CORNUCOPIA COMMUNITY ADVOCATES serves our communities by seeking to improve our Yavapai County food system. We recently organized the Verde Valley Food Policy Council that is developing a regional Food System Improvement Plan.
With the impact of the Coronavirus, we offer this report on current crisis needs of the Yavapai County Food System:
Food System Crisis Needs
Harvey Grady, Cornucopia Community Advocates 02/04/2021
FOOD INSECURE POPULATION
Since the Great Recession of 2008 in rural Arizona:
- i. One in three children have been food-insecure.
- ii. One in five adults have been food-insecure.
- iii. One in six seniors have been food-insecure.
With the impact of COVID-19 in 2020, Arizona has 400,000 persons who lost their jobs, the number of food-insecure persons suddenly increased.
In 2020 and 2021, in rural Arizona we estimate that:
- i. One in two children are now food-insecure.
- ii. One in four adults are now food-insecure.
- iii. One in five seniors are now food-insecure.
In Yavapai County, 32% of the population have been food-insecure, totaling 70,000 residents. With federal and state Coronavirus health guidelines, most businesses have closed, resulting in reduced work hours and job layoffs much greater than the 2008 Great Recession. We estimate that at least 50% of residents are now suddenly food-insecure, which means lacking income to purchase enough food to sustain active, health lives. Approximately 110,000 persons now must rely on local and federal food assistance programs.
Our Yavapai County Emergency Food Resource Directory 2019 presents a list of food banks, senior centers, and other local food assistance programs. Almost all of the organizations listed receive weekly food deliveries from St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix. Most of the food now consists of fresh fruit and veggies. Senior commodity boxes are also available for persons 60 and older at or below 130% of the federal poverty income level. Click below to view and download this Directory to locate local emergency food programs.
FOODBANKS AND PANTRIES – Arizona’s FoodBank Network has had to expand delivery of emergency food from the USDA and charitable sources and require local food assistance programs to switch from in-person to drive-through lines that can stretch for miles as greater numbers of persons wait to receive one or more boxes of food.
GOOD VERDE FOOD – Click below to contact restaurants in the Verde Valley that offer take-out and dine-in options for meals. We offer this service in support of this vital sector of our local economy. The more restaurants that can stay open, the more jobs that can be saved and maintained during the COVID 19 health restrictions.
Our mission: Improve community spirit and effectiveness by developing and sharing resources.
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“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
From all of us, Thank you Harvey & Julie Grady for your beautiful vision and compassion to have created Cornucopia Community Advocates almost 20 years ago!
There are countless people who will never know they have been served by the blessings of your actions. For them, our deepest gratitude. – The Community