Just after the New Year, the U.S. Senate and House came to an agreement on measures to avoid the “Fiscal Cliff” calming financial markets. Yet, other “cliffs” that impact the vulnerable in Arizona and across the country where delayed. One such “cliff” is Sequestration, which would automatically make across-the-board cuts to both mandatory and discretionary spending totaling $1.2 trillion. This issue was delayed for two months for the new Congress to tackle. Another “cliff”, so called the “Dairy Cliff,” involves some portions of the Farm Bill that if left unresolved could dramatically increase the cost of milk. While the Farm Bill was extended for nine months, it still remains unresolved.
The United Food Bank and it’s advocates will continue to monitor what happens in Washington D.C., in hopes that any budget changes will be done while keeping the vulnerable and hungry in mind.
As we rang in the New Year on January 1, another 10,000 Baby Boomers turned 65. According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day until 2030. By then, 18% of the U.S.’s population will be age 65 and older, up from 13% in 2010.As of 2011, the U.S. Census estimated 19% of Arizona’s population were people aged 60 and over, with a rapid growth in those 85 and above. In other words, more Arizonans are reaching retirement age and living longer than their parents.This shift in the demographic makeup of Arizona will have a dramatic impact on all health and human services, especially food banks. According to Feeding America, the number of food insecure seniors across the U.S. is projected to increase by 50% in 2025, up from 8.4% or 2.5 million households in 2011. Other factors, such as job loss, high medical costs, or the failure of adequate retirement planning/saving have the potential to create a spike in demand for food and other vital services.Yet, as we talk about the future, it is important to note that 7.1% of Arizonans (U.S. Census, 2009-2011 American Community Survey) currently receive Food Stamps/SNAP benefits and 8.9% of Arizonans aged 60 and above live below the Federal poverty level.Here at the United Food Bank, our aim is to end hunger for Arizonans of today and tomorrow. We are especially committed to serving our seniors honorably. They pioneered, built businesses, created neighborhoods, and fought for our country. They made sure we had the chance to succeed and when they need us, we will answer that call – with a meal.
Turkey Drive 2012
Our Turkey drive numbers are in… This year we received 5,225 turkeys! There were so many individuals and businesses that contributed turkeys, non-perishable food items, and monetary donations to our drive.
Thanks to your generosity we were able to make Thanksgiving special for thousands of individuals and families throughout the East Valley and Eastern Arizona. The many clients of our Help Yourself Program were especially excited to see Thanksgiving dinner waiting for them in their shopping carts.