The Foothills Food Bank doesn’t just distribute food. It serves as the “hub” of a caring, cohesive, and grateful community all working together in rural Yavapai County. It is where folks gather to share food and encouragement, lifting each other up along the way. This community focus and caring spirit makes it a perfect partner for Catholic Charities.
By collaborating with Catholic Charities and other community partners, they collectively support residents of Black Canyon City to promote both safety and wellness.
Coming Together to Meet the Most Vulnerable
Catholic Charities Veterans Services and PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) outreach workers Rose Jaskulski and Pauline Jackson have partnered with Foothills Food Bank over the past year. During that time, they responded to a number of referral requests encompassing a variety of needs.
In some instances, they were able to fulfill these requests. Other times, they redirected people to other resources. They worked alongside Foothills Food Bank to help two individuals access resources and enroll in Catholic Charities’ homeless assistance and veterans’ programs.
Those efforts resulted in securing stable housing for both a female community member challenged by mental illness and a local veteran who faced sudden hardship after being asked to leave an inadequate housing situation. Both experienced homelessness and hopelessness. Through this partnership, they were able to attain stability and wellness through participation in Catholic Charities services.
Being There for Partners and Clients Alike
Food bank manager Kim Basile and assistant Nancy Wiederhold recently shared their thoughts on partnering with Catholic Charities, challenges in the community, and how they measure success.
“Working with Catholic Charities is great. When I call you are spot on when responding. I always know you are going to be there,” said Kim.
When asked about what encouraged them, both Kim and Nancy shared that their cooperative working relationship and fondness and appreciation for each other was the gas in their tank to keep them going.
Defining What Success Looks Like
Success is evidenced by the continued efforts of all community partners who are committed to working together. Kim lit up when she talked about a former food bank client who had moved from the area and was able to save penny by penny. Utilizing the services provided by the food bank allowed her to meet self-established goals, achieve independence, and secure housing.
They identified some challenges in the community to be lack of viable public transportation, absence of a pharmacy for medication and healthcare supplies, and limited health services. They also shared concerns regarding lack of services such as meal prep and delivery for shut ins.
Catholic Charities is grateful to be able to partner with the Foothills Food Bank and continues to foster this collaborative relationship to reach out to those most vulnerable in Yavapai County.