Grow, Taste, & Discover Arizona's Local Food with New Good Food Finder
Local First Arizona Foundation debuts its new website with improved online directory and statewide resources for consumers and food entrepreneurs to grow, taste and discover local food in Arizona.
“As Arizona looks for better ways to find, grow and eat local foods, the newly designed Good Food Finder AZ helps both businesses and individuals connect to food producers easier than ever before,” says Kimber Lanning, Founder of Local First Arizona Foundation.
The initial idea came from chef-turned-food advocate, Natalie Morris, who saw the need for a digital directory of locally grown and produced food in Arizona - and where to find it. Dismayed that Arizona was constantly overlooked by national good food media, she knew that aggregating the abundance of production here was the best place to start. In 2015, Morris partnered with Local First Arizona Foundation to help maintain the listings and grow the site as a resource for both individuals and food businesses. Now the next evolution is here.
Good Food Finder exists to serve two purposes: help families and institutional buyers alike find and source their ingredients locally, and to support farmers and food entrepreneurs in growing their food businesses.
For “eaters”, the ‘Good Food at Home’ navigation provides:
A growing online directory of over 800 food products, farms, U-Pick-It farms, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), and farmers markets across the state
Community events calendar of local food festivals, farm days, DIY and gardening classes
How-to guides & local resources for starting a garden at home
Inspiration & recipes for growing and cooking with seasonal vegetables
For food businesses in the startup phase of production, the ‘Grow Your Business’ navigation offers useful tools, including:
Avenues to expand their customer base
Navigating food safety resources and requirements
Accessing capital to grow your business
“Good Food Finder is keeping our local food system and foodies in touch,” says Sara Matlin, Executive Director of Community Food Connections, “As a farmers market, we love having an easy online platform to search for local Arizona food businesses to invite to the market and constantly source valuable information to share with our vendors and customers from the site, including everything from food safety to cooking and gardening tips!”
Food entrepreneurs can claim their listing on the website at: www.goodfoodfinderaz.com
A new feature of the website focuses on food assistance resources and locating farmers markets that accept SNAP, Double Up Bucks, and WIC programs. According to Feeding America, one in seven adults and one in five children in Arizona struggles with hunger. And the Arizona Department of Economic Security estimates that nearly 700,000 Arizonans are living in a “food desert”, which is defined as any rural or urban area where nutritious food options are not readily available.
“The platform is designed to help connect consumers with the best of Arizona’s local food, but also to support our farmers and food artisans as they grow their businesses.” says Kate Radosevic, Food & Farm Initiatives Manager at Local First Arizona Foundation. “Arizona has a huge geographic footprint, so offering location-specific resources via an online platform can help connect producers to each other and to local markets.”
For more information on how to find, grow, and eat local foods in Arizona, explore www.goodfoodfinderaz.com.