Arizona Food and Farm Forum Highlights Food Deserts

The seventh annual Arizona Food & Farm Forum will be held in South Phoenix in April of this year. The 2020 forum will offer workshops, live cooking demonstrations, a bus tour of local farms, and local food networking opportunities. The conference is inviting farmers, food and restaurant entrepreneurs, 4-H members and FFA students, and supporters of local food.

The theme of the two-day farm conference is “Celebrating Heritage and Planning for the Future.” The event will highlight three areas of interest:

  • Planning for the Future – which will focus on policy changes in the areas of agriculture workforce development, urban farmland conservation, and funding community food systems;
  •  Indigenous Foodways – offering a discussion with the American Indian Farmers’ Panel, food as medicine, and adopting Sonoran Desert crops; and,
  • Growing a Food Business – which will focus on topics such as building farm brands, climate change, and revenue streams.

According to The Center for Creative Land Recycling, 42.5% of Phoenix’s population live in food deserts – low income census tracts where residents live more than 1 mile from the nearest supermarket or healthful and affordable food retail outlet.

“Phoenix is committed to achieving a healthy, sustainable, equitable, and thriving food system and has recently completed a 2025 Food Action Plan that includes various strategies and actions that address food insecurity, urban agriculture, land use, job creation, and the contribution of the entire food system to our local economy,” Phoenix mayor Kate Gallego said. “We are excited to host the Arizona Food & Farm Forum in South Phoenix to showcase the rich agricultural history of the area, its assets, and value to the development of a resilient food system for future generations.”