Volunteer

Volunteers needed as local food bank prepares hundreds of Thanksgiving meals

Posted 11/16/21

All Faith Community Services is gearing up to feed hundreds of families and individuals across the West Valley as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. 

The Buckeye-based food pantry is …

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Volunteer

Volunteers needed as local food bank prepares hundreds of Thanksgiving meals

Posted

All Faith Community Services is gearing up to feed hundreds of families and individuals across the West Valley as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. 

The Buckeye-based food pantry is offering a few different options for people who might otherwise go hungry this Thanksgiving, including food boxes and hot meal delivery. 

An estimated 500 families in need will pick up a food box on Nov. 20, packed with all the ingredients needed to make a delicious holiday meal at home.

“It’ll be a pretty substantial box,” said Cassie Wilkins, executive director at All Faith. “All those main meal items that you would think of when you think of Thanksgiving will be in that box for sure,” she said. 

The box will include a meat voucher so clients can walk into a participating grocery store and purchase their Thanksgiving turkey or ham. Clients also will receive all the raw materials needed to make mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, yams, green beans, fruit salad and dessert.

The organization has partnered with a variety of groups like You Are Not Alone, which connects people with limited mobility, especially seniors, to outreach services and assists them in crisis. All Faith has also partnered with St. Mary’s Food Bank and a variety of local schools and churches that participated in food drives.

Arizona became a pioneer in eliminating hunger when the world’s first food bank, St. Mary’s, was established in Phoenix in 1967. But data compiled by Feeding America are grim when it comes to hunger in the state, and vulnerable populations are hit especially hard.

While one in eight Arizonans are food insecure, that number increases to one in every six, when measuring food insecurity among Arizona’s children. 

Numbers from 2018 show 12.5% of Arizona seniors deal with food insecurity and many are living alone, statistics that have likely risen during the pandemic.

That’s why All Faith has partnered with the Moose Lodge to make and deliver hot meals on Nov. 25 for people with limited mobility who may not have loved ones to cook for them this year. 

Wilkins said she plans to have about 300 hot meals delivered to senior living facilities and elsewhere across the Valley. 

Wilkins said she is thankful for the number of volunteers who have committed to helping.

“People are really eager to get out,” Wilkins said. “They want to start...doing things again and helping out in the community.”

But Wilkins also said that the number of people volunteering at All Faith is down about 12% compared with last year, and they need all the help they can get, especially on Thanksgiving Day, when volunteers are still needed between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. to prepare and deliver meals. 

She said if enough volunteers show up, “by the time that last meal goes out the door… everybody can go home and enjoy their time with their family.” 

If you’d like to volunteer or receive a hot meal this Thanksgiving, contact All Faith Community Services at 602-501-7090. 

All Faith's food bank is open year-round Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 214 S. 5th St. Learn more at their website, Allfaithcsaz.com.

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