A ‘Spooktacular’ Way to Donate on Oct. 27

While “trunk-or-treating” with your children or grandchildren at this year’s Spooktacular event in Rancho Sahuarita from 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 27, please remember to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the Sahuarita Food Bank. Our truck will be parked near the entranceway to collect food and cash. 

Hosted annually by the Town of Sahuarita and Rancho Sahuarita, Spooktacular is one of the food bank’s biggest food drives of the year. Last year, the event brought in more than half a ton of food (over 1,250 pounds) and hundreds of dollars in cash donations.


A special thanks to SFB Board Member Michele Estavillo and her family for organizing and staffing our Spooktacular food drive event for the past several years.  

Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a few extra items on sale and bring them to our food bank truck at Spooktacular.  

Sustainable Families Presents Report Oct. 30 at Quail Creek

The Sahuarita and Green Valley Sustainable Families Coalition will present its Report to the Community and share future pathways for ensuring more local residents are economically secure at a forum and reception on October 30. 


The community is invited to attend this free event from 4:30-7 p.m. in the Crystal Ballroom at Quail Creek, but attendees are asked to reserve their seat by emailing Mary Jane Goodrick at maryjanegoodrick11@gmail.com. Hearty appetizers will be served, compliments of the Greater Green Valley Community Foundation and a cash bar will be available. 


 Jon Ford of the Vitalyst Foundation will be the keynote speaker. 


Since April 2016, the Sahuarita Food Bank and Community Resource Center has been a convener of the Sustainable Families Coalition, made up of government, educational, business and nonprofit leaders who are committed to increasing family economic security in the Sahuarita and Green Valley area


Other organizations involved with the coalition include staff and council members of the Town of Sahuarita, the Sahuarita and Continental School Districts, United Community Health Center, Freeport-McMoRan, the Sahuarita Green Valley Chamber of Commerce, Community Food Bank Green Valley and Amado Resource Centers, Greater Green Valley Community Foundation, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, the Amado Youth Center, The Good Shepherd Church, Pima County and many concerned residents.  


Sustainable Families has four working groups that focus on schools, employees and employers, human services collaboration and affordable housing, which are working toward bringing about long-term systemic improvements.

Two SFB Leaders Named Most Influential

Both our Board President Penny Pestle and Joyce Finkelstein, co-chairperson of our food bank’s pending capital campaign, were named among the most influential individuals along Interstate 19 by the Green Valley News and Sahuarita Sun. 


“Joyce brings an incredible and varied history in nonprofit leadership and volunteerism with the Green Valley Sahuarita Volunteer Clearinghouse, Rotary of Green Valley, Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital, Green Valley Council and Green Valley Recreation,” Penny said. “You can be assured that everyone knows and respects Joyce. What a gift she is for our fundraising efforts.” 


Penny has served as the chairperson of the Open and Affirming Committee of The Good Shepherd Church and its moderator (lay leader). In her board role, Penny has been a champion of advancing the Sustainable Families Coalition. 


“I have a strong passion for service and believe to the core of my being that, working together, we can become a community that works for all of our residents,” she said.


Congratulations, Penny and Joyce! We are so fortunate to have you both working on behalf of the food bank.

Making Hard Choices: Dan’s Story

Recently, a client came to us for help. He had a note from his ex-wife giving her permission for him to pick up her food that day. The man said his wife had cancer and was very sick, and began to tell us his story.


He and wife had been married for 30 years. But when she was diagnosed with cancer, the only way that they could afford her treatment was to divorce. They were unable to find a doctor who would even talk to them until they were divorced and able to qualify for care. 

“I have been with her for 30 years and I am not going to let her down now,” the man said.


Thanks to your financial support and donations, we’re able to provide food assistance to this older couple so that they could focus on getting the medical treatment she needed.

Forum ‘Shines a Light’ on Behavioral Health Issues

More than 60 behavioral health experts, providers and members of the community gathered at a forum on September 19 to discuss ways to improve mental health access and services in Southern Arizona. 


Organized by the Sustainable Families Coalition and hosted by the Town of Sahuarita, the “Shining a Light on Behavioral Health” was convened to discuss strategies for preventing, identifying and treatment mental health issues.


Keynote presenter Michael Shafer, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy at Arizona State University, one in four people experience a mental health issue each year.  He challenged care providers to identify “stage 1” mental health issues in children and young adults when they first exhibit signs of illness. 


He said illness is often diagnosed and treatment delayed until it’s progressed to “stage 4,” making it more difficult to help people. Shafter stressed that early detection and prevention of the illness by working with schools is key to successful treatment.  


Licensed Professional Counselor Norma Mayer, and Psychologist Lutissua Ballard presented their views on the need for more local service providers with the qualifications and experience to meet the high need for care for local children, families and seniors. Sahuarita Unified School District Superintendent Manny Valenzuela also stressed the importance of “social-emotional” learning as essential for students’ academic success and for their becoming healthy adults. 


During the forum, many participants identified possible actions to reduce “behavioral unhealth” and committed to working with other stakeholders on these actions. 


Members of the coalition and sponsors for the event included the Town of Sahuarita, the Sahuarita Food Bank, the Community Food Bank-Green Valley and Amado, Sahuarita and Continental School Districts, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, the Amado Youth Center and Arizona Complete Health.


Formed in 2016, the Sustainable Families Coalition has worked to bring together community members and resources to address issues that prevent children, families and individuals from achieving family and economic stability.

Starting Off the School Year Right

Many studies show that a strong correlation between hunger and academic performance in children. While children may receive meals at school, many leave for home at the end of the week knowing they may not eat again until Monday. We’re doing our part to make sure no child goes home hungry. 


With the start of the school year we again began our BackPack program on September 12, providing sacks of food to about 300 nutritionally at-risk students to take home with them over the weekend. 


This fall we began assisting 140 students at the Mission School in the San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham. Other schools currently or previously benefitting from our program include Sahuarita Primary and Intermediate Schools, Continental Elementary School and Summit View Elementary.


Each food sack contains a variety of nutritious items, such as shelf-stable milk, canned meats, applesauce or canned fruit, cereal, fresh fruit and vegetables and a nutritional bar.


You can help support our efforts to feed local hungry children by making a tax-deductible donation