Local food bank still in need of soups, peanut butter, cereal

Sister Jesppsen, 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

SAFFORD – School children doing their part to help families in need will keep food on the table through the holidays, but more help will be needed in the coming weeks.

The Double R Communications annual elementary school food drive collected 15,700 pounds of food for distribution by Our Neighbor’s Farm & Pantry. In addition, United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties provided funding for 100 Thanksgiving meals and Christmas meals for seniors.

However, Stacey Scarce, ONFP executive director, said there’s more to be done.

“We start missing out on things like cereal – that runs out quick,” Scarce said during a recent appearance on Voice of the Valley. “Cereal, peanut butter, canned meats and canned soups, those things run out pretty quick.”

The solution, Scarce said, is for groups looking to help to conduct small food drives concentrating on the items quickly disappear from the pantry’s shelves. Those small food drives are needed throughout the year, but most especially in late spring and early summer.

When it comes to perishables – bread, milk, produce, meats, etc. – those wishing to help are encouraged to make a financial donation, so the pantry can purchase those items the day before distribution.

Financial contributions can be made online at ourneighborsfarm.org.