For area residents already struggling to put food on their family tables, the holidays can present additional challenges. “So much of our holiday traditions, across all cultures, are wrapped up in celebratory recipes and meals,” notes Twanna Anderson, United Food Bank Program Services Manager. “For folks already living paycheck to paycheck, it is a struggle to make holiday meals even a little more special. Our Help Yourself Purchase Cooperative Program can help.”
United Food Bank’s weekly Help Yourself makes a big difference nutritionally throughout the year, but especially in making the holidays brighter during this time of year. Through the program, clients can purchase pre-assembled food bags containing 15 to 20 pounds of meats and produce for just $20. As available, Help Yourself clients also can select from a variety of complimentary items such as breads and pastries, dairy and deli products. Help Yourself is open to the public, with no qualifying requirements or limits, so anyone needing to stretch their food budget can participate.
The final Help Yourself of 2017 is this Friday, December 22, from 8 a.m. to noon at United Food Bank’s Javelina Volunteer Annex at 358 East Javelina in Mesa. Each protein bag on this date will include a whole boneless ham and a whole fryer with supplementing produce items; bags will weigh in at more than 20 pounds each for $20.
If you, or someone you know, needs help stretching the food budget, come to Help Yourself. Be prepared to stand in line – nearly 450 people came to Help Yourself on the Friday before Thanksgiving. But, while you’re waiting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on-hand to pass out gifts to the children and the Mesa Fire Department will provide fire truck tours and share information about how they serve the community.