Volunteer in Tucson: Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Community Food Bank Southern Arizona | Volunteer in Tucson: Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona's mission is "to change lives in the communities we serve by feeding the hungry today, and building a healthy, hunger-free tomorrow."

Whether or not you see it plainly in your own neighborhood, the fact remains that Pima County has a high poverty rate. In Southern Arizona, 1 in 4 children live at or below the Federal Poverty Level and 1 in 5 seniors in Arizona goes to bed hungry. As the food bank so aptly puts it, "hunger is closer than you think."


Where is the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona located?

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona warehouse can be found in Central Tucson at 3003 S. Country Club Road.

The warehouse is a 140,000 square foot building, which was originally a Levy's Department Store. The property is also home to a learning garden, a shaded play structure, a resource center, and office space. The demonstration garden hosts a number of gardening workshops throughout the year that are free and open to the public (regardless of income).

In ongoing sustainability efforts, the food bank features a parking lot with solar panels that produce 68,000 watts AC (enough to power seven average-sized houses) and a HUGE 14,000 gallon rainwater barrel that keeps the garden alive. The food bank actively recycles cardboard, plastic, aluminum, wood pallets...even food. Unusable food is given to pig farmers or used for compost.

In addition to the central headquarters, The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona also operates:

  • Resource Centers in Green Valley, Amado, and Nogales.
  • Las Milpitas Community Farm at 2405 S. Cottonwood Lane, which offers free garden plots to grow fruits and vegetables.
  • Caridad Community Kitchen at 845 N. Main. Caridad offers free grab n go meals and a free culinary training program. Staff at Caridad prepare community meals and senior meals in partnership with Catholic Community Services and Lutheran Social Services.

If someone is hungry, how might they go about receiving food from the bank? Is there paperwork to complete? Are there income guidelines?

Someone in need of food can come to the main Community Food Bank warehouse at 3003 S. Country Club Road. They should bring a photo ID and something that shows their mailing address. Before picking up food, they will self-disclose their income and the number of people who live in their household.

While 3003 S. Country Club is the address for the main warehouse, note that there are many partner agencies and pantries that supply food in other parts of town.

What should a teacher, coach, or neighbor do if they suspect that a child is hungry?

School counselors can often help. There are also a growing number of school pantries throughout Southern Arizona. Many churches and agencies offer food as well. Click on the link in the question directly above this one for more ideas.


Are there volunteer opportunities available?

Yes! The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona welcomes volunteers. You may be able to help with one or more of the below tasks.

  • Food Boxes: Packing food boxes is a great project for groups or individuals.
  • Farming: Help with a variety of outdoor tasks at Community Food Bank's urban farm, Las Milpitas de Cottonwood.
  • Sorting: Help sort food donations given by local community members.
  • Garden: Volunteer to work in the garden. Garden mentors are also needed to mentor home and school gardeners for two seasons.
  • Events & Food Drives: Help out at special events.
  • Check-in: Shifts available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. Fluency in English/Spanish is preferred.
  • Distribution: Help load grocery carts with food, assist with stocking, and other tasks.
  • Meal Assembly: Help portion senior meals or assemble Grab & Go meals at Caridad Community Kitchen.

Morning and early afternoon shifts are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Volunteers shifts are available all day Thursday, and morning shifts are available every fourth Saturday of the month.

Email [email protected] for additional details about current volunteer projects and requirements.

What are the training requirements?

There is an application for individuals and an application for groups. Volunteer shifts are generally 3 hours, but there is flexibility. One-time volunteer opportunities are also available.

After the application has been processed, new volunteers take a group tour and learn some basic warehouse rules (no open toe shoes or talking on cell phones, check in/checkout procedures, etc.).

Do you have volunteer opportunities for teens?

Yes. Anyone who is ages 16+ and meets the volunteer requirements may serve as a volunteer. Older elementary and middle school students may volunteer also if accompanied by a parent.

Can I volunteer with my children?

Due to safety concerns, regular volunteers must be age 16 and up.

Kids can also participate in the effort to end hunger by organizing and/or contributing to food drives.

What if I can't volunteer my TIME?

  • Donate food. Most-needed items include peanut butter, cereal, canned soups, canned tuna and chicken, canned tomato products, canned vegetables and fruit, beans, pasta, rice, and nuts. Note that there are drop-off locations all around town.
  • Donate money. For every $1 donated, approximately 4 meals are provided to children, seniors, and families in need.

Who should I contact if I want to become a volunteer?

Call 520-882-3292 or send an email to [email protected].


Is the Community Food Bank on social media?

Yes! You can follow Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can also sign up for the food bank's newsletter to receive updates about events, volunteer opportunities, and pressing needs.

To learn about other volunteer opportunities in Tucson, please subscribe to TucsonTopia's free weekly newsletter.

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