by Susan Summers

 While many small food banks and food pantries in Pima County were forced to close because of the COVID-19 outbreak in recent weeks, ReSources Vail Food Bank remained open and served nearly double the number clients seen at this time last year.     Acquiring food for clients during grocery store scarcities and distributing it quickly and safely has presented enormous challenges for this 501(C)3.  An added hardship is that the food bank cannot accept food donations from the public at this time for safety reasons. However, it continues to operate with substantial support from the Southern Arizona Community Food Bank.   Under the leadership of general manager, Stefanie Stark, an astounding 30,000 pounds of food went out the doors during the month of March serving 335 families—an increase of approximately 45% over recent months.  This includes food distribution to home-bound individuals and to needy area school children through ReSources “back pack” program.  All of this was accomplished with fewer donations from local grocery stores and a diminished, but dedicated, volunteer staff. 

Keeping the food bank humming in the face of increased demand and stringent safety protocols has required some innovation.   To solve the immediate problem, the staff instituted a parking lot “drive through” model allowing clients to check in at one station and have groceries delivered to the vehicle’s trunk space at another station.   After each client’s departure, staging tables have been sanitized and fresh gloves donned for the next client.  This method has worked well and assures volunteers and clients that their safety is the first priority.

As you consider various deserving charities to support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, please keep Greater Vail Community Resources on your short list.  The closure of Vail Depot Thrift Store has resulted in the loss of at least two-thirds of revenue to this grassroots nonprofit while the community need has risen dramatically.  Monetary donations are needed urgently.   Send donations to “ReSources”, P.O. Box 367, Vail, AZ, 85641,  or visit the web site:    To the many individuals who have already donated generously, Resources extends its deep gratitude. 

As we all look forward to happier days, ReSources sends best wishes for good health and renewed prosperity.   Don’t forget to check ReSources Facebook page for news on the Vail Depot Thrift Store’s re-opening.   It will be grand!

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