North Phoenix Food Bank Serves More Than 72,000 Meals in First Year

Mom’s Pantry, a north Phoenix food bank, will host an open house event on Saturday, May 17th to celebrate its one-year anniversary.

Opened in May 2013, Mom’s Pantry, located at 13440 N. Cave Creek Road, is a nonprofit organization that provides emergency supplemental food aid to in-need families and individuals throughout Phoenix, particularly those in the North Phoenix neighborhood.

“We are so blessed and very excited to celebrate our first successful year,” said Joe Martinez, director at Mom’s Pantry. “We have met and tackled numerous challenges and opportunities, and are so grateful for the support of our community.”

In their first year, Martinez estimates that the pantry provided more than 72,000 meals to 23,000 people – equaling more than 125,000 pounds of food distributed, far beyond the preliminary estimates for the food bank.

“We could not have fed nearly 7,000 families without the help from our generous volunteers,” said Martinez. “The food and financial contributions and volunteered time from our local community have been key to a very good first year.”

Two groups central to the pantry’s success are the local family trust that founded the pantry and the outreach program at the nearby Phoenix First Assembly of God, which Martinez says provided about 50 percent of the contribution and volunteer help for Mom’s Pantry.

To thank and recognize the community for their support, Mom’s Pantry will be opening its doors from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and key leaders at the pantry will be giving facility tours. Members of the Mom’s Pantry Board of Directors will also be on hand to meet and greet visitors.

“If this first year is any indication of our future, I’m confident Mom’s Pantry will be a long-term resource in the fight against hunger in Arizona,” says Martinez.

For more information to volunteer your time or resources, host a food drive, donate food or provide financial assistance (100 percent of donations will be used for food), please contact Joe Martinez, Mom’s Pantry Director, at (602) 686-4014.

Read more...

Food banks feeling the pinch as Millions struggle with Hunger

The United States Department of Agriculture reported today that 14.5 percent of American households remain food insecure – meaning 1 in 6 households in the United States had difficulty at some time during the year in providing enough food for all their members. The report comes as the House of Representatives is expected to consider a bill this month with a $40 billion cut to federal food assistance.

“When it comes to food insecurity rates, any number is too high,” said Bob Aiken, Feeding America CEO. “It’s because of numbers like these that we need to maintain a strong federal and charitable safety net to get enough food to those in need. This means strengthening and protecting federal programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) and TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program).”

The proposed $40 billion SNAP cut in the House bill would result in millions of Americans seeing their food assistance reduced or lost entirely, resulting in over 15 billion lost meals for struggling families over the next ten years according to Feeding America estimates. If divided evenly across Feeding America’s national network of food banks, every food bank would have to provide an additional 7.5 million meals each year for the next ten years. These cuts would come on top of benefit reductions for all SNAP recipients that will take effect on November 1st and will average about $36 per month for a family of four. .

“With so many of our neighbors, friends and family worrying about where the next meal is coming from, now is not the time to cut federal nutrition programs,” said Aiken. “These programs are critical to meeting the current need. Our nation’s food banks are already stretched thin in the wake of the recession, and charity cannot make up for the billions of lost meals resulting from such cuts. We urge Congress to maintain Washington’s long-standing, bipartisan commitment to protecting programs that help struggling families put food in their pantries.”

Food pantry news article brought to you via Feeding America

Read more...