Fighting hunger is a major part of Mesa United Way's Mesa Unites campaign. Your support helps a number of our partner agencies, many of which work together in this ongoing battle. A leading agency is United Food Bank, which recently filed this encouraging progress report with Mesa United Way:
For the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016‐17 (July through September), United Food Bank distributed 2,665,033 pounds of food, the equivalent of 2,220,861 meals through our partner agencies in Mesa. According to Pantry Trak, UFB’s client tracking data system, UFB agencies served 21,091 unduplicated individuals, 16,237 of which report their residency as Mesa (77% of clients served), residing in 6,570 households. The average agency visit per family in the reporting period was 2.2 times.
From St. Vincent de Paul, Mesa: “Regina,” is a single mother and was up until recently homeless. She lived in Arizona during the time she was married, but after her divorce in 2014, she found herself dealing with medical issues and was unable to pay the rent at her apartment. Her landlord worked with her for a few months but she could not get caught up and found herself, once again, homeless. She tried relying on the assistance of family, but once that resource became strained, she returned to Mesa and relied on friends to help her get back on her feet. Due to help from friends and her child’s school, she now has a job and an apartment, but the budget is still strained. Without the food she receives from St. Vincent de Paul twice a month, Regina tells us, “I just don’t know what I would do. My family would not eat. I am living on faith and hopeful for my future.”
Each month, United Food Bank does a distribution at the Mesa Active Adult Center which is located in the 85201 Zip Code. This area is considered a food desert, meaning there is not easy access to food, especially fresh, nutritious food. “Mike” attends the Senior Grocery distribution each month at the Mesa Active Adult Center. He tells us he is on disability and his wife is unable to work. They are living on $1,000 a month. If it wasn’t for the food bank, there would be days we wouldn’t be able to eat. Hunger is everywhere. All types of people are going hungry. Even if you are working, sometimes you cannot provide enough food.” Mike says, “Thank you for being here to help us.”
“Blanche” also attends the Senior Grocery distribution at the Mesa Active Adult Center. Blanche tell us, “This is a big help for our community. Being seniors, many of us have a limited monthly income. We have to choose between food and rent or food and medication. Being able to come to the Mesa Active Adult Resources to fill our bags is a big, big help. This is beneficial to all of us. To the businesses who support this, a great big thank you.” Blanche and her friends at Mesa Active Adult center appreciate the work of United Food Bank.