FOOD DISTRIBUTION DAYS
Thanks to our local grocery stores, food drives, many individual contributions, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, and GAP Ministries food market, we are able to offer many basic perishable and non-perishable food items to our clients and replenish our shelves when supplies run low. These food items include milk, eggs, frozen meat, prepared foods, fresh produce, yogurt, dairy products, canned fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, and toiletries and household products.
Residents may visit twice a month and will receive one or more food boxes on the first visit (depending on family size), and bread, milk, eggs, produce and meat, if available, on both visits. On the second visit, residents also may choose from a variety of canned fruits, soups, vegetables and dry goods.
Our Market Days are held on Thursdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 am-noon.
When we move into our new facility, we will add more times for food distribution/pickup.
COMMODITY SENIOR FOOD PROGRAM (CSFP)
At their first visit a month, seniors sixty and over whose income is at or below 130% of poverty are eligible for senior food boxes containing 40 pounds of non-perishable food and two pounds of cheese. Each member of a senior family can qualify. These food boxes are in addition to the TEFAP food boxes and other food received for that visit.
We administer The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) for our area through the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES). TEFAP is a federal program that provides supplemental food to low-income individuals and families.
Families qualify to receive TEFAP boxes if they are within 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Emergency food boxes are offered at the first of two monthly visits to qualified individuals who can provide proof of residence.
Families may receive up to three boxes of food, depending on the number of people in the household. The food boxes usually contain rice, beans, macaroni and cheese, cereal, canned fruit or vegetables, peanut butter, and soup.
We partner with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona to operate a satellite pantry for Summit View residents twice a month from 3-5 pm on the second and fourth Mondays at the Summit View Elementary School. Annually, we distribute more than 66,000 pounds of non-perishable food and fresh produce and serve more than 7,000 residents at this location.
Many studies have shown a strong correlation between hunger and academic performance in students. Hunger and food insecurity can present significant barriers to a child’s academic education and result in behavioral problems at school, both of which make them less likely to be successful as adults.
Our BackPack Program addresses this problem by providing weekend food bags to hundreds of nutritionally at-risk school students each year. This ensures that these children have meals to carry them through the weekend until returning to school and a daily lunch program. Each backpack contains a variety of items, such as shelf-stable milk, canned meats, applesauce or canned fruit, cereal, fresh fruit and vegetable and a nutritional bar.
Schools currently benefiting from our program during the summer and/or school year include Sahuarita Primary and Intermediate Schools, Anza Trail School, Copper View School Continental Elementary School District, Mission School in the San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the San Fernando Elementary School in Sasabe (in partnership with the Santa Cruz Valley United Methodist Church).
The backpack program receives funding from the Pima County Community Action Agency, area foundations and individual donors.
FREE TAX PREPARATION
We have been able to continue free tax preparation at a social distance in 2020 and 2021 and look forward to expanding this program with the Pio Decimo Center of Catholic Social Services in the 2022 tax season and beyond.
HEALTH AND NUTRITION
It is often said that “food is medicine,” and that premise underlies our commitment to supporting the whole person—and family—in adopting healthy food ways and in avoiding or controlling disease. In the new CRC and commercial kitchen, in conjunction with a healthcare provider, we will be introducing a comprehensive pre-diabetes and diabetes management program. This will include low-carb, low-glycemic food boxes; nutrition and cooking classes with an emphasis on culturally-appropriate foods; and regular A1c and glucose monitoring.
Our goal is to add programs that help neighbors develop employment and job skills. These include:
Collaborating with the Pima County@Work one-stop for basic employability programs
Partnering with Pima Community College to offer classes to train Certified Caregivers and Certified Nurse Assistants.
Joining up with Valley Assistance Services for resume-writing, job-search and interviewing
An entrepreneurship course to help low-income women start food businesses
Line- and prep-cooking classes for entry-level restaurant and dining settings