I recently celebrated my 15-year anniversary serving the Valley Food Bank. I often reflect to the staff and groups taking tours how much has changed for the better since 2004—more trucks, a larger facility, expanded refrigeration, and increased community support through donations and volunteerism. It is truly stunning to think back on the many lives that have been impacted.
Unfortunately, the need in our community never takes me by surprise in that same way, particularly in the summer. Currently hundreds of families are concerned about how they will make ends meet this summer. Youngsters out of school means increased childcare expenses; warm weather means higher utility bills; and a host of children will not be receiving the breakfast and lunch they normally receive through the free or reduced-cost meal programs at school.
Many of these families are already struggling to put nutritious food on the table. Parents despite having employment, still cannot guarantee their paychecks will cover the food budget. Some grandparents are taking on the responsibility of raising a grandchild, which means monthly food needs are increased, many times doubled with no increase in income.
As an organization, we push ourselves almost to the limits to make certain these folks can put meals on the table. It would be an impossible task without your generous support and that support is critically important during this time of the year. Please remember, the Valley Food Bank does not receive any federal, state, city or government funding of any kind. It is only through the generosity of our friends that we can continue to provide nutritional food resources. Let us come together to ensure our neighbors have healthy meals all summer long. Thank you for being an integral part of “Fighting Hunger – Feeding Hope.”