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Food Project Aims to boost community access to food

http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/food-project-aims-to-boost-community-s-access-to-food/article_f1255f22-4555-11e9-a0a2-23c72d7946f7.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

TERRI HARBER, The Daily News Mar 12, 2019


BULLHEAD CITY — Increasing food access will be emphasized at a gathering this afternoon at the Bullhead City branch of the Mohave County Library.


Principals involved in The Food Project, a program of the Mohave County Department Public Health, will be at the library from 3 to 4:30 p.m. today. 


People who rely on food banks, pop-up pantries and other less-traditional means to obtain healthy fare are encouraged to attend.


“Their ideas are wanted,” said Tiera Morrison, the county’s program coordinator for the Arizona Healthy Zone Program, nutrition and physical activity program.

Previously known as the Mohave County Food Systems Coalition, the new name is to better highlight the purpose of this effort.

“The idea is anybody who needs food — especially if they can’t afford it — should have access to it,” Morrison said. 


A higher percentage of Mohave County households residents face food insecurity than across Arizona and the nation. In Mohave County,

19.2 percent of households lack food security. The percentages for Arizona and the United States are 14.6 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively, according to the Arizona Department of Agriculture. 


Among possibilities to ensure that people in the county’s rural areas have access to healthy food would be to provide mobile food markets in such locations as Golden Valley, Topock, Peach Springs, Mount Tipton and Dolan Springs. 


This would be similar to the WOW Pop-Up Pantry in the Fort Mohave/Mohave Valley area, Morrison said.


WOW is aligned with The Food Project. It’s amid a change of location and won’t operate this month but should be back up in April. It is among other resources that focus on ensuring those who need food can have it.


Another concept is to create a large network of food sellers and preparers, including institutions such as schools and hospitals, that would provide any food not sold or consumed to those who would accept it. 


University of Arizona Cooperative Extension is a partner in The Food Project.


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