Foothills Food Bank Seeks Help for Black Canyon City Residents

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Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center is in need of cash donations for its Black Canyon City location.

According to Pam DiPietro, executive director for Foothills Food Bank, the Black Canyon City location currently is serving up to 100 clients during each three-hour shift.

“Our clients are facing many financial burdens,” says DiPietro. “Monetary gifts will enable us to purchase gas cards and provide financial assistance that will be a lifeline for many. As businesses continue to struggle and schools remain closed, food banks like ours are packing and distributing emergency food supplies to even more people. The need in Black Canyon City has never been greater.”

Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center can be reached at 480.488.1145. Foothills Food Bank is located at 6038 E. Hidden Valley Dr. in Cave Creek and 34501 Old Black Canyon Highway in Black Canyon City. To donate, visit foothillsfoodbank.com and click on “Ways to Give.”

Nativities of the World Display Planned for November at Desert Foothills Library

CAVE CREEK — Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center will sponsor the eighth annual Nativities of the World fundraiser Saturday, Nov. 30, from 10am to 4pm, and Sunday, Dec. 1, from 11am to 3pm. The nativity scenes, which will be displayed at Desert Foothills Library, will be on loan from local community residents.

More than 350 nativity scenes will be on display at the library, which is located at 38443 North School House Road in Cave Creek. The nativities, created by artists from around the world, will be on loan from local artists, collectors and families. The nativities are made from a vast array of materials — from fine porcelain to craft sticks, rocks, gourds and even banana skins. Some are so large they require their own table while others can fit in the palm of a hand. Admission is free, however the donation of non-perishable food or cash for the food bank will help those less fortunate.

“We hope our neighbors will continue to expand this tradition and benefit the Foothills Food Bank, which serves an ever-increasing population in need,” says Pam DiPietro, executive director of Foothills Food Bank. “Please help us by loaning us your nativity set or sets. We welcome any and all nativities that you wish to share with our community.”

For more information or to display a nativity, contact Karen Pritchard at 480.488.0423 or kpnativities.foodbank.az@aol.com. For information about the library, call 480.488.2286 or visit www.desertfoothillslibrary.org.

Foothills Food Bank: A Precious Commodity

Executive Director Pam DiPietro (left) and just two of the 400 plus volunteers that keep Foothills Food Bank running smoothly

Executive Director Pam DiPietro (left) and just two of the 400 plus volunteers that keep Foothills Food Bank running smoothly

By Kathryn M. Miller ~ Smiling faces and bustling rooms full of employees and volunteers who clearly love what they do, all moving with purpose – this is the first impression upon walking in to Cave Creek’s Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center.

Established in 1988, the organization serves a growing number of families in the Foothills area – encompassing about 180 miles as far north as Black Canyon City, south to Pinnacle Peak, east to Rio Verde and west to the I-17 – and the need and its area continues to increase. Whether it is food, financial assistance or referral information, Executive Director Pam DiPietro and her team work hard to make sure that needs are met.

In a new 5,000-square-foot facility – owned free-and-clear due to a very successful capital campaign and a generous $300,000 donation that put them over the top – the food bank is already experiencing growing pains after a year and a half.

“When we moved in here, we knew right off we needed 7,500 square feet, but we thought, ‘ok we’ll make this work’,” says DiPietro. “We did not anticipate that within a year, our client base would increase greatly. A year ago December we saw 350 families. This October, we saw 454 families and we are anticipating reaching 500 this December.”

But DiPietro and her team are undaunted. This fall, the Food Bank became an official agency to distribute SNAP (food stamps), they are working with Russ Lyon Realty to create and distribute container gardens and plans are in the works to launch an on-site garden that will provide fresh food and educational opportunities to the community.

“We are held up right now – because of the little critters, we want to build a retaining wall and then Elrod Fence Company said they will put chicken wire to enclose the garden completely. We would like to find somebody to donate concrete for us, and the blocks. We hope by spring, it will be ready to go.”

In addition, the organization is in need of mentors willing to work with clients applying for services from beginning to completion.

“I’ll start my 14th year in January,” says DiPietro. “It’s a very beautiful, rewarding experience we have here.”

Foothills Food Bank is located at 6038 East Hidden Valley Drive in Cave Creek. To learn more, call 480.488.1145 or visit www.foothillsfoodbank.com. |CST

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