The city of Phoenix is putting CARES Act dollars to work by bringing high-quality meals to vulnerable populations across the city. The city has contracted Local First Arizona Foundation to recruit local restaurants, farmers, and food entrepreneurs to help prepare these meals in order to sustain local jobs and supply chains, strengthen the local food economy, and most importantly, help keep all Phoenicians healthy during an ongoing economic and social crisis.
“We are proud to be partnering on such a thoughtful and innovative approach to feeding Phoenix families. This initiative will touch all layers of our local food system and make the greatest impact possible for small businesses across various industries. From local chefs featuring three locally-sourced vegetables in every meal to opting for sustainable to-go packaging for delivery, community-driven solutions to complex problems are how we build a stronger local food system,” said Local First Founder Kimber Lanning.
The request for proposal will be open for just one week, opening July 10 and closing July 17 at noon PST, for restaurants, farmers, caterers, mobile markets, and event venues that wish to participate in portions of the three-month program. Businesses can apply at www.localfirstaz.com/feed-phoenix
“We are excited that through this partnership we are able to feed individuals and families who are most vulnerable to hunger as a result of the pandemic. This effort also allows us to create economic opportunities for our local businesses and build relationships with our local farmers,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This innovative approach will benefit our local food system now and in the future.”
“I think it’s important to note the city could have chosen to hire one very large company to prepare all of these meals using food grown on the other side of the country. But instead, they contracted with us to spread the funds around locally so we can impact as many Phoenix businesses and jobs as possible,” Lanning added.
Requirements for businesses:
- Must be located in Phoenix and have proper licenses and insurance to prepare food for consumption.
- Must be able to prepare, store, and safely deliver 500 meals per day, a minimum of one day per week for six weeks, using compostable packaging.
- Must use locally-sourced vegetables as part of the meal to be purchased by Local First
Founded in 2009 by Executive Director Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona (LFAF) is a community and economic development organization working to passionately build a diverse, inclusive and prosperous Arizona economy by innovatively connecting people, locally owned businesses, and communities. LFA educates consumers about the interconnectedness of the economy, trains small businesses to be more effective and more competitive, helps larger Arizona businesses and institutions tell their story as champions of Arizona, and creates programs and events that make it fun and easy to discover local businesses and buy local.