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Governor’s FY19 Budget Invests in Arizona’s Food Banks

PHOENIX -- The Association of Arizona Food Banks (AAFB) thanks Governor Ducey for a $1 million investment allocated in the FY19 Executive Budget for the statewide emergency food network to bring healthy food to those in need.

“These additional resources are crucial in our fight against hunger,” says AAFB President and CEO Angie Rodgers. “Ensuring that Arizonans who struggle with hunger have access to nutritious food is a top priority, and we thank Governor Ducey for his support.”

Every month, on average, nearly 420,000 Arizonans at risk of hunger access food pantries and partner agencies within the statewide network. To address the high need last year while also aiming to improve public health, AAFB and its member food banks—Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Desert Mission Food Bank, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, United Food Bank, and Yuma Community Food Bank—focused on getting healthier foods, including farm-fresh produce, to the families they serve.

Collectively, the network distributed 178 million pounds of food last year, and nearly half of it (85 million pounds) was fresh produce. That’s a 250 percent increase in produce distribution from the previous year.

“Eating healthy foods is good for individuals, economic development, and public health,” said Rodgers. It leads to a more productive workforce and reduces the prevalence of diet-related diseases, which lowers healthcare costs. “By increasing our capacity to serve more nutritious foods, the Governor has demonstrated his support in addressing the complex hunger issue. We look forward to working with him to help the many everyday Arizonans who temporarily rely on our services to make it through challenging times.”