The SFB-CRC 2022 Community Report has been published, documenting our first year with the new facility. We moved in the first week of January. We saw the beginning of a huge influx of visitors, which only accelerated through mid-summer, similar to numbers during the height of the pandemic. Under the leadership of our new CRC director Adriana Romero, we instituted multiple classes, and we continue to add more. It’s particularly exciting that our Certified Nurse Assistant class will begin this month.
Governor Ducey, Senators Kelly and Sinema, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, County Supervisors Heinz and Grijalva, and Tucson City Council Member Richard Fimbres issued commendations to our very own Veteran Service Officer Ron Bryant for his dedication in helping nearly a hundred vets get the disability benefits to which they are entitled.
SFB-CRC is extremely proud of Ron’s accomplishments. We congratulate him for earning these prestigious commendations.
Food Drive Friends
No lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! But we did have Lions, Optimists, Kiwanis, and Rotarians spearheading food drives for us this fall. These organizations provided 280 pounds of non-perishable food and $2640 in cash we can use to purchase food. Through the first weekend in December Reality One Group Integrity, Girls Scouts, Quail Creek Women’s Golf Club, Sahuarita High School, Walden Grove High School, Anza Trail School, Copper View School, and Rancho Resort have all held food drives, and we have received more than 5,000 pounds of food and over $12,500! Holiday food drives like this help provide food throughout the winter months, making a huge difference to our food bank visitors and their families.
Won’t you join them in the season of giving? Your donations will count toward a generous match of $10,000 from a local couple who want to encourage all types of donations toward the work that SFB-CRC does for the community.
Open House a Huge Success
SFB-CRC welcomed nearly 300 people on a beautiful chilly November day to view our 14,300 square feet of new space. They were greeted by our volunteers who provided information on our programs. All visitors took self-guided tours and were able to watch video highlights of SFB-CRC services in action.
Community members, children, partners, and donors who generously gave during the four-year long Capital Campaign—from a $25 offering to an $802,000 check—were among those who enjoyed the activities, music, fun and food at the informal event on the 18th. We also received several checks at the event.
Gerald Carrell and Windfall played great tunes from a variety of genres and eras. The Green Valley Fire Department suspended a piñata three feet in diameter from a hook and ladder truck for the kids, and Family Joint Pizzeria and Longhorn Chuckwagon brought in free food trucks where our visitors redeemed vouchers “earned” when they finished their tours of the building.
Nelwyn Boyd and Mariza Griego shared their personal stories of how Director Adriana Romero assisted them through our Community Resource programs to achieve their learning goals. Mariza landed an excellent job with the State of Arizona. Long-time CRC supporter Suki Thomsen said those stories were the highlight for her. “That’s what we’re all about,” she said.
There were heartfelt remarks from Executive Director Carlos Valles, as well as Town of Sahuarita Mayor Tom Murphy, County Administrator Jan Lesher, and Arizona State Senator Rosanna Gabaldon.
Reflecting on the event and the past four years of fundraising, designing, building, and operations with regard to the new facility, SFB-CRC Board President Penny Pestle said, “I want to express my incredible thanks to the entire community for wrapping your arms around this organization, and sharing in our purpose—to meet the acute need for food and to support those seeking to increase their well-being and economic security.”
Financial sponsors for the event included: The Town of Sahuarita Parks and Recreation Department, Pima County Community and Workforce Development, Green Valley News/Sahuarita Sun, Freeport McMoRan, MW Morrissey Construction, Better Business Bureau, Cox Communications, Green Valley/Sahuarita Chamber Foundation, Suburban Real Estate Group, and TRICO Electric Cooperative.
Solid and Steady Volunteer
Brad Nelson served our country in the Air Force and Army National Guard, including a deployment in Afghanistan. “An interesting time,” he said.
After 28 years in the military, the Helena, Montana native developed a calm and steady persona that translates to everything he does, especially as one of our Thursday food distribution volunteers. His work ethic and ability to interact with other volunteers are also unmistakable reflections of who he is.
He described himself as pretty popular in the National Guard, since he helped young soldiers obtain financial aid for education through scholarship searching, the GI Bill, and other federal and state assistance programs. After retiring from the military, he became coordinator of training for the State of Montana’s engineering department.
He remodeled homes in Montana, loves reading and traveling with Sandy, and appreciates the fact that SFB-CRC volunteers include young people as well as retirees. “It’s rare,” he said, “that you work with a group of people and everyone gets along. Everyone is there because they want to be there. They’ve made a choice to make a particular contribution.”
He and his wife, Sandy, have two sons each and at one time all four boys lived with them, and Sandy was the only female if you don’t count their dog! They now enjoy six grandchildren. After they both retired, they remained in Helena, but were looking for a new place to settle and decided on Green Valley about a year and half ago. He has a sister who lives here as well.
Brad was wearing a tee shirt with “volunteer” on it one day when he ran into one of our long-time volunteers Sam McElwaine while at work. “So, you are a volunteer,” she slyly inquired. “You need to check out the Sahuarita Food Bank.” He did and he’s been with us since then and loves it. He calls Carlos the leader of the pack in admiration of the challenges he faces managing up to 200 volunteers.
Like all our volunteers, Brad brings so much to us, and we are very fortunate to have him aboard.
We Need You More Than Ever
Food Delivery Support Cut Drastically
Our client numbers have increased in this year alone by 40% and 130% in the last three years. Individuals who need our services continue to see their rent drastically increase. Cuts in Covid-related support programs mean in order to provide food twice a month to our visitors, your kindness and support are needed now more than ever before.
Unable to maintain necessary funds to continue, DoorDash will reduce delivery support by 97.5% January 1, 2023. That’s a lifeline for about 60 of our homebound clients in Sahuarita and surrounding areas who are not able to get to us in person due to disabilities, post-surgical restrictions, or just lack of transportation available to them. Contributions you make will be matched one-to-one up to $10,000 by an anonymous and very generous local couple.
Sustainable Donations Needed
If you are a public radio listener, you might have heard of their efforts to recruit sustainable donors. Like NPR and other non-profits, SFB-CRC must rely on regular contributions throughout the year in order to smooth out our cash flow. Regular monthly or quarterly donations ensure a predictable source of revenue for us, especially since winter residents escape in the summers to cooler climates. Our slowest months for contributions are during the summer. That regularity of donations year-round is a life-saver for us, so we are particularly grateful for all our sustainable donors.
FOR ALL DONATIONS—Donate at www.sahuaritafoodbank.org or make checks payable to Sahuarita Food Bank and send to Sahuarita Food Bank & Community Resource Center, PO Box 968, AZ 85629-0968.
Donations to SFB-CRC, an independent 501(c)3 Arizona nonprofit, are deductible to the extent allowed by law. Arizona taxpayers may be eligible for the dollar-for-dollar Qualifying Charitable Organization tax credit of up to $800 for a married couple filing jointly or $400 filing individually. Use form 321 and Code 22050. This contribution will cost you nothing.