The “season for giving” may officially be over…but it should not stop. If you live here in The Valley Of The Sun and have a citrus tree…you know it is almost impossible for one family…or even one family and all their friends…to consume all of that fruit.
So…what do you do with it? I have seen some efforts made that are worth noting. Like putting it in bags and sitting it on the curb with a FREE sign for the neighbors to take. Or juicing and freezing for later. But there is a way you can go one better than that.
Valley food banks will be more than happy to take it off your hands. This year, more than ever, Valley families are facing financial difficulties and are putting strains on our food banks trying to meet the demands.
Brian Simpson with the Association of Arizona Food Banks says some food banks might even be able to come to your house and glean the citrus for you. “It’s important that you call as soon as you can, because it’s first come, first serve,” Simpson says.
Last year over TWO MILLION pounds of fruit were donated. Another perk? We send our excess fruit to other States like Idaho and Washington since it has a limited shelf life…who in turn send us potatoes and apples. It’s a WIN WIN!
Here are the contact numbers for some Valley organizations:
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Phoenix & Flagstaff: 602-343-5658,www.firstfoodbank.org
United Food Bank, Mesa & East Valley: 480-926-4897 ext. 256,www.unitedfoodbank.org
Community Food Bank, Tucson & Southern Arizona: 520-623-7978 ext. 222, www.communityfoodbank.org
Desert Mission Food Bank in Sunnyslope 602-870-6060 http://www.jcl.com/content/foodbank/default.htm
Also…St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance will hold its annual Super Citrus Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 22. Drop off locations are North Phoenix Baptist Church, 5757 N. Central Ave and Shepherd of the Hills United Church of Christ, 5524 E. Lafayette Blvd. Get a group of friends together and get that fruit off the trees and into the hands of those who really need it!
I LOVE my community and am very grateful to the folks who are helping others..even outside of the “official” season of giving!
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