A public food distribution site that was established to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic reached a new milestone by passing out its 2,000th box of food.
House of Refuge Inc., in partnership with the City of Mesa and Midwest Food Bank, became a site for public food distribution on May 14 as part of the Mesa CARES Initiative, according to a release.
The goal behind the distribution site was to meet the growing community need for food security resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The site distributes boxes every Thursday and Friday morning and averages 200 boxes every week.
House of Refuge executive director Nancy Marion is thrilled with the progress of this initiative and the community’s outpouring of support, the release states.
“We’ve had so many amazing people come out to volunteer their time. Without this army of volunteers, we couldn’t pass out the hundreds of boxes of food, produce boxes and gallons of milk every week,” Ms Marion said in the release. “I think the success of this distribution is a reflection of how food insecurity doesn’t have city or neighborhood borders. It happens to individuals and families in all parts of the valley and from all neighborhoods. We are thrilled that we can be here to help.”
Midwest Food Bank provides the fresh milk, boxes of non-perishable food items and fresh produce boxes every week. The Mesa Police Department assists in directing traffic and several other businesses and organizations volunteer weekly including CMC Steel, Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Isagenix, City of Mesa, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Youth Service Missionaries.
House of Refuge provides transitional housing to families experiencing homelessness. The food distribution is a new program for the agency and, according to Marion, will become a permanent part of their programming and will continue for the foreseeable future.
The distribution is contactless. Individuals interested in boxes of food are encouraged to drive up and remain in their vehicles while staff and volunteers place boxes of food in the trunk. No verification or I.D. is required.
The distribution takes place 7-10 a.m. every Thursday and Friday at House of Refuge, 6935 E. Williams Field Road in Mesa, just west of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.