St. Vincent De Paul, Pine-Strawberry Food Banks Provide Helping Hands

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An uncertain economy sometimes makes it difficult for working people to meet all their needs. It is not uncommon for people to have to rob Peter to pay Paul as they try to make ends meet.

All too often, it is working people's food budgets that suffer, and that's were the Rim Country food banks come in.

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Food bank helpers unload a truckload of food, which will be distributed to those in need in the Rim Country.

One can only be grateful that organizations like the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank in Payson and the Pine Strawberry Food Bank are in the Rim Country, helping keep children and families supplied with the basic staples needed for a balanced diet.

This last Thanksgiving alone, the food bank fed over 250 families in Payson and surrounding communities and provided for the needy throughout the holidays.

With the average income for a family of four in Payson being about $43,000 annually, it can be difficult to pay all the bills and still have enough money to go grocery shopping.

Located at Bonita and Highway 87 in Payson, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, or Rim Country Food Bank distributes food boxes to needy individuals and families Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m.

Food is distributed to the needy by the Pine-Strawberry Bank the first Tuesday of each month.

Thousands of Arizona families do not have enough food to eat, but Sue Montgomery and her band of volunteers from Pine and Strawberry are dedicated to making sure that doesn't happen on their watch.

Although the needs of the three communities have increased over the years, donations from residents, businesses and charitable groups help keep their shelves stocked.

At Christmas time, local charities help by providing gifts for both children and older adults.

Also, travelers stranded on the Beeline Highway and out of food are provided emergency supplies.

The thrift shop at the senior center also provides warm clothing for those in need.

Montgomery is grateful the community has long been generous with their donations. "It is wonderful to live in a community that is so caring," she said. "Pine and Strawberry residents are wonderful in helping when there are needs."

St. Vincent de Paul Society - Food Bank of Payson

Location: 511 S. Phillips St.

Founded: 1833

Officers: Sue Montgomery,

Contact information: Rim Country Food Bank (928) 474-9104

Group's purpose: To provide emergency food, financial, disaster relief and other basic essential needs to the community.

Donations and volunteer service: Rim Country Food Bank (928) 474-9104

Contributions to the community: food programs, emergency financial assistance, emergency transportation, disaster relief and victim services, rent/mortgage assistance, low-cost housing, shelters for the homeless, shelters for the abused, assistance for victims of AIDS, substance abuse and crime, thrift stores, free pharmacy services, employment services, job training, counseling/information, referral service, education programs (GED), homemaker services, budget counseling, nutritional education, youth programs, camp programs, social justice programs, advocacy, foreign and domestic, prison ministry, halfway houses for ex-offenders, burial of the indigent, embracing the lonely, forgotten and alienated.

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