Phoenix feeds residents while saving businesses and farms [Video]


  • The Feed Phoenix program of the local government revolutionized its feeding program by tapping Local First Arizona for a sustainable food project with its CARES Act federal fund.
  • The non-profit group directly buys goods from the farms and pays the restaurants to deliver free meals to citizens in need.
  • The project funds were set to run out this month, but given its outstanding success, the city council allotted enough money to continue the program.

The pandemic hit us big time, but it has also sparked kind souls to think big to help. In Phoenix, Arizona, their feeding program managed to hit three birds with one stone: it saved dozens of farmers, helped food businesses, and gave free meals to local residents.

   

The Feed Phoenix program provided more than 50,000 meals, free of charge, to local residents from July to December in 2020.

Upon receiving the CARES Act federal funding in April, the city asked a non-profit organization, Local First Arizona, for a joint project to work together for a food system in the city.

Photo Credit: Chris Malloy/Bloomberg CityLab

Local First Arizona directly buys goods from the farms and pays the restaurants to deliver free meals to citizens in need. For years, the non-profit group has been working with about 3,000 locally owned-businesses to promote local buys.

The city could have awarded one very large contract to one very large company to just prepare all of those meals,” Kimber Lanning, the nonprofit’s founder and executive director, told Bloomberg. “Instead, we decided to create a program to touch as many businesses as possible.”

Sana Sana Foods was supposed to shut down all operations due to the pandemic, but the grant of the city’s program has helped in activating the business again, Chef Maria Parra Cano said.

Photo Credit: Chris Malloy/Bloomberg CityLab

The local businesses and farmers working together for the program have helped in sustaining the project. Feed Phoenix funds were set to run out this month, but given its outstanding success, the city council allotted enough money to continue the project.

“What is going to be left behind is a stronger community food network,” Phoenix environmental programs coordinator Roseanne Albright told Bloomberg. “Restaurants realize the value and excellent product that can be delivered by our farmers, and they want to continue those connections.”

The fresh, ready-to-eat meals are distributed at 30 locations.

 

Donations to Local First Arizona can be processed here.

 

Source: Good News Network


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