United Food Bank: Nourishing Arizona Communities

Next up: United Food Bank tour today. The warehouse and administrative offices are located at 245 S. Nina Drive in Mesa. According to United Food Bank’s website, last year the organization distributed 22,398,097 pounds of food to Arizona residents – yes! that is more than 22 million pounds of food! That’s enough food to provide more than 51,000 meals each day.

Mesa Leadership 2016 visited United Food Bank Sept. 2.
Mesa Leadership 2016 visited United Food Bank Sept. 2.

Fast Fact: In Arizona, statistics show that 1 in 4 children may go without adequate food; 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 7 seniors.

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Melissa Forrester shows class members around the massive warehouse.
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While many of the long rows of shelves are filled, many are not! Donations are needed and food drives by any local group, church, business or organization are encouraged.

Want to help? Join in Spoontember, a social media campaign during September to engage the public and help raise awareness of the 1 in 6 Americans struggling with hunger. Spoontember supporters can share a ‘spoon selfie’ – an image of themselves balancing a spoon on their nose – along with hunger-related statistics and challenge a friend to do the same. For details, go to: http://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/campaigns/hunger-action-month/spoontember.html

Beans are a good source of protein.
Beans are a good commodity as a source of protein and they are easy to store.

Fast fact: For every $1 donated to United Food Bank, five meals can be provided.

Local bread companies donate bread to the food bank.
Local bread companies donate bread to the food bank.

Helpful link: Four major food banks serve Arizona. To find the one that serves a particular area, go to: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/

The food bank's large refrigerator stores items that need to be kept cold.
The food bank’s large refrigerator stores items that need to be kept cold.

The food bank’s programs, which serves the East Valley and eastern Arizona, include emergency food boxes, network distribution, “Helping Hands” for first responders who find needs, “Food for Thought” for helping hungry students, and “Kids Cafe” for evening meals/snacks in afterschool programs or community centers.

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Forrester explains the food bank’s various programs that serve the community.

Did you know? Help Yourself is a weekly food purchase cooperative for those in our communities on fixed incomes and limited resources. Held on most Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. the $17 cooperative offers fresh meats, produce and a variety of dry goods to create five meals. As available, Help Yourself clients can also make selections from a variety of complimentary items like bread & pastry, assorted dairy and deli products. The program offers a great opportunity for anyone who’d like to make the most of their food budgets; weekly or monthly. There’s no qualifying, no limits and no restrictions.

Help Yourself is located at the Volunteer Annex at:
358 E. Javelina Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85210

For more information on United Food Bank, go to the website: https://unitedfoodbank.org/

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Members of the Mesa Leadership class who attended this tour.

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