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Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, Mercy Care Plan and Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care to Kick-Off the First of Many Community Gardens Planned for Maryvale Area

Councilman Daniel Valenzuela is teaming up with Mercy Care Plan and Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care at Pueblo del Sol Elementary School Friday, March 24 to dedicate the first of more than a dozen community gardens in the Maryvale area.

What: Community Garden Celebration at Pueblo del Sol Elementary School. The school’s fruit and vegetable garden will be one of more than a dozen that Mercy Care Plan and Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care’s and Valley of the Sun United Way will be funding throughout the Maryvale area. It’s part of a major investment on food security, housing and access to care.

Who: Councilman Valenzuela, Pueblo del Sol Elementary School students, teachers, parents, representatives of Mercy Care Plan, Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care and Valley of the Sun United Way

When: Friday, March 24 from 9:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Pueblo del Sol Elementary School, 3449 N. 39th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85019

Why: Community gardens reduce food insecurity, increase financial stability, improve access to nutritious food and provide more reasons for neighbors to come together and make connections. Community gardens also been shown to increase physical activity and make neighborhoods safer. When they’re paired with local schools, the gardens also become a valuable educational tool for teachers and students in their everyday subjects, from biology to math to social studies.

“When I introduced the FitPHX Initiative four years ago, its goal was to build programs and utilize existing resources to improve health and wellness in greater Phoenix,” Councilman Daniel Valenzuela said. “This partnership between Mercy Maricopa, the City of Phoenix, and Valley of the Sun United Way to bring community gardens to District 5 and specifically the Maryvale area is exactly the type of mutually beneficial partnership that was the foundation of the FitPHX vision to encourage residents to lead healthier lifestyles, focusing on childhood and adult obesity, nutrition education, walking, bicycling, the use of public transportation and healthy worksites.”

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