Nearly Half A Million Dollars Going To Rural Arizona Food Banks

Published by The Bee News

December 13, 2021

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Governor Doug Ducey today announced $460,000 from the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund to support food banks throughout the state, especially rural communities.

“Whether it has been funding PPE, meals for low income families, technology for students, mental health support services and more, the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund has been an invaluable resource for Arizonans as we’ve responded to the pandemic,” said Governor Ducey. “I’m overwhelmed by the generosity from so many and thank all who’ve donated. My sincere thanks also goes out to the leaders who volunteered their time to serve on the relief fund committee. They stepped up at a critical time, putting in countless hours with the philanthropic community to understand where the highest needs were and distribute these resources. I am immensely grateful for their service.”

The funding, which will be dispersed by the Arizona Food Bank Network, will support organizations in mostly rural areas, which traditionally lack access to funding streams available in larger counties. In total, more than 40 organizations that have applied for grants in 13 rural counties are projected to receive funding.

“For many families across our state, the economic disruptions of the pandemic are still causing hardships,” said Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of the Arizona Food Bank Network. “Food banks are seeing the usual increased need around the holidays, and we expect this to continue through the winter months, which is why this funding couldn’t have come at a better time. We are grateful to the committee members for allocating these resources and for all the Arizonans who stepped up to help families in need.”

“We are so immensely thankful for these critical resources,” said Tony Bedolla, executive director at Bisbee Coalition for the Homeless. “Rural families face unique challenges without access to the same support services available in larger jurisdictions. These dollars will help us extend our services to even more families to help them through what’s still a difficult time for many.”

Governor Ducey established the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund in March 2020 to provide financial support to non-profit organizations serving Arizonans during COVID-19 and the state’s recovery. All funding comes from private donations.

In May 2020, a $500,000 award funded grants for 68 organizations across the state fighting hunger. Resources also have been allocated for purposes including purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline medical personnel, supporting non-profit organizations such as homeless assistance centers, domestic violence shelters, mental support groups, equipping low-income students with learning technology and more.

Requests for resources were reviewed and approved by an independent five-member committee working in consultation with Arizona’s philanthropic community. The fund received $10.1 million in private donations. With today’s grant awards, all funds have been dispersed.

One hundred percent of contributions have been directly distributed to organizations supporting Arizonans during the pandemic and recovery effort.

More information can be found HERE.

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