VOC partners with local organizations to start food pantry

After seven years of hoping, praying and waiting, the Village of Oak Creek finally has a food pantry.

In partnership with Manzanita Outreach and St Mary’s Food Bank, The Village of Oak Creek Church of the Nazarene (VocNaz) is hosting a Mobile Food Pantry twice each month at 55 Rojo Drive, 86351.

The second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. there will be food for everyone, no matter your income.

“Mike Newcomb, Executive Director for Manzanita Outreach, really made this happen,” said Jim Cunningham, senior pastor at VocNaz. “Mike approached Pastor Cindy and me last year, having heard from Harvey Grady that we wanted to start a food bank. We have some space in our building, but we don’t really have the staffing or funding to take on something so big, which makes this a real answered prayer.”

Instead of being housed in the church building, this pantry shows up in a refrigerated truck, loaded with fresh food such as vegetables, snacks, bread, etc. Additionally, once a month there is a box with staples like juice, cereal, chili, spaghetti and sauce. There are sometimes extra items like watermelon, cantaloupe or bottled drinks.

“These are items every family can use," said Cindy Cunningham. "They are fresh, delicious and nutritious. The Nazarene Church spends much of its time, energy and resources meeting the needs of our community in one way or another. There are other organizations doing good work resolving food insecurity: the Yavapai Food Council’s Food Neighbors Project and Backpacks for Big Park, Cornucopia Community Advocates, Meals on Wheels, Sedona Food Bank."

She continued, “The most important thing we can say to our community is, ‘Come get food and please…tell your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.’ People don’t even have to live in the Village to get the food. Just show up.”

There are proxy forms available for those who are unable to be there at the designated time. You can become a proxy and deliver food for anyone you know who can’t be there, or you can contact the church and give them the person’s contact information.

For any questions or to financially contribute or volunteer to assist, contact Jim Cunningham at pastorjim@vocnaz.org or call 702-810-4048. The Mobile Food Pantry in the VOC is just one of four locations in the Verde Valley. You can find full details of the other sites at www.manzanitaoutreach.org.

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