Arnold: Feed the Children opens distribution, volunteer center in Chandler


Feed the Children opened our newest distribution center at 3475 S. McQueen Road in Chandler on June 22. We are honored to be a part of the Chandler community and proud to open the 104,300 square-feet facility — equivalent to the size of two football fields.

The Chandler distribution and volunteer center will house more than 3,000 pallets of food and household essentials that we plan to distribute throughout the western U.S.

As we focus on alleviating childhood hunger — our mission for more than 40 years — we realize that we can’t do it alone. We are looking forward to welcoming community volunteers in mid-July to help us pack boxes of food and hygiene items to distribute to families.

We will also appreciate volunteers helping with our Feed the Children Teacher Store — one of five locations in the U.S. Teachers at Chandler or Mesa schools with Title I designations will be eligible to shop once a month to receive free school supplies and books.

This site will also help in our disaster response efforts. We have pre-packaged disaster kits at the site ready to assist families following natural disasters.

Another benefit to our organization will be the ability to use the distribution and volunteer center as a staging location for tractor-trailers of Feed the Children’s wholly owned subsidiary, FTC Transportation. This will allow the organization to be more responsive to the community’s needs.

Although the distribution and volunteer center is new, we’ve been working in Arizona for several years to assist struggling families who live below the poverty line. In FY20, the nonprofit distributed 49 shipments of food and other essentials valued at more than $1.6 million to local partners including the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Gethsemani Food Ministry, Midwest Food Bank-Arizona Division, Pilgrim Rest Foundation Inc. and Street Light USA, among others.

By working with these partners, our organization impacted more than 365,000 children and their families in Arizona.

During the past year, the importance of our work has come to light as many families faced unexpected, unprecedented challenges. At the same time, it has allowed us to develop an even deeper understanding of community and what can be accomplished when we all work together. We are proud to be opening this site in Chandler and we look forward to working with local businesses and community organizations.

I hope you will consider volunteering at our distribution and volunteer center — whether it is packing boxes for distribution or helping with our teacher store. The work we do here will impact hundreds of thousands of families in Arizona and millions in the western United States. We do a lot of great work and we are excited to share our mission with you. We know that when we combine our efforts, we will have a greater impact for the families.

If you are interested in volunteering, visit feedthechildren.volunteerhub.com to see available opportunities. If you would like to learn more about work in the U.S. and around the world, visit feedthechildren.org.

Editor’s note: Travis Arnold is president and CEO of Feed the Children.