In 2010 and again in 2011, AAFB was honored to be awarded prestigious Bill Emerson Congressional Hunger Fellows
. AAFB applied for one Hunger Fellow in 2010, and another again in 2011, in the aftermath of recent political and social changes happening within Arizona that seemed to disproportionally target our Latino population. We had heard antedotal stories of barriers, discrimination, and confusion within the Latino community when they visited food banks or tried to access emergency food, and we wanted to help quantify those stories and develop resources to address issues related to service, discrimination, racism, misinformation, etc. Quite simply, a better informed Latino population would be more willing and better able to access emergency food resources and services they were eligible for if Arizona's food bank network better understood the issues and barriers facing them.
Matthew Mellon worked with AAFB in late 2010 to help identify barriers the Latino population in Maricopa County faces when accessing emergency food through the food bank network. In late 2011, Christina Martinez arrived to focus on compiling a toolkit and documenting best practices for food banks to use to help address barriers and improve the client experience when accessing emergency food, using Matthew's work as a foundation.
Read Matthew Mellon's report: Advancing Equity within the Emergency Food Provider Network in Maricopa County
Read Christina Martinez's report : Closing the Gap - Enhancing the Client Experience at Food Banks