UPDATED: Largest Food Bank in the East Valley Needs Your Help - SanTanValley.com

UPDATED: Largest Food Bank in the East Valley Needs Your Help

Largest Food Bank in the East Valley is Asking for Your Help
UPDATED: Largest Food Bank in the East Valley Needs Your Help

The Apache Junction Food Bank was dealt a tough blow today when the drive shaft of its 16-foot, refrigerated truck dropped out on University Drive in Mesa this morning. The truck serves the largest food bank in the East Valley running about 60 miles a day, six days a week to collect food from over a dozen stores.

The repair, towing and rental of a temporary truck will cost just over $3,500 and it is more than the food bank can absorb. The food bank is asking for donations, immediately. Executive Director Jo Hurns said that the 35-year old nonprofit runs on a very slim budget and this is catastrophic to the agency and the nearly 15,000 qualified families it serves each year in the East Valley.

“We feed 80 to 100 families a day with fresh produce, eggs, milk, fresh bread and pastry items, meats, yogurt, deli items and many other food items from stores,” she said. “We give each family member 25 pounds of food. That is about 12 meals for each person in the household. We do include many nonperishables items, but our truck picks up 800,000 pounds of food each year. Simply put, without it running again daily and very soon, we will not be giving those families what they need.”

Hurns said the organization just began developing a capital campaign to replace the truck after some unbudgeted repairs last year. It has 220,000 miles on it. The Food Bank relies on individual donations, some grants, food drives and most notably its 150 volunteers who give 14,000 hours a year to provide for the hungry.

Donations can be made online at www.ajfoodbank.org under the DONATE button. Credit card or PayPal is accepted online. Or donations can be dropped off or mailed at 575N. Idaho Rd, Suite #701, Apache Junction, AZ 85119.

If you wish to donate on the phone, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hurns said the staff, volunteers and food bank families would be humbled and grateful for any help with repairing the big truck.

Updated message from JoElle Hurns, Executive Director Apache Junction Food Bank: "Thank you so much everyone for what you did to support us. All of you did so much to spread the word early and fully. We got there!!! Thank you so much!"