The ringleaders of a plot to feed the hungry and comfort their neighbors went public at last week’s Payson Town Council meeting — announcing the kickoff of a three-month community campaign.
“The food banks face a 250 percent increase in demand and a decrease in contributions,” said Payson Mayor Kenny Evans, as the leaders of the anti-hunger campaign gathered before the council.
“The food banks were very concerned about their ability to just get through the season,” said Evans.
So a coalition of community, church and charity groups have banded together in hopes of collecting an extra 50,000 pounds of food and $20,000 to help the food banks before next February.
Roger Kreimeyer, who will head the food drive, said “It’s pretty awesome when you face such a challenge, but we’ve gotten 110 percent support from everyone we’ve talked to.
“Our goal is to help these families and these children by supplementing their food to get them through tough times.”
The Payson Area Food Drive (PAF) has already collected several thousand dollars in pledges from groups like Payson Rotary.
The group hopes to set up food collection bins at many public events and near many grocery store checkout lines. This weekend, some events accepted donations of canned food as an entrance fee and groups of high school students went door to door to collect donations.
“We need just three pounds of donated food for each person in Payson in the next three months — that’s a pound a month,” said Kreimeyer.
“All you have to do is buy a couple extra cans of food every time you go to the grocery store and drop it in the bin on the way out,” he said. Anyone interested in donating to or helping mount the campaign can join by writing to: PAF, Box 703, Payson, AZ 85547, or by calling Kreimeyer at 468-1365.