Desert Mission Food Bank has served Valley for more than 75 years

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ever since the recession sent Arizona's construction industry into a tailspin, electrician John Alster hasn't always known where his next job will come from. “I don't have work every single day anymore; I get work a couple of days a week.”

But one thing he does not have to worry about is where his family's next meal will come from. “So when I feel we are going to be on a real tight budget, this is a great place to come to get a little food in the refrigerator and cupboards to help us and our family.”

This place is the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network's Desert Mission Food Bank.

“We have been around since 1927, serving individuals in our community that need a little bit of help with food and security," says Marcia Mintz, president of JCL Health Foundation.

She says the food bank serves nearly 250 people every day. “We have a lot of what the state calls the working poor families, where it is two adults trying to sustain their family but they just can't make it on the amount they have.”

The food bank serves people in 19 Valley zip codes, and like all others provides a federal emergency food kit each month.

Mintz showed us some of what comes in that box. “You've got some beans," she says. "This is golden; our peanut butter is gold. And then we have some canned vegetables, green beans and sauce, and that is it. This is what is considered an emergency food box to sustain a family.”

But unlike some other food banks, clients won't leave with just that bag, she says. "What is special about what happens here is that we get to supplement that food with incredible things, like extras.”

Bread, meat, and produce are all "extras" to fill up the cart. And that's a huge help to families like Alster's,

“It is great to get that much food," he says. "That way this week, we don't have to worry about spending too much money at the store.”

Mintz says no community can be truly healthy if people are hungry. "We exist not only for the health of our clients, but the well-being of our clients as well.”

Alster agrees. “For us, it is something that helps us out as often as we need, and we don't have to worry about food for today or tomorrow,' he says.

The food bank even has pet food for families.

All food banks in Arizona serve clients in certain zip codes. For a list of food banks near you, you can check online at azfoodbanks.org or call:

(602) 528-3434 : local

(800) 445-1914 : toll free

Desert Mission serves zip codes 85020, 85021, 85022, 85023, 85024, 85027, 85028, 85029, 85032, 85050, 85051, 85253, 85254, 85053, 85085, 85086, 85087, and 85331.

9229 N. Fourth St.

Phoenix, AZ 85020

Phone: 602-870-6062

Hours

Mon., Tues. and Thurs.:

8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesday:

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Friday:

8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Donation hours are the same as hours of business

For information visit: Jcl.com/desertmission