Many Tucsonans are living with food and hunger insecurity, but one Eastside woman continues to make sure no one goes hungry, even after moving her community garden across town.

More than 100,000 Tucsonans struggle with food insecurity each year and high inflation has compounded the problem.

I met Ashley Altmeyer in March when she lived in the south side with her community garden.

Ashley says she was pushed out of her complex because of the garden, but she’s found a new place in town to put down roots.

“Keep looking for the yes,” Altmeyer said. “You’re never gonna get anywhere if you accept the no.”

Altmeyer lives on the east side now, with more space for what she’s trying to do. All of the food she grows is given away for free.

“We found a new apartment that loves the garden, loves the pantry, loves the little free library,” said Altmeyer. “They’re very supportive of what we’re doing. They’ve offered to let us expand into the laundry rooms of the facility.”

With inflation and rising food costs, she’s only seen the need grow and even added a pantry with other essentials.

“We can put out backpacks, we can put out dishes, utensils, free books for kids, hygiene items,” Altmeyer listed. “Whatever things people in the community need.”

She’s doing things differently this time around with new techniques to keep her garden organic.

“I don’t water my plants with regular water. So, we soak banana peels in the water for three days or so at a time and that creates a potassium syrup. Potassium syrup, be forewarned, does not smell nice.”

Even in the Arizona heat, she’s out every day because she knows she has neighbors who are in need.

If you want to reach out to Altmeyer about her community garden or free food pantry, you email her at

Other free food resources in Tucson can be found here.