For those affected, here are some options
By Philip Haldiman
With the federal government shutdown well into a month, the West Valley is starting to feel the affects.
Jesse Ramirez, Valley View Community Food Bank founder and director, said the organization is seeing many new clients as a result of government workers not getting paid.
The food bank is also purchasing a lot more food to handle the food insecurity that is coming like a wave for those who are in need, he said.
The food bank’s emergency food box program — which includes various dried and canned foods that provide essential nutrients— is up 22 percent, Mr. Ramirez said.
“It seems it is affecting a lot more people than I anticipated,” he said. “Some calls that we are getting are people who have never had to use our programs.”
For parents who may be affected by the shut down, Peoria Unified School District is reminding them to sign up for free and reduced lunches where needed.
PUSD spokeswoman Danielle Airey said if parents have experienced a change in job status lowering their hours or are in between jobs, all families are welcome to apply at any time during the school year for free or reduced meal benefits.
“Also, we are encouraging our principals that have pantries to ensure their families are aware that this resources is available to them, along with any others in need from their site,” she said.
The district has a list of community resources on their website that is continually updated, peoriaunified.org/Domain/134.
Here is a list of food banks and other resources available to those affected by the government shutdown.
Valley View Community Food Bank: 623-933-3358, valleyviewfoodbank.wordpress.com
Agua Fria Food & Clothing Bank: 623-932-9135, firstfoodbank.org
Fresh Start Church: 623-979-4392
Hope for Hunger: 602-773-4344, hopeforhungerfb.org/Home_Page.html
Plenty for All: 602-400-8077
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance: 602-242-3663, firstfoodbank.org
United Food Bank: 480-926-4897
Arizona Department of Housing: 602-771-1000
Housing Authority of Maricopa County: 602-744-4590, maricopahousing.org
Arizona 211: Various community resources, cir.org
City of Peoria Support Programs and Resource Guide: peoriaaz.gov/peoriasupport/Peoria Community Action: Community information and referral services, 623-979-3911, myhsd.maricopa.gov
Family Resource Center: Located at Sky View Elementary School, 8624 W Sweetwater Ave. 623-486-6472
Salvation Army: 623-486-4663
Salvation Army Glendale: 623-934-0469
Salvation Army Sun City: 623-977-1084
Valley of the Sun United Way: 800-543-7709