Verde Valley Green Bag Project collects 12,000+ pounds of food in December

VOC Neighborhood Coordinators: from left,  Margie Gershtenson, Kim Mellers, Suzie Dunn, Anne Biermann, and Kathy Wozniak

VOC Neighborhood Coordinators: from left, Margie Gershtenson, Kim Mellers, Suzie Dunn, Anne Biermann, and Kathy Wozniak

Generous individual donors throughout Cottonwood, Sedona, and the Village of Oak Creek made the holidays a little brighter for local residents by contributing 12,220 pounds of non-perishable food items at the Verde Valley Neighborhood Food Project’s December collections, the group reports.

Those pounds represent 10,183 meals for those served by local food pantries and local schools’ weekend backpack programs.

The December one-day collection greatly surpassed the equivalent of 8,500 meals collected last October as part of the bi-monthly neighborhood-based program.

“Local individuals really opened their hearts and filled up their green bags with the last collection of 2018,” according to Nicole Davis and Che’lee Skinner, co-chairs of the Verde Valley Neighborhood Food Project.

The non-perishable food items donations are a critical element of the overall effort of supporting those who feed the hungry in the Verde Valley, greatly supplementing the donations from grocery stores, food drives conducted by local businesses, churches, and schools, and other one-time food drives conducted over the holiday period.

“We all recognize the fact that hunger does not take a holiday,” Davis adds, and the green bag program provides organizations such as the Sedona Food Bank with a year ‘round, stable source of donated food.

That is a key component of the Verde Valley Neighborhood Food Project -- making sure that food banks and schools that rely on the project know the collection will be taking place regularly, beyond just the holiday season.

The next collection will be held on Saturday, February 9, when neighborhood coordinators will begin going through their neighborhoods at 9 am to pick up the iconic green bags filled with food.

For more information on how to participate by filling up your own green bag, please contact the Verde Valley Neighborhood Food Neighbors Project at


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