Good Food Finder AZ (GFF) is an Arizona statewide, online directory of local foods. Our goal is to provide a hub where consumers and institutional food buyers alike can learn about and connect with Arizona’s local food providers in order to shorten food supply chains, improve access to local, healthy foods, and strengthen community resilience to create a healthier, sustainable food system in Arizona.
“When we start trying to make healthier choices, we discover that many of the choices that are good for our own personal health are also good for the environment, our community, and our local economy. It’s a virtuous cycle. Choosing the right food for our bodies helps the environment and farmers. There’s an incredible ripple effect way beyond just that one choice.” Anna Lappé
Our Resources pages provide complementary information about food education opportunities, food access programs, and more to come. On our Blog, we provide further information on nutrition and healthy food preparation, local foods issues, farm and local food business tours, and personal food stories. We also produce a monthly local foods newsletter, The Locavore, that features local food events and news.
What is Good Food?
Good food meets most, if not all of the following criteria:
- It is accessible to the community, both in terms of distribution and affordability;
- It is wholesome and is composed of identifiable and pronounceable ingredients;
- It is sustainably and ethically grown;
- It teaches us about the connection between healthy food today and better performance in school, work, and play;
- It builds community by bringing everyone to the table to share in common experience;
- It contributes to a thriving local economy that builds prosperity for all members of the community;
- It is culturally relevant and takes into account regional and demographic identity of the area;
- It is biodiverse, including heritage foods indigenous to the region;
- And it is raised or crafted in proximity of the place where it is ultimately consumed.
Arizona is ripe with opportunity; it has an abundant food history and an ample provisional food community that needs its stories told. Good Food Finder’s mission is to:
- Promote locally-produced and processed foods;
- Stimulate food-based community economic development in Arizona;
- Foster new opportunities for Arizona farmers, ranchers and food crafters;
- Cultivate healthy eating habits and educated, empowered consumers;
- Expand access to affordable, fresh and local food; and
- Demonstrate the connection between food, health, community and the environment.
Founder Natalie Morris began Good Food Finder in 2011 as a research project funded by a Borderlands Food and Water Security Fellowship grant given to her by W.K. Kellogg Foundation Chair and University of Arizona professor, Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan. Through research it became clear that small-scale farmers and artisans needed increased exposure as well as a centralized direct-marketing source. Good Food Finder has since become as socially responsible tool to promote Arizona’s biodiverse food offerings, and the various producers that create them.
Good Food Finder AZ and Local First Arizona Foundation
Local First Arizona Foundation (LFAF) is a statewide organization focused on community and economic development in order to build self-sufficient, healthy, and prosperous communities. LFAF acquired Good Food Finder in 2014 and has since worked to build on the site and update data, through outreach, research, and collecting input from the local food community. We continue to improve the site’s functionality and breath of information provided about local food producers and procurers.
LFA Foundation (LFAF) is the 501c3 nonprofit sister organization of Local First Arizona, a coalition of over 2700 locally owned businesses. Together, we educate consumers, stakeholders, business leaders, and policymakers about the significant economic, civic, and cultural benefits of strong local economies.
Local First Arizona Foundation believes connecting people to the place they live, a strategy called placemaking, should be at the root of all community and economic development, and therefore we work to integrate creative placemaking strategies into all of the programs and events we organize. LFAF has three key areas of focus:
Healthy Local Foods Initiatives
LFAF works to build healthy food systems including working directly with the producers and growers as well as educating consumers about the importance of eating healthy foods, where to find healthy foods, what’s fresh and in-season, and why it’s important.
Rural Community and Economic Development
LFAF works to provide rural Arizona communities with resources they need to build vibrant, sustainable, and resilient economies. LFAF is the Rural Development Council for the state of Arizona.
Fuerza Local Business Accelerator
A business education program for underserved Latinos that teaches entrepreneurship and the multiple facets of building a sustainable and prosperous enterprise.