Volunteers are helping drive a Cave Creek food bank program forward but now there’s a critical need for more people to get behind the wheel.
Dozens of local businesses donate crates of excess food seven days a week and it takes a team of about 60 volunteer drivers to pick it all up. Many of the drivers are snowbirds and when the others go on vacation throughout the summer it leaves a critical need to fill the gap.
“This is the time of year we really need help. It's very busy, I start at 7 a.m. for the first pick-up, by 9 a.m. the truck is full," said driver coordinator Nancy Keller.
Steve and Rose Jellerson volunteer their time once a week and spend about three hours traveling to multiple grocery stores loading and unloading donation boxes. Steve says it started as a way to fill some time when they both retired and enjoyed the process so much the couple started picking up more stores and shifts. He says it’s a great way to socialize with like-minded people, they get a great workout with the heavy lifting and it gives them a sense of purpose seeing the difference the food bank makes in the community.
"We have a lot of laughs and we all feel good about what we're doing, it's very rewarding."
Three thousand people in the North Valley depend on Foothills Food Bank in Cave Creek to keep food on the table.
Volunteers can drive as little as one morning a week. Vans are provided and gas is covered unless you prefer to use your own truck or SUV. You should be able to lift about 40 pounds and need a valid license and insurance. Interested volunteers should call 480-488-1145 for more information.