Gila Valley Food Coalition seeks input through stakeholder meeting March 18

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Gila Valley Food Coalition will seek input during a stakeholder meeting March 18.

Contributed Article

SAFFORD – The Gila Valley Food Coalition is hosting an input session for local food system stakeholders at the Gila Valley Farmers Market on March 18, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Local farmers, ranchers, food producers, food businesses, and food advocates are invited to attend in-person or on Zoom to discuss the needs of food producers and organizations. Masking and social distancing will be enforced and sanitizing guidelines will be followed to ensure a safe environment. 

The Gila Valley Food Coalition is a collection of community partners including the Graham County Chamber of Commerce, the Graham County Health Department, Local First Arizona, Our Neighbor’s Farm and Pantry, and the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties working to address issues of food insecurity and food access as well as connecting local producers with consumers in the Gila Valley. 

The meeting will build upon the Eat Local Gila Valley campaign which launched in the fall of 2020 and connects Gila Valley residents with local food producers through the Good Food Finder website. The meeting will also discuss the results of a food insecurity study carried out in partnership between the Gila Valley Food Coalition, United Way of Graham & Greenlee Counties, and Northern Arizona University, which found that out of 399 usable surveys, 40% of respondents are often or sometimes out of food before receiving more money and 35% can’t afford to eat balanced meals. Overall, 31% of the sample population are food insecure and 47% of those that are food insecure are employed.

Please join us to learn more about the Gila Valley Food Coalition and how you can help address food insecurity! 

The Gila Valley Farmers Market is located at 1051 W. Thatcher Blvd., Safford, AZ 85546. For questions and more information contact Kathryn Williams at kwilliams@grahamgreenleeunited.org or 502-356-1354. 

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