Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton accepted a $100,000 grant from Cities of Service to implement two major impact volunteering initiatives that address high energy usage in city buildings and lack of access to healthy foods for residents in three public housing communities.

Phoenix is one of 18 U.S. cities to be awarded a grant to support mayors who are harnessing the power of volunteers in a strategic way to address priority problems in their communities.

The Cities of Service model focuses on “impact volunteering” — volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress.

Phoenix’s $100,000 grant will support a partnership between the city of Phoenix and HandsOn Greater Phoenix to engage volunteers in painting 70,000 square feet of city rooftops to help reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The grant will provide funding to establish community gardens and monthly educational sessions to residents in three public housing communities.

Through partnerships with HandsOn Greater Phoenix and Valley Permaculture Alliance, volunteers will be engaged in the design, construction and maintenance of the gardens. Additionally, Phoenix will seek the support of local restaurants to sponsor monthly cooking classes that help residents prepare healthy meals.

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