This Isn’t Just Another Urban Farm—It’s a Food Bank for the Poor | Alternet
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.
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.
Et une situation urbaine que j’ai déjà vue aux alentours de Pékin :
And since there are no parks in the neighborhood, Ortiz says, people also come to Las Milpitas simply to enjoy the green space.
artnerships 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.
Transformer les Banques alimentaires en un commun prenant en compte tous les aspects de l’alimentation
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.”
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