1. Are Sahuarita Food Bank and the Community Food Bank-Green Valley the same organization?
No, we are separate organizations, but share the same mission of fighting hunger in the community.
The Sahuarita Food Bank is an independent food bank that must raise its own funds to sustain our ongoing annual operations and to build up reserve funds for financial stability. We are one of nearly 400 independent area agencies that has contractual agreements with the Tucson-based Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona to receive donations of food from its Agency Market program for redistribution in our local area. The Community Food Bank—Green Valley is a wholly owned branch of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
2. How is the Sahuarita Food Bank different from other area food banks?
The food banks in our area share the mission of feeding the hungry in our communities. The Sahuarita Food Bank differs from other food banks in these ways:
3. Is the Sahuarita Food Bank a faith-based food bank affiliated with a religious denomination?
Although the Sahuarita Food Bank was a program of The Good Shepherd Church, it always operated as a secular organization. As an independent nonprofit, we will continue to enjoy strong support from the church and involvement from its members, but we will continue to serve our community residents regardless of their religious beliefs. Half of our volunteers and half of our donors come from outside the church.
4. How would an individual or family qualify for the food programs you offer? Are there residency requirements?
We ask for an ID or a bill with a current residential address from anywhere in Pima County and information on all household members, including birthdates. When registering, our clients, we ask that they acknowledge that they fall within 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines which range from $22,459 for a household of one to $78,403 for a family of eight people.
5. Does the SFB have a large paid staff?
No. In fact, we only have three very part-time paid positions. The majority of our operations are carried out by our dedicated and capable volunteers. We have more than 150 volunteers who serve in a wide range of roles and together volunteer more than 15,000 hours to benefit our organization. Most of our revenue goes toward direct services to clients.
6. Can children volunteer? Can I bring my children with me when I volunteer?
We welcome youth who are at least 16 years or older to volunteer on their own or with their parents or guardians. Teenagers under the age of 18 will need approval from their parent or guardian to volunteer on their own. However, younger children may accompany their parents and volunteer as a family, provided the parent provides proper supervision and follows all safety rules.
Exposing children to volunteerism can be a powerful learning experience that often leads to more fulfilling lives as adults as they learn to put others before self. They learn new skills, gain confidence, interact with a diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds and begin to feel compassion and gratitude. Often, teenagers who begin volunteering with their parents or to fulfill a school requirement like it so much that they decide to stick around and continue volunteering with us.
7. Is the Sahuarita Food Bank planning to expand?
Our operations have grown so much over the past few years that we have reached our maximum capacity in the space that we are currently leasing from the Good Shepherd church. We must be able to expand to keep pace with the growing need, and that requires a new building to store, sort, process and display food for distribution for our ever-increasing number of clients.
Additional programming space in the new facility also is needed for our Community Resource Center, which offers coaching, counseling, employment and training assistance, nutritional programs and other services that lift people out of poverty and help them become self-sufficient.