Reach Out Sun Lakes – January 2015

Ellen Engel

Monthly food collection drives sponsored by Reach Out Sun Lakes and targeted for The Mathew’s Crossing Food Bank in Chandler have entered their seventh year. In 2014, Reach Out Sun Lakes collected 5,202.5 pounds (over 2.5 tons!) of basic foods and just over $5,200 in cash from generous residents. The dollars were used to pay for basic foods not normally donated and all food items were ultimately channeled to needy families in Chandler.

Any Sun Lakes resident may contribute at established pickup points sponsored by the Sun Lakes Duplicate Bridge Club and the Sun Lakes Democratic Club. Other local organizations, including the Sun Lakes Jewish congregation and Unity of Sun Lakes, also make regular contributions and donations; your organization can do so, as well. But membership in local clubs and congregations is not a criterion. In fact, many individual donors show up at the two club-sponsored pickup points from all over Sun Lakes.

The Bridge Club pickup takes place at the Risen Savior Lutheran Church on Alma School Road from 12:30-1:20 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, and the Sun Lakes Democratic Club accepts contributions on the second Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Sun Lakes Country Club (SLCC). For those who cannot make it to the formal pickup locations at specific times, a collection point is also open during normal business hours at the SLCC clubhouse.

What is the practical significance of the benefits you’ll provide with your donations? A single contributed dollar will purchase a total of about four nutritious meals for a needy recipient or family. The $5,200 collected in 2014 purchased nearly 21,000 meals! We cannot measure the pound-of-food value in terms of specific meals, but it is unquestionably high.

According to a food bank spokesperson, “Matthew’s Crossing provides food assistance to individuals and families in need, specifically the working poor, children, seniors and individuals with disabilities on a fixed income, families in crisis and the homeless. Well over 1,000 holiday meals (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) were also distributed to local families in need. Your support is deeply appreciated and your donations go a long way as they help us continue to provide food assistance to our hungry neighbors in need. Thank you, Sun Lakes.”

Our generous community continues to have significant impact on meeting the need, both through the monthly Reach Out food drives and through the personal efforts of volunteers who work at the food bank itself, which is located at 1368 Arizona Avenue in Chandler. Matthew’s Crossing always needs additional volunteer help. If such direct participation activity appeals to you, please call 480-857-2296 for further information and details.

For information about Reach Out Sun Lakes, please contact Ellen Engel at 480-802-0425 or e-mail her at [email protected]