CAVE CREEK (3TV/CBS 5) - It's not the way most people retire, running a food bank that helps hundreds of families.

But Pam DiPietro can't imagine doing anything else.

"When you meet these people, you see how appreciative they are," said DiPietro. "It makes you feel good, and that's why I stay with it."

The Valley grandmother is Executive Director of the Desert Foothills Food Bank in Cave Creek.

That non-profit started helping 30 to 35 families, but now provides, food, clothing and job training to thousands of people.

DiPietro can always be spotted working with volunteers, organizing food baskets and helping clients in need.

"We are seeing a growing number of seniors, that they thought they had enough money to retire and realized they didn't. Being able to get food here -- can open up dollars that they would have spent at the grocery store, or to pay a bill."

Jerry McCloskey has been volunteering at the food bank for 12 years, and has seen DiPietro's drive and dedication.

McCloskey reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to a woman making a difference one food box at a time.

"I personally know of someone that she has actually, after hours gone to pick the person up," said McCloskey. "She was homeless and actually got her a place to stay and live."

A news crew followed McCloskey when he showed up at the Food Bank to surprise the director and give her $500.

"I've been watching the Channel 5 Pay it Forward segment for years, and I said who do I know that would be a great candidate for this, and of course it would have to be you. So on behalf of Channel 5 Pay It Forward, we'd like to present you with $500 for all of your dedication and work that we have seen over the years."

"It gives me pleasure to know that I'm helping people," said DiPietro.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


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Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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