partnership between Flagstaff Foodlink, the Northern Arizona University SSLUG Garden, City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program, and the Grow Flagstaff Seed Library. The Seed Swap takes place in early spring each year and is an opportunity for community members to share their seeds.
- The Fall Food Workshop Series is a partnership between Flagstaff Foodlink and Willow Bend Environmental Education Center. Topics include fermentation, canning, and what to do with all of those apples. For more information, visit http://willowbendcenter.org/adult-education/.
- The Garden Ninja Tour takes place each spring and explores practical and innovative methods community members have developed for successful food production and preservation.