Payson Can Stand Tall

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Editor:

Payson did it again! For the fourth consecutive year, the wonderful folks of Payson made the Payson Area Food Drive (PAFD) a resounding success!

Where we collected $34,704 last year, we collected $54,271 this year, which exceeded our goal of $50,000. This is almost $20,000 more than was collected last year.

Where we collected 60,170 pounds of food last year, we collected 55,525 pounds of food this year. This was short of our goal of 65,000 pounds. However, the deficit of 10,000 pounds will be made up by the additional $5,000 that exceeded our money goal and the Community Garden. Last year the Payson Community Garden donated 4,500 pounds of fresh produce and it is expected that this will almost double this year. So we will meet our goal of 65,000 pounds.

Thus our overall goal, “To insure that no family will go hungry in Payson in 2013” will be achieved. That is wonderful!

We know that many of our good neighbors are suffering from the depressed economic conditions, loss of jobs and reduced incomes. People are working multiple jobs just to make ends meet and yet sometimes that is not enough. Assisted school lunches for children have increased from 40 percent to 70 percent this year. Families are struggling to keep their cars, homes and even to pay utility bills.

The PAFD works closely with St. Vincent de Paul and the Community Presbyterian churches that operate the major food banks in Payson. These food banks and others in adjoining towns are doing a marvelous service for our community. They deserve our support. Now, they can draw on the PAFD resources throughout the year, as they need it to keep their food shelves from going empty.

This food drive was a coordinated effort of many groups in the community. The chairman of these groups worked diligently for three months to reach these goals. These chairmen include Hallie Jackman, business and service groups; Jan Parson, health providers; Richard Croy, government groups; Eric Randau and Gordy Gartner, Boy Scouts; Pastor Richey, inter-faith group; John Wilson, finance committee; Mac Feezor and the Boy Scouts for food collection; Marty Stukenberg, Cliff Potts and Fred Carpenter with the Rotary Club for food sorting and boxing; John Naughton and Alexis Bechman, publicity; Al Shiya, St. Vincent de Paul; Pastor Chuck Proudfoot, Community Presbyterian Church.

They were a marvelous team that worked together very well. And there were many volunteers that assisted them.

The Payson Roundup Newspaper and KMOG radio gave excellent coverage and support. Businesses including the grocery stores placed collection boxes and made financial contributions. Post Net helped with the printing. And many more people assisted.

But the drive could not have been successful without the many citizens and businesses who donated food and money. Every dollar and every can of food helped reach the goal and will go to our local neighbors. PAFD has no overhead costs.

Thank you Payson for caring and sharing. Your hearts are big and generous. The families that receive this food in 2013 can be very thankful for their wonderful neighbors.

Yes, the good folks of Payson can stand tall. You continue to make this a great community to live in.

Roger Kreimeyer

chairman, PAFD Steering Committee

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