2013: Year in Review
During 2013, we may have seemed less visible because we took a break from holding regular monthly general membership meetings. This was to focus our energies on various other projects, including things like water and food production research, community events, and finishing our MyPlate project. If you want the exhaustive details, you can check out the full report as a PDF. But here are some highlights:
Activities and Accomplishments
- “A Place At The Table” Movie Showing as opening to Community Food Bank’s “Closing The Hunger Gap” national conference of food banks. We were one of only a couple dozen communities across the country awarded a grant to make the showing possible, and a successful one at that, as we had an attendance of approximately 250 at the event.
- Gathered Stakeholder Organizations to discuss integration of work and Memorial of recognition, and STAR Sustainable Cities commitment surrounding sustainable food access to the City of Tucson Mayor and Council.
- Completed a Southern Arizona version of the USDA’s MyPlate to showcase what is possible using locally grown and wild harvested native and traditional foods.
- Published photos in September 2013 issue of Edible Baja Arizona magazine detailing Native MyPlate Project, along with a Policy Editorial on USDA, school food, and child food insecurity.
- Arizona Department of Health Services – Gardening and Composting draft regulations – advocating for reasonable policies that encourage rather than hinder school garden activities including composting and rainwater. New guidelines allowing for compost (both manure- and plant-based) and rainwater are expected to be released in early 2014.
- Successfully advocated for inclusion of an Urban Agriculture section within the City of Tucson’s general plan known as Plan Tucson in 2013.
- We continue to maintain an active role in the City of Tucson’s Sustainable Code Integration Project where issues relating to water and urban agriculture are concerned.
- Actively support continuing work to negotiate removal of sewer fees on water bills to all community gardens that do not use a sewer connection.
- Participated in Colorado River Day press conference with Phoenix Mayor Gibbs to address the importance of water resources and quality to agriculture in Arizona.
- Support and collaboration with Southern Arizona Young Farmer’s Coalition (SAYFC) – the Arizona branch of the National Young Farmer’s Coalition, including a comment forming period regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act. If you didn’t see already, FDA responded in what appears to be a favorable way.
- Began cursory study of the state of our water resources in Arizona as it relates to modern and urban agriculture and commerce, published in a series of blog posts on our website.
- Engaging with Right To Know Arizona initiative organizers on an educational basis.
- Rincon Unified Congregational Church offers fiscal agent sponsorship of PCFA as it seeks best course of action on organizational structure that allows for effective policy change.
- Ongoing discussion with City of Tucson regarding an “Eat 5, Buy 5” campaign to bolster local food production through increased local foods purchasing.