Community Food Drive Making Final Push

The deacon's Pantry- the food bank stores at the Community Presbyterian Church aren't exactly overflowing with donations.

The deacon's Pantry- the food bank stores at the Community Presbyterian Church aren't exactly overflowing with donations. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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The Payson Area Food Drive is wrapping up and organizers hope for one last push for donations this weekend.

While the drive has already surpassed its $50,000 goal, it has yet to collect 65,000 pounds of food — the drive’s loftiest target since it started in 2009.

Roger Kreimeyer, the drive’s chair, rallied members of the steering committee Thursday morning for one last meeting before the drive wraps up Sunday.

Kreimeyer said collections from the Boy

Scouts and local churches Soup-er Bowl Sunday could bring food donations up to the goal.

Since the drive started in late October, the Rim Country community has given nearly 50,000 pounds of food and $52,900, all donations that will stay local.

Kreimeyer helped start the PAFD in the midst of the economic downturn when lines at the food banks were increasing. Those lines haven’t decreased much since 2009, he said.

The drive’s collections supplement local food banks’ supply throughout much of the year. Last year’s donations of 68,200 pounds and $35,000 lasted through the fall, Kreimeyer said.

Drop food donations off at any local grocery store in a PAFD marked box. Mail checks to Payson Area Food Drive, P.O. Box 703, Payson, AZ 85547.

Next year, Kreimeyer plans to offer a number of garden plots at the Community Garden, which he also runs, to food bank recipients. He hopes many will learn how to grow their own fresh produce and contribute to the food banks. Last year, gardeners donated thousands of pounds of organic produce to the food banks.

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