With a record-breaking influx of donations, Payson Area Food Drive organizers increased this year’s monetary goal to $85,000 last week, then quickly surpassed even that milestone.

At the start of the food drive in November, organizers only expected $50,000, which is on par with the previous year’s donations.

Already last week there was more than $82,000 in the bank. On Wednesday, nearly $98,000. Organizers have now raised the goal to $100,000.

Chuck Proudfoot, chair of the community food drive, is a bit flummoxed by it all.

“I wish I could give you better answers” is the only response he has to the historic amount of monetary giving from the community this year.

Several sources have contributed to the bottom line, but Proudfoot cannot point to one source or another because they are “not obligated to share specific numbers.”

Recent donations and drives held by the Payson Golf Club, the camera club and a Central Arizona Board of Realtors donation to the homeless warming station, have added to the monetary bottom line.

Another huge help, the Turkey Bucks at Safeway that “continued to raise the food weight numbers” for the drive, but ultimately results in fewer cans on the shelf to get through January, February and March, said Proudfoot.

One donor heard of the lack of canned food, so they gave more money than they have in the past.

Another donor told Proudfoot they gave to the food drive because, “we are not having family over this year and I would like to donate what I would have spent on food.”

While the monetary donations have significantly increased, food donations are down, “but not badly,” said Proudfoot.

Whatever the reasons for the uptick in checks, the Payson Area Food Drive will share the generosity of Rim Country residents with our neighbors who struggle. To donate, send checks to Payson Area Food Drive, P.O. Box 703, Payson, AZ 85547.

The PAFD runs through ‘Souper Bowl’ Sunday in February.

Contact the reporter at mnelson@payson.com

Contact the reporter at mnelson@payson.com

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