In 2015, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona began convening a network of partners including farms, school districts, healthcare institutions, food distributors, and advocates to develop a regional food value chain that gets fresh, local produce to people in large volumes through institutional buyers. The value chain network is innovating to develop and test new systems and markets—making tangible changes to the way our food system functions—while working to build inclusive, local ownership and control of our region’s natural, social, and financial resources and a regional food system that works for all. Join us for a panel discussion as we explore the collective impact – from a local economic development standpoint, a sustainable environmental standpoint, a civic engagement standpoint, and a cultural conservation standpoint – generated through this partnership.
Audra Christophel is a relationship builder, convener, and change enthusiast. She has spent the last decade in Tucson working in community and food system development. As Local Food Pathways Program Manager at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, she oversees local food initiatives including the Farm-to-Institution Value Chain, convening cross-sector partners to collaboratively build the vision, trust and systems needed to bridge gaps in the current food system and create a new way forward. Audra has a degree in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies, serves on the Tucson City of Gastronomy Board, and spends her weekends hiking and camping with her cattle dog.