Tempe Community Action Agency Partners with Thunderbird Charities to Enhance Education Program at Community Garden


TEMPE, Ariz.  – Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) and Thunderbird Charities have teamed up through a $15,000 grant to help expand TCAA’s Education and Engagement initiatives at the Escalante Community Garden (ECG).

The grant will support garden enhancement projects that aim to increase educational and social engagement tied to gardening, science, environmental sustainability, healthy nutrition and volunteerism. More than 150 low-income Tempe adults and children will participate in grant-funded activities.

The ECG is critical to addressing the high poverty rate and limited access to healthy foods among Title 1 Tempe elementary school students and their families. Thousands of children under the age of 18 in Tempe struggle with hunger and live in poor households with limited ability to meet basic family needs. Community gardens are a proven approach to increasing social connectedness and healthy eating in targeted communities.

“With this grant, we will be able to make much needed improvements in the garden that will increase family involvement and cost-effective access to more fresh, natural grown fruits and vegetables than ever before,” said Executive Director of TCAA Deborah Arteaga. “We are so thankful to have this opportunity to encourage community gardening and foster healthy eating habits for residents of all ages.”

Funding from Thunderbirds Charities will be used to enhance the ECG’s outdoor teaching spaces and add resources to complete the garden’s educational amphitheater used for group instruction, create ADA compliant garden beds and walkways for wheelchair accessibility, upgrade the outdoor kitchen and seating area, add commercial shading materials, and secure new gardening tools and supplies.

“Tempe Community Action Agency’s Escalante Community Garden brings nature to life through these hands-on interactive education activities, and we are excited to support such a great neighborhood program,” said Andy Markham, president of Thunderbirds Charities. “The excellent work of TCAA in supporting this vulnerable community is incredible and we’re thrilled to be part of it.”

About Tempe Community Action Agency:

Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA)’s mission is to foster dignity and self-reliance for the economically vulnerable in the communities we serve.  We help those who are struggling to obtain adequate food, shelter, and income supports, as well as seniors and disabled adults working to attain their highest level of independence. Acting with financial support from the community we serve, TCAA operates a food pantry, three senior centers, educational programs, the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP), healthy families programming, two community gardens, a family economic advancement initiative, and other projects and

programs that serve residents seeking to improve their quality of life. For more information, please visit www.tempeaction.org.

About Thunderbird Charities:

Thunderbird Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 board members from varying professional backgrounds. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on the Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.