IMPACT of Southern Arizona-Vail Location

This article authored by: Catherine Hallberg

Vail Arizona Food BankMany people are unaware that Vail has its own food bank. It is one of two food bank programs of IMPACT of Southern Arizona, with the other in Northwest Tucson.

IMPACT of Southern Arizona is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 and provides assistance to families and seniors in need in the Greater Vail community and Northwest Tucson. IMPACT SoAZ opened the Vail location in 2012, which has thrived under the leadership of Program Coordinator Karen McNinch. With the vision of improving lives and inspiring futures, the Vail programs currently include a food bank, community resource information and referrals, a senior program, meal delivery to homebound seniors, transportation to medical appointments, and Mighty Impact Meals (MIM).

Here are some startling facts about hunger in our area that I know I wasn’t aware of:

20.4% of Pima Country residents live below the Federal poverty level.

In Arizona, Seniors make up 28% of Emergency Food Bank clients.

 IMPACT of Southern Arizona’s food bank serves approximately 220 Vail families per month, more than 800 individuals. It offers a multitude of services including food distribution, food stamp application assistance, and nutritional information for individuals and communities. Our Vail location provides monthly boxes of staples for those families and individuals qualifying under the federal guidelines of TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program). Donated food items from individuals, groups, businesses and churches are used to supplement these boxes. In addition to food, IMPACT SoAZ also provides toiletries and other miscellaneous items.

In addition to donations from residents, our local WalMart donates meat, dairy and bakery items. As might be expected, the highest volume of private donations is around the holiday period of November and December when 10,000-40,000 lbs. of food and supplies come their way. In January this amount drops to 1,000 lbs. per month, but the same number of families still need to be helped, which emphasizes the need for continued donations all year round.

Another of IMPACT SoAZ’s important programs addressing hunger in our community is Mighty Impact Meals (MIM).  It is a weekend supplemental food program for Vail students, for those who may go hungry or are experiencing food insecurity (not receiving a sufficient quantity of nutritional food every day).  Students who have been recommended by school principals and counselors are provided every Friday with six light, nutritional meals for the weekend. This also provides youngsters with a good start for the upcoming school week. IMPACT SoAZ partners with Grace Fellowship to serve the 50 youngsters who currently participate.

The senior community is not forgotten either. IMPACT SoAZ provides free meals each week to homebound Vail seniors and transportation to medical appointments. Please contact them if you know a low-to-moderate income homebound senior in Vail who could benefit from receiving meals.

 Want to help make a difference in our community? Karen says that one of their most sought after items is peanut butter.  When you are buying peanut butter for your household, why not add an extra jar for the food bank? Store brands tend to be less expensive than brand names and are often as good as or better than their nationally known counterparts. In fact, Long Realty’s Houghton SE office is sponsoring a peanut butter drive through the end of February. You can conveniently drop your jars off at our office and we’ll see they are delivered to the Food Bank.

 IMPACT of Southern Arizona, located in the strip mall at 13190 E. Colossal Cave Rd, Ste. #130, is convenient to I-10 and easy to find in Old Vail Station. It’s just two doors down from the Post Office.

Hours: Mon.-Wed.8am – 4:30pm and Th., Fri. 9am-6pm. For questions or if you would like to volunteer, please contact Karen McNinch at 520-222-4966 or e-mail Karen@impactsoaz.org.  IMPACT of So. AZ is a member of the Greater Vail Chamber of Commerce and a recognized agency of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona & Pima Council On Aging. IMPACT SoAZ Arizona is an Equal Opportunity Provider.

Catherine Hallberg

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Rob and Catherine Hallberg are Associate Brokers with Long Realty, a Berkshire-Hathaway Affiliate and Southern Arizona’s largest Brokerage. Since 2008, they have been ranked in the top 5% to 8% of all U.S. REALTORS®. Send Rob and Catherine an email for a fast response to your questions; for an even faster response, Call (520) 407-8667.

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