Manzanita Outreach expands food sharing services to accommodate stay-at-home guidelines
In response to the impact of COVID-19 in the Verde Valley, Manzanita Outreach has made wholesale changes to its operations in order to meet the growing demand for food assistance locally. The organization works closely with other food assistance providers in the region to ensure that all of our neighbors have enough healthy food to eat.
Manzanita Outreach is on pace to share food with over 3,500 families (9,000 residents) in April; over double the amount served before the COVID-19 outbreak. Their primary services include weekly drive-thru food sharing events and home delivery of food boxes to hundreds of residents at several senior living facilities in the area. Through these services, Manzanita Outreach is providing food assistance to over 10% of the Verde Valley population.
“Our organization has the capacity to expand much further as the community need increases,” said Mike Newcomb, executive director, “We’ve changed our food sharing process to a drive-thru model where our volunteers load food boxes into the trunk of our neighbor’s vehicles. In addition, we’ve hired a dedicated staff to receive, sort and package food boxes in our warehouse and we have implemented processes in alignment with CDC safety guidelines.”
The organization also maintains a website where residents can discover where and when food assistance is provided in a drive-thru manner throughout the Verde Valley.
Newcomb continued, “If someone is unable to attend a Food Sharing event, they may assign a friend or neighbor to pick up food on their behalf at a weekly Manzanita Outreach event. Fill out the “Proxy Form” on MOhelp.org. This is a great way for someone to help out their neighbor who could use some food assistance, but is unable to leave their home.”
Manzanita Outreach drive-thru Food Sharing events occur every Friday from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of Verde Valley Christian Church at 406 S 6th St in Cottonwood. Signs will be posted to lead residents to the event.
About Manzanita Outreach
Founded in 2011, Manzanita Outreach is a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit whose mission is to share the abundance of resources within our communities with dignity and joy. To discover where and when food is shared in your community, please visit MOhelp.org. To donate to support these efforts, please visit manzanitaoutreach.org. For media inquiries, please contact Mike Newcomb at 1-833-MOHELP1, ext. 3.