SFMNP, Prescott Farmers Market, Yavapai County SNAP-Ed, and Manzanita Outreach bring locally grown produce directly to seniors in the Verde Valley.
This fall, the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) teamed up with farmers from the Prescott Farmers Market, Yavapai County SNAP-Ed, and Manzanita Outreach to bring locally grown produce directly to seniors in the Verde Valley.
This partnership was spurred into action with leftover SFMNP funds in order to serve the community of seniors in Cottonwood. Many local advocates stepped right up and were willing to take on some extra responsibility to make this happen. These key advocates include Rebecca Serratos from the Yavapai County Cooperative Extension Office, Marie Higgins and the Prescott Farmers Market team, Ben Burke from Manzanita Outreach, and of course the Prescott, Chino Valley, and Paulden-area farmers.
We’re grateful to Aguiar Farms, Hernandez Farms, SuperNatural Sprouts, and Reyes Farms for collectively producing over $18k worth of produce that went directly to low-income seniors. All farms are paid directly and in full through SFMNP funds. Next time you’re at the Prescott Farmers Market or the Flagstaff Community Market, find these farms and express thanks by purchasing their wonderful varieties of produce.
Senior CSAs through SFMNP are special for a few reasons, some of which include the convenience and ease it provides the seniors recipients. We purposefully integrate the senior CSAs into their pre-existing food pick-up routines.
In order for this to happen, there are many pieces that takes a team effort behind the scenes: transporting, packing, securing materials, and other logistics. As we’ve just named, it was a whole village that came together in Yavapai County to bring this to fruition.
A total of 367 seniors benefitted from $50 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, either delivered through the Manzanita Outreach home delivery program, or provided alongside seniors picking up their monthly commodities box at the pantry. Contents of the mixed produce bags for the seniors included arugula, kale, beets, tomatoes, radishes, turnips, microgreens, fresh herbs, and more. Burke of Manzanita Outreach emphasized how special it was for seniors to receive fresh greens. He shared that at the food pantry, heartier vegetables are easier to come by, but to give out fresh, high-quality greens grown in county was a true treat.
Arizona Recreation, Trails, & Historic
Visit Arizona Initiative – Outdoor Recreation Grant
The Arizona Office of Tourism has $8 million available until Oct. 15, 2021 as part of the $100 million Visit Arizona Initiative to support marketing, sustainability efforts, and infrastructure improvements for outdoor recreation. Applicants must describe how their effort responds to the negative impacts of the pandemic.
Read more and apply soon here: https://tourism.az.gov/visit-arizona-outdoor-recreation-revitalization-grant/
State Parks Heritage Fund
At the end of the 2021 Arizona State Legislative session, funding was officially restored to the State Parks Heritage Fund after 11 years without funding since the great recession. The one-time funding came in the form of $5 million from the state general fund and $5 million of federal relief dollars.
The State Parks Heritage Fund provides grant opportunities for non-motorized trails, outdoor environmental education, local, regional, and state parks, and historic preservation. Applicants can include non-profits, cities, towns, counties, tribal governments, state, federal agencies, and entities that have formed appropriate cooperative agreements.
The Fund is officially open and accepting applications on a rolling basis! More details can be found here: https://www.azstateparks.com/grants/
Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Grant and
United Food Bank RISE Grant Fall 2021
To be considered eligible, applicants must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing hunger-relief services and have an existing partnership with Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, United Food Bank, or Yuma Community Food Bank. Note that applicants that are partners of United Food Bank can use the same application form to submit a proposal for United Food Bank’s RISE grants, which are not specifically tied to COVID-19 response.
Because if we can’t imagine that future – personally or collectively – how will we make it a reality?
Truthfully, it can be hard to picture a world without hunger or poverty. When I first tried to, I could only come up with the desire to dismantle existing systems of violence: capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy. And don’t get me wrong, we should all be and stay committed to dismantling those systems. But in that exercise, it was clear that I had little practice training my imaginative muscles.
So with deeper reflection, my dream for us is to live in a world that is treated with abundance, where land, power, and resources are returned to indigenous peoples’ stewardship, where accountability is so high that everyone answers to community needs, and where conflict is embraced with maturity, love, and mutual understanding. The only surviving structures are those that protect, uplift and heal.
In the anti-hunger advocacy world, we know that people who are forced to face food insecurity cannot wait for the policy changes (or better yet, the revolution) that promise to end hunger one day. Hungry people need to be fed, and not just with any food. In line with naming the possibilities we dare to imagine, those foods need to be culturally appropriate and fully nourishing to the body and soul. Agency in food choice has to be restored. And there should be robust opportunities to consume locally sourced food as well as space to build a healthy relationship to food. I find tremendous hope in working from a place not of wishing that were true, but in every small way possible practicing it until it is true.
Let’s live and work wholeheartedly into the possibilities of our most radical dreams.
Check out adrienne maree brown’s books and her blog for more wisdom & inspiration.
Farmers Market Nutrition Programs Coordinator
Blooming Reed farmers Juan and Keeton Aguiar provide Arizonans with locally grown organic vegetables, nutritious herbs, and breathtakingly beautiful flowers with the goal of minimizing the disturbance to the soil. Sustainable agriculture can be very labor-intensive, but with the appropriate equipment, farmers can maximize profits by increasing crop yields, improving crop quality, and reducing expenses.
We’d like to give special thanks to Erich Shultz of Steadfast Farm for his technical support and expertise in choosing the appropriate agricultural equipment and tools for the location. He provides unwavering support to the regional farmers of our Arizona food system, and he played a big part in making this happen. We would also like to thank Whole Foods for helping to support us in this initiative.
Seeds to Grow is an annual funding opportunity that supports the heart of our food system with seed funding for farm equipment and essentials for Arizona's small farmers. For more information on Seeds to Grow, visit pinnacleprevention.org
Here we are, more than a year into our commitment as an organization to center anti-racism and equity in our practice. We’ve been bringing these hard conversations and questions into our work by asking ourselves and our partners to explore how our own identities work to uphold these power structures. Simply, self and system analysis, with the acknowledgment that this alone is not enough, and with increased humility, hard changes, power shifts and action should follow. Sounds good, right?
Well, if it were that easy….
Here we are today, ready, and willing to share some honest reflections and lessons learned…thus far. We say thus far because we have much to do to continue to challenge our own perceptions, norms, and white conditioning. The reality is that this kind of work is lifelong, never-ending, often pain-staking slow…and full of humanness…errors, and hardship.
Change is hard. We all know this. People will say this, agree to this, and sign up for the thought of change…in theory. The reality? That’s when things get tricky. And, if I’m being honest, I don’t think it’s even possible to truly, really, actually, understand just how messy diving into this work can be, even when theoretically you get that it is supposed to be tough.
The truth is, most of us avoid it or distract ourselves from the hard realities of this discomfort by focusing on surface-level work. Easy projects that keep us busy, but do not actually touch the hard root of the center. When we push away from the fluff toward reality (uh ourselves), well, the reactions in yourself and others can be surprising. In short, it is disruptive.
So, why are we writing this? We want to acknowledge that talking about doing this work can be performative, and in essence, is virtue signaling. But, we wanted to name it for our own network, as peers in this work. We know that there is no way to be “perfect”, but fears of making mistakes often lead to inaction, much like in this article about the Culture of White Supremacy.
Friends, we are not perfect.
We might be sort of screwing this up, but we know we aren’t alone either. We hope to normalize talking about the reality of systems change for organizations like ours, and those working in public health and service fields. The more we talk, the more who join, will help grow the critical mass. There is no way to dismantle this system without facing this mess. We are hoping that by talking about it, we can help strengthen our own sense of community, to help us all tackle ourselves. It’s easier when you know you’re not alone.
So, for those wanting to join this work of self-analysis, growth, and dismantling of power structures in the very systems they work in, here is what we have to share so far:
White Tears and White Fragility. Expect them to show up in yourself and others. There is no way to plan for what will come up, so preparing support for those in need may be warranted.
Our mentors have taught us that the biggest portion of this work is the work we do within ourselves. The reality of that is it brings up a lot. Some of that needs support outside of the container you are working in, and other issues might be a signal that we’ll need to work on our relationships with each other. Patience, time, trust, and awareness of it will help get to the real issues.
- Don’t Take The Bait
We hope you’ll walk along with us.
Jaclyn Chamberlain, MPH, RDN, CSP
Director of Community Engagement, Pinnacle Prevention
Join our community on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
How we're responding after a look in the (blind spot) mirror.
Interestingly, it is not just that funders are not paying attention to smaller communities, but also that many of the communities lack the human capital to apply and make the case for their own needs and innovative solutions.
“…many smaller communities and organizations applying for grants experience a resource cost problem,
wherein the administrative effort required to get a grant outweighs the value of the grant.”
In 2019, with funding from the Vitalyst Health foundation, we interviewed and surveyed stakeholders across the state to gain a better understanding of how nonprofit and government agencies can work together with rural and tribal communities to improve opportunities for active living. Through the process, we heard that despite a phenomenon of crumbling infrastructure juxtaposed with a growing desire for safe recreation and transportation facilities, local staff in rural and tribal communities are stretched thin and lack the time to apply or even be aware of grant opportunities. Moreover, local champions lack the capacity to navigate complex grant applications on their own. As a result, local community members continue to lack access to safe places to play, gather, and relax. A stakeholder even asked that an organization step up to serve as a “Match.com” for funders and projects.
Thankfully, last year, Pinnacle was also the recipient of a Vitalyst Health Foundation Systems Change grant to develop a collaborative effort focused on improving quality of life across the state through driving active living infrastructure investments into Arizona’s rural and tribal communities.
The Plan of Action has been to:
- Foster partnership and collaboration around built environment, active living, recreation, trails and land use issues/opportunities;
- Identify assets, needs and wants through listening to community and by engaging with stakeholders;
- Equip local champions and community members to become involved in community planning and development processes;
- Identify and assist with grant applications, and;
- Engage in advocacy and help to develop policy that paves the way for additional funding sources for rural and tribal communities.
USDA has published a Frequently Asked Question document (LINK to attached PDF – can this be hosted as an upload on our website?) which answers some of the most common questions farmers have raised so far regarding eligibility, notification, and process for receiving debt forgiveness.
USDA has additional information on their website. Here is a recording and link from a recent listening session: ppt slides here.
A few key takeaways from that listening session:
- Farmers should contact their local USDA office to ensure they have a completed form AD 2047 on file to designate their race / ethnicity and status as a socially disadvantaged farmer. This is the single most important thing to address right now, as USDA will rely on these records to figure out which loans to forgive.
- Farmers will not be required to apply for debt forgiveness – it will be automated.
- Over the next week or so, farmers with a completed AD 2047 on file should receive a direct notification of their eligibility for debt forgiveness. They will likely need to verify the total amount and return to FSA.
For important context about the impact of this overdue news on Black agrarian history, check out these two articles:
- Civil Eats: https://civileats.com/2021/03/29/tracy-mccurty-has-worked-a-long-time-to-see-historic-wrongs-righted-for-black-farmers/
- The Counter: https://thecounter.org/black-farmers-discrimination-debt-vilsack-american-rescue-plan-covid-19/
Please share this post across your networks to ensure that BIPOC producers across Arizona have information about this new resource.
“Sometimes I wonder if the Asian-American experience is what it’s like when you’re thinking about everyone else, but nobody else is thinking about you,” Yeun said.
Last summer, Pinnacle Prevention took a stand against racism. As a team, we committed both internally and externally, to doing the long-term work to confront the systems of oppression that harm communities of color and dehumanize all of us.
In the wake of recent attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as well as the plague of hatred toward Asians across the globe that has only intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that those in our communities, our professional networks, and even our families have been directly affected.
Today we acknowledge the complexity of the Asian American experience and the reality of discrimination against AANHPI communities that is often unnoticed, minimized, or ignored.
Today we stand with many organizations and individuals to shout #StopAsianHate and #ProtectAsianLives.
Keep learning, and keep lifting your voice to stop white supremacy in all forms: ·
JOIN: Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander for Equity Coalition (AZ AANHPI for Equity): http://aanhpi.org/ ·
WATCH: “Minari” (Korean: 미나리 [minaɾi], transl. "water celery") - a 2020 American drama film written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung. https://a24films.com/films/minari ·
FOLLOW: We learn so much from Dr. Kiona: https://www.instagram.com/hownottotravellikeabasicbitch/ ·
SUPPORT: Asian-owned businesses https://azasianchamber.com/takeoutthursday ·
BE INSPIRED: Joyful artwork in Manhattan’s Chinatown to support Asian-owned restaurants during the pandemic: https://www.thinkchinatown.org/assembly
We're so happy to welcome Jessie Gruner back from maternity leave with our two new CIO's and friends, Hayden and Hardin. 👶👶
Having twins 8 weeks early in the middle of a pandemic has been a wild ride to say the least. But if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can all do hard things. Especially when we have help and support from our village. Brad and I have been so humbled by the love and support the Pinnacle team and our partners have graced us with as we welcomed Hayden and Hardin into the world. A very special thank you to my amazing team for picking up the pieces left by my very abrupt absence.
My wish for the future is that we can normalize paid parental leave. At Pinnacle Prevention, we are incredibly lucky to have paid parental leave for 12 weeks. Being able to spend those first precious weeks caring for your baby (or babies!) and yourself, is such a priceless gift – the gift of time. It’s something I will forever cherish and be grateful for. Right now we are the exception to what should be the rule. So if you’re an employer, offer paid parental leave to your employees for at least 12 weeks. And if you’re an employee or a job seeker, ask for it!
Jessie Gruner, PHD, RDN
Director of Community Innovation & Supermom
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed by the President March 11, 2021. Here's what we see as the agriculture and nutrition highlights that will have a significant impact on our continued path to recovery.
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