With Thanksgiving fast approaching, Vista del Camino Community Center still needs help putting food on the tables of 150 Scottsdale families.
Supplies at the food bank are down 50 percent compared with previous years largely due to its temporary location, said Rita Koppinger, human services manager for Vista del Camino. The food bank plans to feed a total of 500 families this Thanksgiving.
The food bank moved to the former downtown senior center at 7375 E. Second St. in August, and Koppinger said this has made it more diffi cult for people to find the place to make donations. But they are still accepting food there, and local businesses and other community services are pitching in to help collect enough food in time for Thanksgiving.
Several downtown Scottsdale business owners collaborated to try and give Scottsdale residents a more convenient place to donate. Elliot’s Diamonds & Design and Clarke & Clarke Asian Antiques and Tribal Art have placed three collection bins near their stores at Fifth Avenue and Marshall Way.
“We have such a great turnaround on our street, we fi gured people wouldn’t mind dropping off food here,” said Kimberly Calvetti, co-owner of Elliot’s Diamonds & Design.
They decided to do this when they heard donations were low at Vista del Camino, she said. “When you think about people not having food during the holidays that’s pretty touching.”
Koppinger said half of the food bank’s clients earn less than $10,000 per year, and many are considered working poor. Some are struggling fi - nancially because of health problems or disabilities, she added.
“These are people who struggle to make ends meet and don’t have money for extras like a holiday dinner,” she said.
Here’s how you can help:
WHAT THEY NEED
Vista del Camino is collecting a variety of Thanksgiving staples. Food boxes typically include stuffi ng mix, potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy mix, vegetables, Jell-O, canned fruit, rolls, pumpkin pie mix, evaporated milk, cranberry sauce and chicken broth. Things like pie crusts, flour, olives and pickles also are welcomed.
GROCERY GIFT CARDS
The temporary location doesn’t have enough freezer space for turkeys for these families, so Vista del Camino is instead requesting $10 grocery store gift cards. Albertsons, Bashas’, Fry’s and Safeway all sell gift cards. Donating gift cards will help people buy Thanksgiving turkeys. Most of the people served by Vista del Camino live near one of these stores, Koppinger said.
WHERE TO DONATE IN SCOTTSDALE
• Vista del Camino Food Bank is collecting all food donations 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 7375 E. Second St., Building 3. Checks also can be sent to that address, the ZIP code is 85251. Information: (480) 312-2323
• Via Linda Senior Center is collecting donations 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 10440 N. Via Linda. It is collecting nonperishable food throughout the holiday season. Information: (480) 312-5810.
• Pima North Neighborhood Customer Service Office is collecting nonperishable foods 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at 8787 E. Hualapai Drive. Information: (480) 312-6280.
• Kimberly Calvetti of Elliott’s Diamonds & Design, and Ginny Clarke of Clarke & Clarke Asian Antiques and Tribal Art are collecting nonperishable foods through Tuesday for Vista del Camino Food Bank in Scottsdale. Information: (480) 946-7776 or (480) 947-9934. Look for three containers for food collection; one black bin, one blue bin with yellow signs and a white box with “Food Bank” written on it in red letters.
OTHER LOCATIONS ACCEPTING DONATION
• Curves Ahwatukee is supporting Phoenix Rescue Mission this holiday season. Boxes are available until Dec. 2 to decorate and fill for the “Fill A Box, Feed a Family Program” at 4221 E. Chandler Blvd. Information: (480) 759-4340 or www.phoenixrescuemission.org.
• St. Vincent de Paul is collecting donations 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 420 W. Watkins St., Phoenix. Information: (602) 254-3338.
• The Salvation Army is collecting donations 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 1927 N. Gilbert Road, Mesa, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 2324 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe. Information: (480) 834-4027 and (480) 945-4758.