Thankful For Compassion
Earlier this month I wrote about our local Valley View Community Food Bank and their perilous financial situation. Food donations have simply not kept pace with the demand. Of all the local food banks, Valley View has always been the most proactive in trying to raise funds to feed the poor. The one here in Sun City has taken a novel approach toward keeping their operation running. They leased a building in an old 70's era strip mall, with half of the building serving as the food bank, the other half as a thrift shop to raise money for store maintenance as well as buying food to supplement food donations.
Alas, just this past week Valley View has been forced to close down their Sun City operation. Their lease rent was $10,000 per month and they could not meet the payments. So Valley View is moving to nearby El Mirage and will occupy a smaller space for half the least rent.
I am saddened by this. More than 50% of Valley View's food donations were made to seniors right here in Sun City, seniors living on social security checks as little as $700 dollars per month. To comprehend that try to imagine paying property taxes and gas and electric bills and buying food and paying for your subscription drugs on $700 per month. And, as most of you know, the government has decided Social Security recipients don't get a pension increase this year because "there was no inflation"...(try telling that to anyone whose tried to buy meat this year, or eggs, or pay increased utility bills). In case after case seniors living on Social Security must decide between buying food or paying for their prescription drugs.
So, the Valley View Community Food Bank was providing an essential service to seniors here. And while many of them could previously hop in their golf cart and motor down to the food bank, they'll no longer be able to do that at the new location. And since Valley View food bank simply can't afford to make home delivery there was a real chance many of our seniors would go without a Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Happily, just this past weekend, the Director of Valley View has decided he simply can't abandon those old folks. So, though the food bank is no long in operation, he's boxing up Thanksgiving dinners and will haul them over to a parking lot in Sun City and will distribute them on Wednesday.
Don't know what the old folks will do for Christmas dinner, or for the rest of the year, but Valley View is making sure they have a Thanksgiving dinner. Bless their heart. I'm most thankful this year that we still have people who care about other people.