F.O.R. Maricopa gets food delivery from Eloy restaurant

April 8, 2020
In The News

On top of receiving free roof repairs, the F.O.R Maricopa food bank just received another major contribution in the form of over 1,400 pounds of bulk food items from the La Paloma family restaurant in Eloy. This project came to fruition with the combined efforts of Vice Mayor Nancy Smith and Councilwoman Julia Gusse.

Smith said she was given the mission by the mayor to see what immediate needs there were in the city. “Copa Cares Act 2020” aims to help facilitate services for seniors and individuals who require special assistance. An essential service during this time has been the F.O.R food bank.

“The food bank has seen a 30% increase in the need in just two weeks, and we anticipate that it’ll go up to 50% increase in need,” Smith said. “you can’t find bulk food to purchase at the normal food bank prices.”

The explosive spike in statewide unemployment brought on by the coronavirus outbreak seems to show a strong correlation with the growing food needs of the Maricopa community. With this in mind and the struggle to search for bulk food, Smith recruited the efforts of Gusse in hopes of connections she has through channels such as veterans’ associations.

The line went all the way up to Congressman Tom O’Halleran’s office. Gusse gained information that O’Halleran did indeed have a contact in the form of a closed restaurant in Eloy named La Paloma. The restaurant was willing to sell their bulk goods to the city at a discounted rate.

“Julia and I thought, ‘Well, we have discretionary funds, so let’s make this order and get this done,’” Smith said. “We made a huge order. We’ve covered the (food bank’s) effort for a month.”

Originally, plans were made for the National Guard to deliver the food, but that changed when the restaurant itself offered to make the trip over to deliver it early Tuesday morning.

“This has just been another huge boost for the food bank,” volunteer Gene Bischki said about the multiple contributions the food bank has received.

With the uncertainty of COVID-19 effects in the coming months, additional donations and efforts from other local organizations and entities are expected to continue, including what is said to be a sizeable contribution from Global Water sometime this week.