For the 21st year, SaddleBrooke Community Outreach has sponsored a community food drive to benefit our neighbors in Pinal County. On Saturday, March 23, members of SBCO and area residents were involved in curbside pickups, bringing donations to the MountainView Country Club parking lot, sorting all food, checking for expiration dates, and making certain no glass went into the vehicles. All donations went to the Tri-Community Food Bank in Mammoth (TCFB).
Together, we collected just over 25,000 pounds of food and almost $70,000 in checks/cash. This year 23% of the houses in SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch contributed food and 15% made monetary donations. Cash donations increased by 37% over the previous year and food donations increased by 14%.
TB Contractors from Catalina supplied a large truck to transport the cases of food to the food bank. In addition, we rented a Uhaul to help transport food, Oracle Ford had a pickup truck on site, the SBCO Kids’ Closet Van was in service and TCFB took all the paper and hygiene supplies to Mammoth in their truck. Rotary was active, wheeling the loaded boxes on dollies to the trucks, where they were loaded for the trip to TCFB in Mammoth.
At the March General Meeting, Cynthia Chevalley, chairperson of TCFB gave a brief description of the need for this food in the Tri-Community area of San Manuel, Mammoth and Oracle. About 12,000 food boxes are prepared each calendar year for needy families. What we collect in this annual food drive could last over 3 months.
Dan & Andrea Stephens and Lori Ward co-chaired the event. Each unit in SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch had a unit captain to pick up and deliver their neighbors’ contributions, many volunteers were on hand in the parking lot to accept and sort the goods. Once all was delivered to the Mammoth site the teens from Sycamore plus volunteers from SaddleBrooke Ranch and some of the Food Bank volunteers helped unload the trucks and were treated to lunch before returning to their homes.
In 2019, SaddleBrooke Ranch Food Drive volunteers helped to make the event a huge success, with Ranch residents contributing nearly $30,000 and 240 bags of food.
This enormous project provides food, smiles, and a strong sense of community participation in supporting our neighbors to the north of us in Pinal County.