Front yard food bank still going - with a twist

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A woman from Glendale made headlines a year ago when the city tried shutting down her front yard food bank – but she didn’t quit.

A year ago, the city of Glendale was trying to stop the food giveaway operation Millie Ramirez was running out of her front yard, saying the neighborhood wasn’t zoned for her operation.  But Millie refused to stop giving away food despite warnings and threats of citations.

“Been giving food away.  Been giving lots of food away free,” Millie said when 3TV caught back up with her on Wednesday.

Now, however, Millie has ended her front yard food bank – but not because anybody told her to do so.

“Makes me feel pretty good because it really did hurt to think that at one time I was going to have to give it up,” said Millie.

Exactly the opposite of giving up, Millie found a way to give even more.  Millie teamed up with a relatively new Glendale company called The Goodie Boxes.

“Millie found me and I was excited to see what she was doing and be able to expand her vision.  We are like minded.  We believe that everybody should be able to eat,” said Melissa Bailey, The Goodie Boxes. 

Melissa sells family sized boxes of food at wholesale prices.  At just $37 - $40 per box, they feed a family for a week or an individual for up to a month.  Melissa delivers the boxes for free to low income people and if someone can’t afford the service – that’s where Millie and her huge network of donors come in.

“Millie's assistance is huge.  I would not have been able to do the giveaway program without her help,” said Melissa.

Virgil Snyder is a Goodie Box customer, but when some unexpected bills left him without enough money to buy food, Melissa went to Millie and Virgil got his food for free.

“They really did, they helped me out when I was having a hard time,” said Snyder.

The first time Millie and Melissa teamed up they fed 100 people at a food giveaway and they've fed hundreds since with thousands to come.

“I know not everybody has a heart to do this, but those of us that have been given that heart – I think it's a shame if it gets trampled to where it has to end,” said Millie, “And I'm one of the fortunate ones that it doesn't have to end and actually I think it's going to grow even bigger.”

The Goodie Box has a companion charity called Plenty For All.