Double R Communications, area schools support Our Neighbor’s Farm and Pantry

Volunteers help unload one of the many trailers filled with cans of food donated by area children in the Double R COmmunications Food Drive. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — Families in need will have help this season, thanks to the Gila Valley’s school children.

The non-perishable food items donated during the annual Double R Communications Food Drive were delivered to Our Neighbor’s Farm and Pantry Thursday.

“This is what carries us through the entire year,” said Stacey Scarce, executive director for Our Neighbor’s Farm and Pantry.

“We do get other, small donations from people throughout the year. And that helps, of course,” she continued, “but normally this food drive would have to last us the whole year. And if we don’t get enough, it won’t last us.”

Volunteers weigh the boxes of food donated to Our Neighbor’s Farm and Pantry by area school children in the Double R Communications Food Drive. – David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

Last year almost 20,000 pounds of food was donated and this year, due to the ongoing pandemic, it appears the donations were coming in at about 50 percent.

The radio stations have been coordinating the food drive for more than 15 years.

“We want to help like we always do. Mack’s Auto is a big sponsor, Sparklight is a sponsor and Valley Furniture is a sponsor, and they jump in with us and it’s gotten big,” said Double R Communications owner Reed Richins during a recent appearance on Voice of the Valley. “I think we’re going to be alright. I think if we’re in the 20,000-item (range), then that’s 20,000 meals almost. And so we feel good about that.”

Sister Jeppsen, a missionary with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, volunteers at Our Neighbor’s Farm and Pantry to help sort cans of food donated by area school children, through the Double R Communications Food Drive. – David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

Dominos Pizza provided a pizza party, and Cakes with TLC provided cupcakes, for the class that collected the most cans in each elementary school in Graham County and in Duncan. And LifeNet Air Ambulance flew Richins to each school to present the winning classes with their prizes.

The winning classes were:

● Mrs. Lamoreaux class at Pima elementary — 174 cans

● Mrs. Ashby’s class at Discovery Plus Academy — 176 cans

● Mr. Kelvin’s class at Dan Hinton School — 346 cans

● Mrs. Hatch’s class at Thatcher Elementary — 1,785 cans

● Mrs. Hansen’s class at Thatcher Primary School — 568 cans

● Mrs. Donaldson’s class at Dorothy Stinson School — 486 cans

● Mrs. Bryce’s class at Ruth Powell School — 1,565 cans

● Mrs. Rodriguez’s class at Lafe Nelson School — 1,052 cans

● Mrs. Aragon’s class at Solomon Elementary — 75 cans

● Ms. Baxter’s class at Triumphant Learning Center — 374 cans

● Mrs. Sipes’ class at Duncan Elementary — 550 cans

The donations from all the Duncan Elementary School classes will benefit the Duncan area food bank.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 11:13 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, to include the winning class from Lafe Nelson School.