“Seven to ten days out of the month our refrigerator and cupboards are totally empty. There’s no food.” María confides that her family is struggling to make ends meet. She lives in a multi-generational household with her son and his family. One major reason her family doesn’t have enough to eat sometimes is that their rent is too high. Their rent is $1,600 / month. She says, “My goal this year is to buy a hot dog cart to help supplement my family’s income.”
“Groceries have gotten too expensive,” says Luz. As a full-time hairstylist and single mother, she relies on her two daughters to take care of themselves. Her oldest, who is 14, has a knack for cooking and prepares most of the household meals. Her specialties are chiles rellenos and enchiladas de pollo, while her youngest, who is 13, makes sushi. The two sisters often have breakfast prepared for their mother when she wakes up. Luz returns the favor by being supportive of her daughters interests, so they grow up to be successful entrepreneurs.” Their dream is to open a restaurant someday.
The goal is to continue meeting the needs of our community
“Our goal is to give as much food as possible to as many people as possible, while serving everyone with dignity and respect,” says Rachel Briggs, Associate Director of the Gabrielle Giffords Resource Center. Providing nutritious food is one way the food bank can support the goals of members of our community. That can happen at one of the resource center locations, at a school pantry, at our Farmer’s Market or by empowering people to grow their own food at Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Farm. Beyond nutrition, the food bank connects people to health services, utility subsidies and invites people to forums like cafecitos where they can learn about issues affecting their communities, and much more.
Hunger relief makes meeting goals possible
Last year the food bank distributed 37% more food bags across our sites in Southern Arizona–approximately 402,000 of them. In Tucson alone, during the last quarter of 2023, the food bank served 33% more households than during the same time period the year before. That means more and more neighbors are finding themselves in need of our support. For many families and individuals, monthly emergency food assistance provides more than hunger relief; It might remove the need to choose between buying groceries and paying rent or other bills. For a child in school, it might offer the basic nutrition required to learn and grow.
When you support the Community Food Bank, you are making a direct impact on the lives of local families like María’s and Luz’.
So why not make supporting the food bank one of your goals in 2024. There are many ways to contribute, and when you consider that $1 can help provide 4 meals, no gift is too small. You might choose to make a recurring monthly donation, host a food drive or fundraiser, or donate your time. There are many volunteer opportunities to choose from that will help the food bank keep pace with the rising demand.