Donate food and hygiene items all month

Drive-through drop-off event May 20

Contributed Article By Carol Broeder

GILA COUNTY – May brings a month-long chance to donate nonperishable food and hygiene items for those in need. Donate during weekday business hours at Gila County Community Services, where a collection box is conveniently in the lobby at the Central Heights complex at 5515 S. Apache Ave., Suite 200.

And here’s a five-hour drive-through donation opportunity: Saturday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers will accept your donations at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints parking lot, 4247 Broadway, Claypool (please watch for signs and enter on Broadway, exiting on Second Street).

Suggested food items include canned soup/stew; canned fruits/veggies; canned beans; canned pasta; packaged tuna; ready-to-heat rice; peanut butter; packaged foods (seeds, nuts, oats, granola, and cereal); bottled water and food that can be prepared in a microwave.

Other needed items include can openers; deodorant; toilet paper; toothpaste; shampoo; lotion; lip balm; feminine hygiene items and socks.

A similar food and hygiene drive was held in February, which organizers deemed “a great success.”

“We are trying to make this a quarterly event,” says Continuum of Care Coordinator Allison Torres, with Gila County’s Community Services Department. “The food helps multiple pantries in our community.”

February’s Community Food and Hygiene Drive followed closely on the heels of the Point-in-Time Homeless (PIT) Count, conducted in January.

 Torres says PIT Count goals include building awareness of community needs and providing individuals with information about existing resources.

She expects they should receive an initial report on this year’s PIT Count from the State of Arizona by the end of the month.

“We are continuing to see an urgent need within our community for food resources and decided to make this an ongoing effort,” prompting the development of plans to hold a food and hygiene drive every three months, Torres explains.

The May Food Drive comes in time to prepare for the annual Jason Sanchez Homeless Connect Day event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 16, at the Maranatha Baptist Church, 1320 E. Saguaro Dr., Globe.

In collaboration with Gila County Community Services and the Gila County Homeless Task Force, the Homeless Coalition of Cobre Valley will hold “this one-stop resource event,” Torres says.

“Among other resources, food will be available for those experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness,” she explains.

In the meantime, food from the May Food and Hygiene Drive “will help stock our local pantries and churches once again for those in need within our community,” Torres says. For more information, contact Tim Gonzales at 928-961-3141 or via email at or Allison at 928-425-7631 or