Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

For 40 years the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona has been serving its community and local residents. This program is pushing the envelope to tackle long-term food insecurity.

“Being able to continuously adapt your programming and methods to meet your community where they are is a constant challenge,” said Chris Lowen, farm manager of Las Milpitas de Cottonwood, a community farm located off the bank of the Santa Cruz River that provides food for the Community Food Bank and its clients.

Las Milpitas serves close to 2,000 people annually by providing materials and support for local residents to grow their own food. For six years Las Milpitas has strived to make healthy, local food more accessible to low-income families and marginalized communities.

As part of the program, the farm also works to teach, demonstrate, and promote sustainable food gardening. This year, Las Milpitas has hosted 23 workshops on food gardening. They also partner with City High School and 10 other organizations to provide educational opportunities for students and extend their impact.

“The key is listening to the folks you’re seeking to serve,” added Lowen.

The farm’s goal is to get more people eating healthy and able to grow their own food sustainably. Next, Las Milpitas and the Community Food Bank of Arizona plan to release their “Garden Basics” curriculum online in order to share their resources with other sites partnered with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.