Pinnacle Prevention had several great accomplishments in 2017! This past year we gained a team member, challenged Arizona’s hunger rates, uplifted local farming efforts, inspired people to go outside and play, and so much more. Here are some highlights from our outstanding year:
1. Community Involvement
All over Arizona, people are working to make their communities and the world a better place. This year, we celebrated with the Fresh Express Mobile Market when they launched their new stops in Maryvale. Their expansion increased access to fresh and healthy foods, and brought the incredible benefits of Double Up Food Bucks to more individuals and families.
In May, we launched a brand new pilot farmers market in Maryvale at El Oso Park. This market has been a wonderful opportunity to bring fresh produce to neighborhoods that need it the most, and we’re thrilled to be a part of the community.
Our executive director, Adrienne Udarbe, worked with the Isaac School District and additional partners to help launch their new Family Resource Center. This project will help improve the health and education in their community, as well as provide resources like career counseling and citizenship classes. You can learn more about the project in this blog. We hope 2018 inspires more Arizonans to give back to their communities!
Hunger is a huge issue in Arizona, and Pinnacle Prevention worked all year long to raise awareness and tackle this solvable problem. The Feeding America food insecurity report presented just how prevelant hunger and food insecurity are in Arizona. Nearly half a million students in Arizona rely on free or reduced school lunch. With summer on the horizon, kids were in need of food during the break. Our blog linked families to summer food programs. In the new year, we will continue spreading the word about hunger in Arizona.
3. Double Up Food Bucks
2017 marked many milestones for Double Up Food Bucks! The program expanded to reach many new SNAP customers, and became available in six new markets across the state. With Double Up Food Bucks, a great number of Arizonans gained increased access to fresh, local produce and improved their local economies in 2017. We also started a new video series called “Voices of Arizona Farmers Markets,” where we share stories, insights and recipes from some of the amazing local farmers in our state. Here’s to an even better 2018!
4. Get Moving!
This past year, we wanted to make exercise more fun and accessible for everyone. In our blogs, we gave tips on how to get the whole family involved in daily exercise, outlined the importance of public spaces, and highlighted ways for kids to stay active during the hot Arizona summer. We had a ton of fun at our trail events in Payson and Globe, where we helped encourage families to enjoy activities for free at their local parks.
In 2017, we learned about a new transportation plan in Arizona that will increase places to get active in Maricopa County. The City of Phoenix is investing $300 million to improve sidewalks and bike lanes. These plans will encourage more walking and cycling and make it safer to do these activities. Keep an eye out for these changes, and give your input on the plan here!
5. Going Local
Farming is a large part of our daily lives, but because many of us are far removed from agriculture, we often don’t see its impact. Bringing the farms closer to home will not only grow our appreciation for farming, but it can improve our local economy and enhance childhood education. In 2017, we celebrated Farm to School Month. This initiative helps raise awareness and bring local food to school cafeterias, and it teaches kids about where their food comes from. This year, we were also thrilled to share the story about a young Payson girl who sells homegrown produce at her local farmer’s market and donates all of her profits to local schools and organizations. Arizona is full of great ways to buy locally-sourced food – we hope to help you discover more this year!
6. Our Team
2017 was also a great year for our team! Executive Director Adrienne Udarbe was a finalist in the ONE Director of the Year Awards. One of our amazing project managers, Kathleen Carlson, welcomed her daughter into the world. And last but certainly not least, Jessie Gruner joined the team and finished her PhD in Exercise and Wellness at Arizona State University. We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us!
Pinnacle Prevention had a wonderful 2017, and we’re ready for 2018 to be even better. One thing we have our eye on this year is upcoming legislation that will bring fresh and locally-sourced food to even more Arizonans through the Double Up Food Bucks program. For more news and to follow us on our journey this year, sign up for our newsletter. You can also donate and help us spread our work even further across Arizona. Thank you for your support in 2017, and we hope this is your happiest, healthiest year yet!