The $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefits provided in the CARES Act officially end July 31 – but because that lands on a Friday, this week is the last week for which out-of-work Arizonans will qualify for these added funds.
United Food Bank has been assisting families struggling financially as a result of COVID since March and expects to see a spike in need when benefits shrink. In addition to increasing our monthly food distribution amounts to our 220+ partner agencies, we also continue to offer food assistance to anyone who needs it at weekly distribution events.
Anyone interested and able to support these ongoing efforts can volunteer and/or donate at www.unitedfoodbank.org.
Food Distribution Events — When & Where:
- Each Friday from 7 a.m. – noon at the Mesa Convention Center for the foreseeable future.
- Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. or until food runs out at the Wells Fargo bank branch parking lot at 1860 E University Dr. in Mesa. Food distribution at this site currently is planned to continue through the month of August.
United Food Bank currently serves an average of 1,700 households representing 6,000 people at its weekly food distribution events. At the peak of area unemployment in April (13.4%), the food bank served as many as 2,500 households (10,000 individuals) each week.
Food distribution to United Food Bank’s partner agencies have risen from pre-COVID levels of 1.6 million pounds of food per month to a current level of 2.2 million pounds monthly. Extreme heat also has increased the need for bottled water during these summer months.
Media interview opportunities:
United Food Bank staff on-site would be happy to help facilitate interviews with clients impacted by the loss of the additional unemployment benefits. Call us to schedule.
Barb Harris, 480.296.5573
Added unemployment Information:
While the unemployment rate for Arizona went down in May (the most recent month reported), at 8.9% it was still twice the jobless rate Arizona reported at the beginning of the year, before COVID impacted the economy. Recent spikes in area COVID cases have also led to greater uncertainty about businesses’ ability to continue operating, which along with the loss of supplemental funds that were boosting the economy could lead to more job losses going forward.
About United Food Bank:
United Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been providing hunger relief to people in need in the East Valley and eastern Arizona for more than 35 years. We collect, acquire, store and distribute food and related commodities to more than 220 partner agencies that serve more than 228,000 people in need across more than 19,500 square miles. In 2019, United Food Bank distributed almost 24 million pounds of food providing nearly 19.5 million meals to our neighbors in need. In response to the economic impact of COVID 19, United Food Bank projects it will distribute nearly 25 million pounds of food (30 million meals) this year. Visit us at UnitedFoodBank.org. Follow us on Twitter @unitedfoodbank.