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.
Benten Anders has worked in development for the last five years both in the US and abroad, including Uganda, Afghanistan and the Netherlands. In his current role as the Food Systems Development Coordinator at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, he oversees the logistics and development of an innovative Farm-to-Institution initiative that connects local farms to institutional purchasers. He enjoys using data to make visualizations for evidence-based decisions.