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Giving back: Foothills Food Bank offers hope for the holidays

12/13/17

Elizabeth Medora
Staff

NORTH VALLEY – As 2017 comes to a close, the Foothills Food Bank is looking back on another year of helping north valley families in need. This year marked a milestone for the food bank: the Foothills Food Bank opened a satellite location in Black Canyon City to help meet the needs of more people.

The food bank is a vital part of the community, and local residents can support it through various options, including donating food or funds.

“Monetary donations are the best, but food is also very important,” Foothills Food Bank Executive Director Pam DiPietro said in an email interview. She encouraged donors to use the Charitable Tax Credit.

The food bank noted in its November newsletter that donations made through the Charitable Tax Credit help the food bank continue its mission and reduce the donor’s Arizona tax bill with a tax credit of up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples. See more on donations and tax credits at www.azdor.gov/TaxCredits.aspx.

For many families and individuals, even if they’re working, they just can’t seem to get ahead. Medical bills and other debts often interfere, causing those who are struggling to lack for basic necessities like food, fuel, and housing.

“We see almost 600 families a month and that equates to about 2,500 people that we feed every month,” DiPietro said.

The new Black Canyon City location offers a closer option for many residents, and the satellite location has been extremely busy, DiPietro said.

“There are so many people that are in need there,” DiPietro noted. “Our location is small and it can get very crowded, but our wonderful volunteers see that the needs are met. We do sometime run out of food because of the large amount of people that come, but we do our best to see that everyone's needs are met.”

Donations of food and money help the food bank help those who are hungry. The food bank started November with a shortage of turkeys, but when word about that got out, they received plenty of turkeys, meeting the need and beyond. Each month, the food bank shares a wish list of items that are most needed, and this month, the greatest needs are for pasta sauce, jelly, soups, chili, canned pasta, peanut butter, tuna, juice, sugar, rice, side dishes such as Rice a Roni, boxed potatoes, and Hamburger Helper, as well as toiletries of all kinds.

In addition to providing food, the food bank also works to provide support for those in need, offering resources for education, utility assistance, senior services, and pet care. Sharing joy at the holidays is also important to the food bank, bringing hope for the holidays to families who wouldn’t otherwise have any festivities. The food bank provided special Thanksgiving meals, and now they’re working to do the same for Christmas, as well as collecting for the Adopt-A-Family program. Call the food bank at (480) 488-1145 to find out how to help with this program. 

 “We are grateful for the generosity of so many, but it seems the need continues to grow. Most people have jobs, but they are not earning enough to make ends meet,” DiPietro explained. “This is why we appreciate all the help we receive in the way of food and monetary donations.”

Help the Foothills Food Bank in their mission of Fighting Hunger, Giving Hope. Drop off donations at food bank locations: 6038 E. Hidden Valley Drive, in Cave Creek or 34501 Old Black Canyon Hwy., in Black Canyon City; see foothillsfoodbank.com for more information and hours of operation. Donate funds by calling (480) 488-1145 or mailing a check to Foothills Food Bank. P.O. Box 715 Carefree, AZ 85377.