Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market Is Making It Easier To Eat Sonoran Foods

Many in Tucson are familiar with the shady mesquite trees that fill our neighborhoods, but few may know that these native trees also provide an excellent source of food.  Mesquite pods are a versatile food that may be ground up into a nutritious flour or processed to make sweeteners.  Unfortunately, mesquite seeds are difficult to open using home methods.  On Nov. 17th, the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market will partner with Desert Harvesters to provide an easier way to process these abundant seeds.  For a minimum of $5, those wishing to grind their clean and dry mesquite pods can bring them to the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market to be milled into flour they can take home and to use for baking.

Visitors to the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market will also be treated with free bike tune ups and accessories provided by Menlo Bikes.  The group will teach cyclists how to fix flat tires and maintain their bikes.  Menlo Bikes is a neighborhood bicycle project that encourages and facilitates bicycle use for Menlo Park residents.

The mesquite milling is open to the public and runs from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.  Shoppers will also be able to enjoy children’s activities and live music.   All of the Community Food Bank farmers’ markets accept SNAP (food stamps), WIC checks, Arizona Farmers Market Nutrition vouchers, cash, credit and debit cards.  Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM at El Mercado San Agustin, located at 100. S. Avenida del Convento, west of 1-10, near the corner of Congress and Grande.

Menlo Bikes is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative to prevent or reduce obesity through increased opportunities for improved nutrition and physical activity.  Led by the Pima County Health Department, CPPW is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Nourishing News Spring 2011

We Need Your Votes!

Dreyer's LogoThe Community Food Bank’s own Marana Farm is in the running for an entire orchard of fruit trees! All we need to make this happen? Your vote through Once you register you can vote up to once daily to give the Marana Farm and our community the best chance at having this resource planted here.

Vote Now

Voting for “Communities Take Root” will run on or about April 15 – August 31, 2011. Visit to read the inspiring nominations and cast your vote. The communities with the most votes will receive a fruit tree orchard, which will be planted in partnership with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to planting fruit trees to support healthy nutrition worldwide.

“Dreyer’s is passionate about helping neighborhoods become greener, healthier and of course, sweeter. Last year, tens of thousands of people voted at to help select which 25 neighborhoods would receive a public orchard. After the votes were tallied, “It was amazing to witness people from all walks of life coming together in each community to help plant the fruit trees,” says Jia Li, Fruit Bars Associate Brand Manager.

January 8, 2011Photo of Gabby

Gabrielle Giffords and her staff have spent countless hours working on behalf of the food bank, and visiting with us and our constituents. Several among our staff have crossed the boundary between colleague and friend. For everyone touched by the events of January 8, we would like to express our deepest sympathy and concern.

Out of the sadness comes hope. Donors from all over the country, and a few from the rest of the world, have stepped forward to support the food bank with gifts honoring those hurt or killed in this horrible tragedy. Over 1,700 people have contributed to the Gabrielle Giffords Hunger Fund. Over $160,000 has been donated. Forty-eight states and six countries are represented by the donors. Food also is being collected in huge quantities.

Gabby is much-beloved by those at the Community Food Bank, and we anxiously await her return. In the meantime, something special is in the works to be done in her honor with the gifts collected in the hunger fund. This spring, there will be an announcement about the plans. Thank you to all who have participated in this amazing outpouring of love. Click here to read comments by those who have doanted to the fund.

Caridad’s Volunteers Make it HappenPasta

The line stretched all the way around the large meeting room, out the back door and into the parking lot. It had formed outside before the doors were even open. People young and old—families, children, seniors, mostly people you would never guess needed help. They had all come to First Church of God (near Stone and Fort Lowell) for an evening meal. For some, it was the first time they’d eaten all day. First Church of God took over the evening meal program about four years ago when another area church was unable to continue. “There’s just a lot of need,” said Darlene Simson, co-pastor for the church. “I love doing it; it really helps you connect with people in the neighborhood and show them you care.” Caridad Community Kitchen meal preparation program, recently acquired by the Community Food Bank, prepares the meals for First Church of God. Darlene runs the program on Tuesdays and Thursdays with numerous volunteers. Caridad’s meals are served at six other sites like Darlene’s, all in Tucson.

Learn More


Deep Freeze Cripples Produce DonorsOrange

Residents of southern Arizona and northern Mexico woke up on February 3 to bone-chilling cold. The low temperature in Tucson hit 18 degrees overnight, breaking the previous record of 21 degrees, set in 1910. In some areas the temperature dipped even lower.

The cold weather was uncomfortable for humans, but was devastating for water pipes and crops in our area. Citrus fruit, especially susceptible to severe frost, was destroyed by the lower temperatures.

The Community Food Bank gleaning program soon discovered that the citrus they were picking was badly damaged. The decision was made to discontinue gleaning citrus this year since most of the fruit they were picking was not edible and had to be taken to the landfill. If a homeowner picked their citrus and could verify that it was still good, the food bank would still pick up the citrus.

Learn More

Letter Carriers Need Your Help!Logo

At the Community Food Bank, we see a huge jump in the number of young working families seeking assistance in the summer. The additional bills from childcare, and higher utilities, as well as the summer closure of school-sponsored breakfast and lunch programs, put many families living paycheck-to-paycheck over the edge. Don’t let Andy’s parents feel the distress and shame of opening the cupboard one morning only to realize they have nothing to give him for breakfast. We’re counting on you to help us make sure he has something to eat.

On Saturday, May 14, we are teaming up with your letter carrier for the annual Stamp Out Hunger campaign. Soon your letter carrier may provide you with a bag to fill with food. On the 14th, letter carriers will pick up bags left next to mail boxes for the Community Food Bank. This is our largest and most important food drive of the year. Last year it brought in nearly 300,000 pounds of food.

It’s a long, hot day full of hard work, and it’s incredibly rewarding! We need volunteers to help us unload the trucks full of food when they arrive at the post office. Call Kristen Hershberger at 520-622-0525 ext. 204, if you’d like to volunteer or for details.

Sending a cash contribution is another great way to make a difference. We can convert every $1 you send into $10.50 of food. You can send your gift with the enclosed envelope or donate online. Make sure to give us your address so your letter carrier can receive credit for your gift!

Learn More

quilt imageQuilt Raffle 2011

Don’t miss your chance to win! This year’s Appliquéd Sampler Amish Quilt has a soft palette of colors set against an ivory background. It displays an array of creative designs, each one complementing the next. As a whole, the quilt is a balanced and beautiful example of the artistry of Amish quilters.

This quilt was hand-quilted with 346 yards of thread by Anna M. Miller, an Amish woman from Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It measures 99” x 112” which would give you a 19.5” drop on both sides of your queen-sized bed and room for a pillow tuck at the top.

Learn More


Your Gift Does More!

Donations of cash or food received between March 1 and April 30, 2011, are eligible for the Feinstein Challenge. Gifts to the quilt raffle count toward the challenge! During this nationwide challenge, the Rhode Island-based Feinstein Foundation will provide a partial match for every dollar raised or pound of food donated.

Founded in 1991 by Alan Shawn Feinstein, the Feinstein Foundation is dedicated to the alleviation of hunger, the importance of community service in education and the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood. Each hunger-fighting organization is given a proportional share of the million dollars, based on how much money and food they raise. As a result of the 2010 challenge, the food bank received over $15,000 in matching funds.




Nourishing News Archive

Nourishing News: A Quarterly Newsletter of the Community Food Bank

Stay up to date on local events, be moved by real stories of hunger and see what your community is doing to end hunger in Southern Arizona.
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Nourishing News Winter 2014

Nourishing News Fall 2013

Nourishing News Summer 2013

Nourishing News Spring 2013

Nourishing News Winter 2013 (with 2012 Annual Report)

Nourishing News Fall 2012

Nourishing News Summer 2012

Nourishing News Spring 2012

Nourishing News Winter 2012 (with 2011 Annual Report)

Nourishing News Fall 2011

Nourishing News Summer 2011

Nourishing News Spring 2011

Nourishing News Fall 2010

Nourishing News Summer 2010

Green Valley Nourishing News

Green Valley Spring 2013

Green Valley Winter 2013

Green Valley Fall 2012

Green Valley Winter 2012

Green Valley Fall 2011

Green Valley January 2011

Green Valley Fall 2010

Marana Nourishing News

Marana Spring 2013

Marana Fall 2012

Marana Spring 2012

Marana Fall 2011

Marana Spring 2011

Marana Fall 2010

Planned Giving

Planned Giving Spring 2013

Planned Giving Winter 2013

Planned Giving Winter 2012