Paul's Note - November 6, 2020

Votes are still being counted and it's been a contentious week. I want to take the time to tell you about Tucsonans coming together to help our neighbors.

My staff volunteered for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona on Thursday. COVID-19 has caused many challenges for agencies like the Food Bank. Economic stress has, of course, made their services more needed. They also must keep their volunteers and employers safe during this public health emergency, which can make it harder to serve people in need.

The Community Food Bank started in 1975 and now serves people in 5 counties and has 300 partner agencies that it works with. The need was acute even before the pandemic. In 2019, the US Census’s American Community Survey said that there are 153,150 food insecure people in Pima County. That’s over 150,000 households, our neighbors, that don’t regularly have enough to eat. That’s become worse over the last eight months with the hit to our economy.

Along with my staff, employees of area businesses, community organizations and members of the military helped with Thursday’s distribution, one of two that the Food Bank does every week. Because of COVID-19 precautions, the distribution is now done in a drive-thru operation in the parking lot of Kino Stadium. It was a rather impressive assembly line. People would drive up with open trunks and one station gave bags of fruit, the next bottles of orange juice and so on until that family could drive away with what they needed for the week.

In all, volunteers managed to load up over 1300 cars. That’s 1300 Tucson families that will not have to worry about food for a few days.

It can be hard work moving boxes in the sun, but if you’d like to volunteer to help with the Kino food distribution or any of the numerous other programs that the Community Food Bank runs, you can visit them at https://volunteer.communityfoodbank.org/. Even with COVID-19 precautions, you’ll find that there are lots of ways to help.

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November 14th is America Recycles Day. As a part of that, Tucson Clean and Beautiful is Partnering with Environmental Services & local businesses to provide an E-Waste, Textile, and shred collection event.

The event will run from 9 am until 1 pm at the City Complex at 4004 S Park Avenue. They will be accepting documents to be shredded, textiles in any condition and electronics (functioning or not).

This will be a contactless event, so we ask participants to remain in their vehicles and volunteers will remove donations from your vehicle. Masks are required to be worn by anyone in attendance and social distancing will be in place.

Also, if you’d like to help keep our streets and rivers clean by organizing a clean up or participating in clean up events, Tucson Clean and Beautiful can offer you support by providing collection supplies like litter grabbers, gloves, bags and safety vests to make it safe and easy.

To find out more, email adoptasite@tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org. You can also go to their online request form.