Eagle Scout Ryan Rupa of Gilbert set a goal for himself: to provide 210 cases of water to United Food Bank. Last Monday, he exceeded that goal, delivering 223 cases, much to the delight of the food bank staff.
“As the temperatures warm up, donations tend to decrease, but the need, especially for water, is still there,” says Bob Evans, United Food Bank President and CEO. United Food Bank provides food to more than 270 agencies throughout five counties in Arizona and serves the entire East Valley.
“I chose United Food Bank because I felt a sense of comfort when studying about them and I knew their goal was a lot similar to mine,” says Ryan. “I chose water because I know how ridiculous these Arizona summers can get and how extreme the temperatures are. It is so sad to think that people can’t drink water when it’s over 100 degrees.”
Ryan went door to door, telling people when he would be by to collect the water. “After the initial collection, I was short, so I asked friends and family to help,” he says.
Others who would like to donate water can bring it to United Food Bank at 245 S Nina Drive in Mesa from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We provide food and water to 230-plus agencies in Arizona, including homeless shelters, soup kitchens, senior citizen centers and kids’ programs,” says Lisa Goin, chief development officer. “During the summer, we never have enough water to serve all of the groups that we help.”
The Town of Gilbert and the City of Chandler have launched a friendly food drive competition for its residents and employees. Several drop-off points have been set up throughout the two communities. Water and non-perishable foods such as tuna, peanut butter, canned vegetables, soups, beans, nuts are needed.
“As temperatures heat up, donations of both food and money dip for us, but the need is still there, so this competition comes at the perfect time,” says Evans.
To get a food donation box at your office or business, call 480-503-6766 for the Town of Gilbert and 480-782-2000 for the City of Chandler. Gilbert residents can drop off donations at Town Hall buildings or any local fire station. For a list of locations where donations can be dropped off in Chandler, visit chandleraz.gov/fooddrive. The competition runs through May 31.