April 2013

Young People Giving Back

by Erika Clemens

Eagle Scout Rice Project
When it came time for seventeen-year-old Nathan Nelson to start his Eagle Scout Project, he decided he wanted to help those that were less fortunate in and surrounding his town of Gilbert. As an Eagle Scout, each boy is required to complete a service project that positively gives back to the community in some way. Nathan came up with the idea of collecting money to buy rice, with which he would help feed those in need.

After spending many hours organizing his project and finding supporters, he then went door to door in his neighborhood to collect donations. With this money he bought 1,500 pounds of rice in bulk, which allowed him to donate more and would in turn feed more people. He also succeeded in getting Basha’s and Fry’s to donate bags to him, which he and his friends hand-packaged the rice in at a local cannery.

Upon delivering the rice to our warehouse Nathan and his father were extremely proud of his huge accomplishment. “It feels awesome. If I was in need I’d want someone to help me out. It feels great to give back to the community I live in,” Nathan said. He went on to say that it is a passion of his to “do service for others… to treat people the way you want to be treated.” Nathan is one incredible example of a young person that is passionate about helping others. United Food Bank is so thankful for all of the effort he put into this project and for the 1,500 pounds of rice he collected, which will feed many people here in Eastern Arizona.

Girl Scout sells 1,000 boxes of cookies for UFB
The Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts haven’t been the only ones busy helping United Food Bank feed the hungry. Girl Scout, Rysa Milan, recently sold 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies and had them donated to the food bank. “I did this because I really wanted to make a difference in the world,” she said.

She walked right up to donors and told them they were going to buy 10,000 boxes of cookies. While this little saleswoman did not get her 10,000 boxes, she still sold 1,000! She’s already in the lead for most cookies sold among her troop and she’s getting a new patch to recognize her accomplishment. When she came by to drop off the cookies she said, “It just means a lot of things to me because I just like to help others.”

Next year she’s hoping to sell and donate 2,000 boxes to help those in need. Her father Greg Milan, who came with her to donate the cookies, was incredibly proud of his daughter. “I think it’s great. I think the whole Girl Scout organization is great and the things they do, especially this… staying here local and going to the food bank.”

These boxes of cookies will come as such a treat for so many Arizonans in need, especially when they see the variety. Everything from the favorite Samoas to Thin Mints to Do-Si-Dos were included in the donation. Many of our agencies’ clients will now get their own favorite box of Girl Scout Cookies this year thanks to Rysa and her extreme generosity.

So what’s Rysa’s favorite? “My favorite Girl Scout cookies… well I like all of them, I just can’t pick a favorite!”

ASU Students Fill the Flash
On March 27th, the student led group ASU4Food held its signature event “Fill the Flash” to benefit local Arizona food banks. Members of the group stood out all day on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus collecting nonperishable food and monetary donations to fill a Flash bus with. Just as important, the students worked to raise awareness about hunger and the need food banks are faced with among those passing by. In addition to the event, the members helped spread this awareness and collect donations on two separate days prior to it.

ASU4Food is run solely by student volunteers that are passionate about educating others on the growing rate of hunger in Arizona and helping battle it. This was evident by those that worked the Fill the Flash event. One student walked around with a megaphone to encourage people to donate and get involved.

All in all the students collected $849.59, which will provide 4,248 meals to those in need! At United Food Bank, we are so thankful and excited to see student groups like this working to make such an impact in their community. Each year this event will continue to grow and encourage more people to get involved in the issue. We cannot wait to see what more students like this will do to help in the fight against hunger.


Calling All Volunteers
United Food Bank needs volunteers to assist with the Hunger in America Study! This survey is coordinated by Feeding America every four years. The results of this study raise awareness about hunger and help food banks like us better understand the range of experiences faced by our agencies’ clients. Sign up today! More info here

Hike for Hunger
Hike for Hunger is coming up April 27th! Join the Mesa Baseline Rotary Club and UFB at Usery Mountain as we hike to fight hunger! This event is great for families and youth groups! Sign up today!