The Community Food Bank has played an essential role in the lives of thousands of local Tucson residents. The current pandemic has pushed community food giving to record levels, as individuals and families were left without work or money to pay for food. As it has done countless times before, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona stepped up. It continues to do so, but there will be some slight changes moving forward, so if you receive food assistance from the food bank, or if you donate, you will need to make yourself aware of these changes.
On Wednesday, February 24, the Community Food Bank announced it would be adjusting the time slots when it distributes food. Beginning on March 2, the food bank will provide food on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between the times of 8 am and 11 am (it had been 8 am until 12 pm on these days). Whether you have received food in the past, or you’re now in need of some assistance, the drive-through food distribution takes place at the Community Food Bank’s warehouse, located at 3003 South Country Club Road.
If you are without a vehicle, or if you walk, ride your bike, or take public transportation to the food distribution center, you will also receive available provisions (although it is packed differently to help make it easier to transport). Just make sure to bring your photo identification. Food needs to reach more people than ever before here in Southern Arizona, and the Community Food Bank wants to make sure everyone who needs food will be given the opportunity to receive it.
The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is one of the most recognized food banks in the United States. In 2018 it received the Feeding America Food Bank of the Year award for its ability to provide healthy, farm-fresh foods to a large number of individuals in need.
There are a number of other food bank locations around metro Tucson if you’re unable to make it to the main South Country Club warehouse. The Breaking Bread Food Pantry is open on Monday and Thursday from 7:30 am until 10:30 am and is located at 2101 W. Ajo Way. Flowing Wells Assembly of God provides food services on Friday from 9:30 am until 11:30 am and is located at 3198 North Flowing Wells. Sharon SDA at 955 N. 10th Avenue runs on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 am until 12 pm. There are also a number of other locations around town that vary pantry meal services and home delivery services. You can find more about the individual locations and the best way to pick up food (or donate) through the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona website.
If you are interested in helping the Community Food Bank do note that these food banks are not accepting donated food at this time. This is because it takes the limited staff members additional time to disinfect all of the donated food and to quarantine it. It’s easier for the staff to purchase the food and perform the necessary disinfecting all at once (instead of on a delivery-by-delivery basis). Instead, if you’d like to help it is far easier to donate money through the Community Food Ban website. Plus, by donating funds you’re able to receive a tax-deductible receipt that can be used on next year’s tax return.
Donations have continued on throughout the pandemic, which is a reflection of the giving nature of Southern Arizona and the rest of metro Tucson. In fact, the Country Club warehouse has a large stock of food, and the Community Food Bank recommends picking up food from this location when possible.
The Community Food Bank does not currently see any upcoming changes to food distribution schedules in the coming months once the March 2 time change takes place. However, if you do pick up food from one of the food banks or distribution centers it is a good idea to check the Community Food Ban website periodically for updates (especially as the summer approaches and the school year ends as this might impact the distribution schedule).