Alex Handfinger is the Cooking Matters Director at the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, and a longtime supporter of the Arkansas Local Food Network. Not only does he serve as Secretary for the ALFN Board of Directors, he is also Secretary of the Board for the Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice, and a founding member of Little Rock Collective Liberation. He also enjoys playing music, soccer, and going to the dog park. We asked him to write a little bit about why he loves ALFN so much!
I’ve been involved with ALFN for about seven years now! When I first moved to Little Rock from Gainesville, Florida, I quickly sought out the best farmers’ markets in town. When I was at the Argenta Market on the last day of their season, I met someone tabling for ALFN (well, ASN at the time) who let me know that I could still shop from a lot of these same vendors year-round at their online market. The ease and convenience quickly hooked me, and then I started volunteering when they’d send out desperate last-minute pleas for volunteers. I eventually became a Saturday Food Club Coordinator, then Director of Operations, and now serve as Secretary of the Board!
I’ve spent all of this time with ALFN because I believe it’s part of a bigger picture of how to build a stronger and more resilient community. Every single day, we vote with our wallets on what kind of world we want to see, and I want to see a world with thriving small, diversified, and sustainable farms run by family-owned businesses. I want food at the peak of its’ nutritional quality and taste, with varieties and flavors that you simply can’t find at the grocery store. And I believe that if we want healthy, local food to be accessible to everyone, that those of us that can have to quite literally put our money where our mouths are. It also doesn’t hurt that we have the BEST and widest selection of any farmers’ markets in the state, plus I don’t have to be up early on Saturday to get the best produce ; )
It’s been amazing to watch ALFN grow and evolve over the years, and it’s hard to imagine Little Rock without it.