Jul 20, 2012 10:34 AM
TUCSON- A community farm on the south side is helping Tucsonans slim down.
Two years ago the CDC gave Pima County $15 million as part of a nationwide plan to reduce obesity. The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona received a small part of that grant. That allowed them to build the Las Milpitas of Cottonwood community farm.
It's open to the public to claim a plot where they can cultivate their own produce. All they pay is a small fee for water.
An estimated $147 billion a year is spent on healthcare related to obesity and Arizona has a 24% obesity rate. The farm provides a place to not only be active while you garden but a way to create healthy food for a fraction of what you might pay in the store.
"The impact moves beyond just the gardeners, but moves out to the families and their friends as well who are also receiving produce," says farm manager Chris Lowen.
The farm currently provides food to 1,000 people year round and there are still plots available to purchase. Three acres of the lot are dedicated to creating produce to be sold in low income neighborhood markets.