TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Sometimes you’ve got to get your hands dirty to help your local community, and that’s what Community Gardens of Tucson has done for the past 30 years. It’s a non-profit that manages 20 community gardens in the city. Each garden grows vegetables and fruit to feed the surrounding community.
“It’s important that communities, especially in areas of food insecurity like southern Arizona, have robust local food production," said Parker Filer, Community Gardens of Tucson volunteer. "I think community gardens are a huge asset towards that.”
Fry’s Food Stores recently gave the organization $15,000 to continue developing local gardens and growing produce. The goal is to fight food insecurity. In 2017 - almost a million people in Arizona were considered food insecure. This means they didn't have access to enough food for a healthy lifestyle. It’s still a problem in many low-income areas of Tucson.
"The area I work in now, there’s one grocery store and most of the community is on foot, not everyone has transportation,” said Erica Goward, a Fry’s employee.
Erica Goward works at the Fry’s on 1st and Grant. She says her store struggled to get access to certain foods during the pandemic.
“We saw lots of food shortages, we couldn’t get certain products," Goward said. "Everything from baby wipes to produce to meat, things like that."
That’s why she and other volunteers came to help.
“So it’s really important to have a place that you can commute to on foot to get fresh food,” Goward said.
“During the pandemic, food security became an even greater concern and I think underscored the need to boost livelihoods and food security,” Filer said.
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