Double Up Food Bucks Arizona was extremely fruitful in 2017, and expanded to reach more SNAP/EBT (formerly food stamps) customers across the state. Double Up Food Bucks was implemented in six new markets last year, which brings the total number of Double Up markets, farm stands, and CSA’s to 23. There are also more than 40 Farm Express Mobile locations across the Valley. Thanks to Double Up Food Bucks, 84 percent of Double Up Arizona customers reported eating more fruits and vegetables.
To bring awareness to Double Up Arizona, we also started our “Voices of Arizona Farmers Markets” video series. This series features stories from local farmers, market managers, and Double Up customers. With the addition of new markets and our video series, we hope to bring more fresh, local produce to even more SNAP customers.
We worked all year long to improve Arizona communities through involvement and assessment. We hosted free events at parks and trails in Payson and Globe to promote active living. Our team facilitated two County Community Health Assessments and five Community Health Improvement Plans. We also provided training to 258 public health practitioners working in WIC, and nutrition education to 460 children across Gila County.
Policy, advocacy, and systems change are at the heart of everything we do. In 2017, these efforts were crucial to our work. We launched the statewide Let’s Grow AZ campaign in support of SB 1245, or the Arizona Grown Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Bill, which supports Arizona farmers, families, and our local economy. After we secured sponsorship for the bill, it passed smoothly through the Senate; the bill is currently in the House.
In addition to Let’s Grow AZ, we hosted Congressman Tom O’Halleran for a Farmers Market and Farm Site Visit to inform Farm Bill Reauthorization efforts. We also established and launched the first statewide Arizona Food Systems Network, and completed the first assessment of regional food systems coalitions in Arizona in partnership with Vitalyst Health Foundation.
We accomplished so many incredible things in 2017. Check out the full report to learn more! Stay tuned and follow us on our journey to see what we have in store for 2018. With each passing year, our team at Pinnacle Prevention is one step closer to making Arizona a happier and healthier place for everyone.