Scottsdale food requests up; donations slow - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Scottsdale food requests up; donations slow

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Posted: Monday, June 2, 2008 4:25 pm | Updated: 11:52 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The edible stock at Vista del Camino Community Center's food bank is going down, but the cupboard is not quite bare ... yet.

The south Scottsdale social service center could use some donations, officials say.

Food requests for those in need are up 20 percent from a year ago.

A slow economy, high gas prices, and a downturn in construction and housing jobs have contributed to more food requests than donations that are coming into the center, said Connie James, Scottsdale's human services director, who retired Monday.

"Food is continuing to go out, but not as much is coming in, and we still have a month to go before the end of our fiscal year," James said. "It's definitely harder in the summer, and I'm sure it's going to get worse. A lot of people who organize drives and donations throughout the year are gone during the summer.

"We try to never run out of food, but if we come close to running out, we'll contact civic organizations for food drives and donations. We're not quite there, yet."

Vista del Camino has already provided 1,300 food boxes for residents since April, the most recent figures available. Food boxes feed a family of four for a week, and are tracked by fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Scottsdale donated about 1,300 food boxes last fiscal year.

The pending summer months pose difficulties for the center since major donors, such as schools and churches, don't hold food drives, James said.

The U.S. Postal Service concluded a food drive earlier this month, but other drives won't begin until fall, she said.

The center is also seeking donations of diapers and baby food, said Kathy Breen, manager of Vista del Camino Community Center.

Vista del Camino serves about 4,000 Scottsdale residents throughout the year.

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