Lend a Helping Hand — Organize a Food Drive

Tom Kilwein, driver coordinator for Foothills Food Bank

Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center continually needs non-perishable foods, water, personal items and monetary donations — especially during the summer months of May through September, when shelves begin to empty. One way that businesses, organizations and individuals can help neighbors in need is by hosting a food drive.

Tom Kilwein, driver coordinator for Foothills Food Bank, works with people interested in holding food drives because they help Foothills Food Bank as the need continues to grow. In 2019, Foothills Food Bank:

  • Served 6,949 families in need
  • Provided 4,315 Snack Packs (luncheons and weekend meals) given to kids each month
  • Distributed 1,141,922 pounds of food each month
  • Gave $85,836 to those who needed financial assistance for utility bills, gasoline, clothing, pharmacy needs, etc.
  • Volunteers donated more than 40,363 hours
  • The food bank’s 17th annual Adopt-A-Family program served 533 families and 1,502 total individuals signed up for the program, a 22 percent increase from 2018. In addition, 221 client families and 576 individuals participated from the Black Canyon City and New River service areas, and 312 families and 926 people participated from the Cave Creek service area.

“The need is greater that you can imagine,” says Kilwein. “For many residents, our Black Canyon City location is their grocery store.”

As children get out of school, visitors leave and summer vacation season starts, the food bank desperately needs non-perishable food items, toiletries, cash donations and more to serve the more than 5500 families in the communities it serves.

How does one hold a food drive?

  • Call Foothills Food Bank at 480.488.1145 and ask for Tom Kilwein or connect with your church for guidance in organizing the drive.
  • Organize your volunteers! Neighbors, friends, employees, scouts, whoever they may be.
  • Select the date and time.
  • Gather non-perishable items. Top needs include canned vegetables, peanut butter, soups, canned fruit, unused toiletries, pet food, diapers, baby food, water, boxed meals, crackers, condiments, pasta sauce, dried beans, rice and canned tuna. Cash donations also are welcome.
  • Promote the food drive with fliers, on social media, in the news, etc.
  • Call the food bank for pick-up or to organize food delivery plans.

Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center is located at 6038 E. Hidden Valley Drive in Cave Creek, and 34501 Old Black Canyon Highway in Black Canyon City. For more information, call 480.488.1145 or visit foothillsfoodbank.com.

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