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Mesa adds new food distribution site amid economic fallout due to virus

(KTAR News 92.3 FM Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — The City of Mesa this week added a new food distribution site in an area where the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic is causing some families to struggle with hunger for the first time.

The new site is near Williams Field and Power roads in Mesa.

A few dozen cars pulled up Thursday morning to get food boxes prepared by Midwest Food Bank. They were filled with supplemental food, such as vegetables, rice, beans and eggs.

Jennifer Lynne Petrie was among the people who picked up a food box on Thursday. She’s employed at a nearby American Legion but hasn’t been working recently.

“Any little bit helps,” she told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Right now, we need it. We need all the help we can get.”

The new food distribution site is on the campus of the House of Refuge, which offers 88 transitional housing units for families experiencing homelessness.

Nancy Marion, the organization’s executive director, said that although the surrounding area is relatively middle to higher income, the need is still there.

“When you’re talking about unemployment and underemployment, that’s affecting everybody,” she said. “And so some of our neighbors out here are experiencing this for the very first time.”

Individuals and families who are in need of food assistance can pick up a food box at the House of Refuge, 6935 E. Williams Field Road, every Thursday and Friday between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.

“Our staff here will literally just put food in your car. They’re not asking any questions,” Marion said. “We’re just telling people to have a good day, and they drive off.”

This is part of the City of Mesa’s Feeding Mesa program that supports individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. As part of the program, drive-through food distribution is also available Wednesdays and Fridays at the Mesa Convention Center.

Funding for Feeding Mesa comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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