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Globe Mayor Al Gameros was on hand at the ribbon cutting where he encouraged residents to contribute to the food bank and thanked the Salvation Army and its partners for establishing a second food bank in Globe. Photo by LCGross

Salvation Army converts former daycare site to food pantry

After shuttering its daycare center on Cedar Street in the wake of the COVID shutdown, the Salvation Army Globe Service Center facility has been resurrected as a “client choice” food pantry where residents can get something to eat during times of need.

The facility has been redesigned to give shoppers an option to choose their own variety of foods for home preparation, but emergency food boxes are also available. Shopping is based on a point system, and there is a limit on how often people will be able to shop at the food pantry.

According to Colonel Olin Hogan, Salvation Army Southwest Divisional Service Extension Director, there was not sufficient participation in the daycare in the wake of the COVID pandemic and it became financially unsustainable for the organization to continue. Hence the decision to focus on food.

“One issue for us was that 32% of the Gila County children under 18 live below the poverty line and are food insecure,” Hogan says. “We decided we had to do everything we could to try and address that issue.”

The Salvation Army partnered with the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Molina Health and Freeport-McMoRan to effect the change, but is always seeking donations from the community from anyone that can afford to give.

“Molina has always been committed to making an impact and improving the lives of individuals across the state,” says Minnie Andrade, Plan President for Molina Healthcare of Arizona. “An important component of making an impact is addressing social determinants of health by providing access to critical resources for families in our community.”

The Salvation Army started as an offshoot of the Methodist Church in London, England in 1865. The organization found that in order to help people stabilize their lives, food was the foremost need to be addressed and has become the largest provider of social services in the world, operating in 130 countries, according to Hogan.

“Since we started over 100 years ago, we have provided food and clothing and other kinds of services to people who were in need and that’s been a staple for us,” he says. “We believe that nobody should go to bed hungry and the food pantry is a positive step forward.”

Hogan added that the numbers justified the change of focus, given that in the past 14 months, the Salvation Army Globe Service Center has served more than 700 people in the community with emergency food assistance and other aid.

According to CensusReporter.org, 32% of Gila County children under 18 live below the poverty line and Feeding America indicates that 14% of Gila County residents are food insecure.

In 2022, the Salvation Army helped more than 280,000 Arizonans receive a range of social services, offering food for those in need, shelter and clothing for the homeless, rent and utilities assistance, disaster relief, respite from extreme weather conditions, senior activity and outreach, adult rehabilitation, opportunities for under-resourced children, holiday assistance, and other services.

Hogan says the easiest way to take advantage of the food pantry and other services available through the Salvation Army is to call the service center at 928-425-4011.

“That number will open up the panoply of services that we provide,” he says. “Such as emergency food boxes, utility assistance with Project SHARE, and other financial aid is available at that number as well.”

Andrade says Molina Health’s participation is part of its overall strategy to improve health outcomes for people who may be at risk due to the effects of not getting enough to eat.

Minnie Andrade, Plan President for Molina Healthcare of Arizona. Courtesy photo

“Molina Health is thrilled to partner with organizations that share our dedication to improving the lives of those in need,” Andrade says. “Everybody deserves access to nutritious food, whatever their background or circumstance, and the Salvation Army’s Food Choice pantry is a major step in the right direction, empowering individuals in the Globe community to improve their health and well-being.”

The food pantry, located at 161 E. Cedar Street in Globe, will be open Monday through Friday from 1-4 p.m. and will offer such items as frozen meat options, tuna, rice, beans, fruits, vegetables, cereal, oatmeal and more.

Shoppers must make an appointment to shop at the food pantry and can schedule by calling 928-425-4011.

Anyone interested in donating to the program can contact the service center directly.

For more information about the Salvation Army, go to SalvationArmySouthwest.org.

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