Food bank stock, money dwindle this summer

By Curtis Riggs | July 16, 2008

Desperately needs food, cash donations
CAVE CREEK – Local food banks are often good indicators in the decline of our economy.

The state of affairs at the Foothills Food Bank in Cave Creek indicates times are very tough for many people who have never needed food or economic help before. Food bank executive director Pam DiPietro says the facility at 7005 E. Cave Creek Road, Ste. 102 is “desperately” short of food and money it typically provides to its clients when they are in need of assistance.

“We are seeing more people, people that we have never seen before,” DiPietro said. “I believe that it is going to get worse before it gets better.”

In better times the food bank was able to provide clients, who are able to show a need, financial assistance of $400 a month. This amount was reduced to $300 in March of this year and to $200 last month. The food bank ran out of money earlier this month.

“The calls are overwhelming,” DiPietro said. “Many people are out of our service area, but they are so desperate they call anyone who is listed.”

The food bank spent most of its remaining money on gas vouchers for people who are unable to make ends meet.

“$20 doesn’t go far with gas anymore,” she said.

The food bank is in dire straights this July for a couple of reasons. Donations typically drop in the summer when many people are out of town and spiraling gas and food prices have pushed many families to the brink financially.

“Every time there is any kind of recession we get people who were at the edge before and gas prices and food prices are all they need to push them over the edge,” she said.

Last year the food bank did not run out of money until the end of July.
The Foothills Food Bank service area is north to the Maricopa County line, west to Interstate 17, south to Jomax Road and east to Rio Verde.

People can mail donations to the food bank at 7005 E. Cave Creek Road, Ste. 102, Cave Creek, AZ., 85331 or call 480-488-1145 to make other arrangements. The food bank is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday.

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