by Max Brantley
Arkansas Food and Farm
The Arkansas Food and Farm is an online resource guide to the highest quality food that Arkansas has to offer. Farmers can list their CSAs, restaurants their cuisine, and breweries and wineries their beverages for free of charge on the site. [This is a project of the Arkansas Times.]
Arkansas GardenCorps is an AmeriCorps program hosted by the Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention at the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute in Little Rock, AR. Arkansas GardenCorps promotes the use of school and community gardens to provide nutrition education with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity and to increase environmental awareness and sustainable agriculture practices in Arkansas communities. The organization’s members serve in school and community gardens across the state to develop and maintain gardens, conduct garden-based education, build volunteer and community support for sustainability of gardens, and increase access to garden-grown produce.
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance
The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, based out of Little Rock, AR, works to increase access to nutritious food for low-income, food insecure Arkansans. The Alliance’s Arkansas Gleaning Project has provided more than 8.5 million pounds of fresh, locally grown produce to food banks and pantries across the state. As lead partner for the No Kid Hungry campaign in Arkansas, the Alliance helps increase participation in USDA child nutrition programs that are often the only meals low-income children can depend on, and offers Cooking Matters® programming that teaches low income families how to buy and prepare nutritious food on a budget.
The Arkansas Local Food Network
The Arkansas Local Food Network started as the Arkansas Sustainability Network before shifting its focus to food and is now dedicated to connecting farmers to consumers and promoting local food. The Network’s online farmers’ market makes access to local, nutritious food easy for consumers and provides a local food directory as well as micro-loans to smallholder farmers. They have also partnered with Christ Episcopal Church on the Green Groceries Food Pantry, which gets fresh, nutritious, local food from sustainable farms and distributes it free of cost to the low-income families who can least afford it.
The Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability at the University of Arkansas
The Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture works to develop sustainable agricultural communities in rural Arkansas through research projects focusing on community prosperity, economic growth, and the food industry. The Center provides resources, reports, and workshops to facilitate in-depth conversations on the future of food security and sustainability.
Feed Communities has a mission to strengthen the Ozarkansas food community through education, advocacy, and innovation to increase access to healthy foods for all. Programs include Farm to Preschool, Healthy Cooking Classes and gardens focused on relieving health disparities in minority populations in Northwest Arkansas.
Heifer International has worked for nearly 70 years to counter global poverty and hunger by promoting livestock as a form of sustainable assistance to poor family farmers.
The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative
The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative enhances health and wellness in tribal communities by advancing healthy food systems, diversified economic development, and cultural food traditions in Indian Country. The IFAI empowers tribal governments, farmers, ranchers and food businesses by providing strategic planning and technical assistance; by creating new academic and professional executive education programs in food systems and agriculture; and by increasing student enrollment in land grant universities in food and agricultural related disciplines. The IFAI proudly supports and promotes the continuing growth of Tribal food systems all across the country through programming like the Model Tribal Food & Agriculture Code project, which will offer up the first comprehensive model set of food and agriculture laws written for Tribes, or the annual Native Youth in Food & Agriculture Leadership Summit, a ten-day summer event that offers American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian youth an intensive educational experience in the complexities of food production and the importance of food systems work in Tribal communities.
Little Rock Urban Farming
Little Rock Urban Farming is a community based food enterprise located in the heart of Little Rock, AR, specializing in the production of organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers for local markets. The farm runs a CSA program, is committed to their local community, and engages youth through
their Ecokids programs.
Ozark Slow Food
Ozark Slow Food’s (OSF) Micro-Grant Program was established in 2012 to help grow the local food culture in the Ozark, AR, region by supporting local farmers and producers. These grants are funded by support from the community via OSF’s Fund Your Farmers event each summer. Micro-grants aid farmers and producers in diversifying and enhancing the production and distribution of sustainably grown, locally-produced food in the region.
Southern Sustainability Working Group
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group is active in 13 southern states. Acting primarily as a hub for smaller state and local level organizations working to create a sustainable food system, the Group’s annual conference is an opportunity for more than 1,200 people to exchange ideas about sustainable food.
Walker Park Community Garden
The Walker Park Community Garden is the first project of the new Community Garden in the Parks program, an initiative of the City of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department.
Winrock International has been helping the poor and developing world since 1985 by providing economic opportunities, protecting natural resources, food security, and fighting human trafficking.