The past year has been a banner one for Prescott Community Cupboard Food Bank (PCCFB). After working out of two rented offices, the organization tripled its size by relocating to its own 3,000-square-foot building on West Hillside Avenue last May. Moving meant PCCFB, founded in 1973 by seven churches as a food supplement program, could reach even more people in need. United Way of Yavapai County is a proud supporter of PCCFB and, through your donations to UWYC, has provided the food bank with grant funding over the years. Food insecurity has only gotten more challenging since the pandemic and economic upheaval that followed. In 2021, 15.8% of Yavapai County residents were living in poverty, up from 13% in 2019. In the last quarter of 2021 alone, PCCFB saw a 23% increase in the number of County residents facing food insecurity. That need hasn't stopped in 2022. As of last month, PCCFB had distributed almost 3,500 bags of food to more than 7,749 individuals.
Those bags, which weigh in at about 14 pounds each, include canned beans, vegetables, soups and meat, plus peanut butter, a starch or pasta-and-sauce dish, and hot or cold cereal. On top of that, clients get perishable items like margarine, hot dogs, hamburger meat and bread.
In addition to the bags of food, which provide about 12 nutritionally balanced meals for every family member, clients can "shop" the PCCFB lobby, where donated items ranging from personal hygiene products to pet food are available. "Last year, all the church ladies knitted scarfs and hats and donated them," said PCCFB Chair and Volunteer Coordinator Lee Danaher. "We must have had hundreds here. No one should have had a cold head last winter!" Danaher said the organization relies on a dedicated troop of about 170 volunteers for most of its work (the only paid staffer is a part-time warehouse manager). Additional help comes from groups like Prescott High's Air Force JROTC the Quad City Rotary Clubs. Food comes from grocery stores, restaurants, and food drives, like the ones done every other month by Yavapai Food Neighbors.
For this coming year, Danaher said he would like to see PCCFB expand the number of people it can help - and make a few improvements to its new digs. "We'd love to install an awning around the building to protect the clients who queue up to get inside so they don't bake in the sun or freeze in the rain," he said, "and we'd like to make the building more visible." To learn more about PCCFB, please visit their website.