Neighbors Helping Our Neighbors | The PV Community Food Bank

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Since 1986, the PV Community Food Bank, formally the Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank, has been working diligently to provide well-balanced meals to the community residing in the PVSchools boundaries whose incomes fall below the poverty level.

Need Assistance - Emergency Food Assist Program

For individuals and families who require assistance, the PV Community Food Bank provides wholesome and nourishing meals to those who reside within the boundaries of the PVSchools or have a child(ren) attending a PV school. Families with minor children living within the household needing assistance can receive up to 12  food boxes per year, seniors (over 65 years old) can receive 17 boxes per year, and adults 18 years or older can receive 12 boxes per year.

The PV Community Food Bank has provided its neighbors with 56,199 emergency food assists during the last five years, including 22,886 to children.

How to Get a Family Assist

  • Please make an appointment in advance by calling 602-867-9228. Walk-in clients are also accepted at this time.
  • You must provide the name, age, and birthdate of everyone receiving food. 
  • Once a calendar year, proof of residency within the PVSchools boundaries is required for all adults (18 years or older) in the household. Acceptable proofs of residence include:
    • Mail addressed to the head of the household.
    • A picture ID is required for the person who will receive the food. 
  • If you cannot provide any of this information, the PV Community Food Bank does accept referrals from school personnel, state or federal agencies, and clergy.

How You Can Help the PV Community Food Bank

There are a few ways to help the emergency food bank, including donating non-perishable food items, volunteering, or making a monetary donation that qualifies for a tax credit. 

  • Turkey Drive – The PV Community Food Bank is currently collecting turkeys to help the food insecure. To donate a frozen turkey, visit the food bank office at 10862 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, from Monday, Nov. 1 through Friday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Non-perishable Food Donations – Food banks, including the PV Community Food Bank, rely on community members and organizations to provide donations throughout the year, not just during the holidays. In addition to canned food items, the food bank also needs hot and cold cereals, juices, dry milk, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, baby food, soap, toilet paper, diapers, and personal care items. View the list of items needed.
  • Volunteer – You can help the PV Community Food Bank by volunteering. Volunteers help collect food and distribute food, stock shelves, and help answer the phone.
  • Monetary Donations – Monetary contributions help the PV Community Food Bank pay for rent, utility costs in addition to food items that are not donated. They accept checks or credit card payments through PayPal. 

Partnership with PVSchools

Throughout the years, the PV Community Food Bank expanded programs and services for children who attend PVSchools to include Weekend Food4Kids Backpack Program and the School Nurse Program. In turn, students have held canned food drives to help support the food bank's community efforts.

Weekend Food4Kids Backpack Program

In 2008, the PV Community Food Bank saw a need in the community to create a Weekend Food4Kids Backpack Program to help feed 100 students who attended Title I schools. These students receive breakfast and lunch at school during the week and may not have access to healthy, easy-to-make meals during the weekend. 

As the need to provide weekend meals to accommodate more students increased, PV Community Food Bank expanded the program.

"The food bank is grateful to serve all requests for an ever-increasing number of participants in the Weekend For4Kids Program. The Weekend For4Kids Program is possible with the support of school social workers, volunteer packing teams, volunteer drivers, and other food bank volunteers. Along with the financial backing from foundations and service organizations who respond to our grant requests," says Mary Sue and Larry Langford, volunteer grant writers for the food bank.

The food provided in the backpacks offers breakfast, lunch, and snack items to children for the weekend to replace the food provided by the school during the week. To put this into perspective, the budgeted "food only" cost for the Weekend Food4Kids Backpack Program for one student for 34 weeks of the school year is $174.00

In the last five years, including the 2020-2021 school year, the PV Community Food Bank assembled more than 108,796 individual weekend food bags for 4,061 students. As the number of students who depend on this service grew larger, it became evident that the food bank needed to assist staff at the schools by delivering the food bags directly to the schools. 

Private funding fuels the Weekend Food4Kids Backpack Program. Since federal or local government funds or subsidies are not involved, the PV Community Food Bank relies on the generosity and support of local foundations and organizations. The past year, a few of their supporters included American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, Arizona Public Services, Arizona Season 4 Sharing, BHHS Legacy Foundation, Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation, Boeing Employees' Community Fund, Herbert H. & Barbara C. Dow Foundation, John F. Long Foundation, Kemper & Ethel Marley Foundation, ON Semiconductor Foundation, Paradise Valley Rotary Foundation, Scottsdale Bible Church, and Sundt Foundation.

School Nurse Program

Additionally, the PV Community Food Bank provides school nurses at 39 PV schools with juice and crackers used when dispensing medicine to students during the school day or when students arrive at school hungry.  

"In 2015, the food bank became aware that school nurses were most times purchasing, with their own money, the juice, and crackers that were needed to dispense medicine and to feed a hungry child in the morning. In 2016, the food bank began offering juice and crackers to school nurses. Today, 42 PV schools have their supply of juice and crackers delivered to them twice a year by volunteers from the food bank. We are so appreciative of the general funds donated to support this worthy project," said Kay Norris, PV Community Food Bank executive director. 

School Food Drives

Student councils at PV schools hold food drives to collect non-perishable items for the food bank throughout the school year. From 2014-2021, the school food drives have donated more than 160,000 pounds of food.

Learn more about the PV Community Food Bank.