October 2013 Service Project: United Food Bank

United Food Bank

INSPIRE had the opportunity to volunteer with the United Food Bank in Mesa, AZ and we had a blast!  We were asked to sort through entire HUGE bins full of food. These bins were filled with food that people had donated and we needed to check to see if they were still edible, etc.

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INSPIRE and other volunteers separate food, figure out if it is expired or has nutrition facts, and then sorts it into specific boxes to be packaged.

Do you have any idea about how much hunger there is in Arizona?

Arizona Hunger Statistics

  • Arizona is tied as the worst state in the U.S. when it comes to child hunger, and the 5th worst for overall food insecurity.
  • 1 in 4 children; 1 in 5 adults; and 1 in 7 seniors struggle with hunger.
  • 888,100 unduplicated Arizonans received emergency food assistance in 2009, an 85% increase from the 2006 study.
    • Almost half (46%) of those were children under the age of 18
    • 74% of households lived below the federal poverty line, defined as $22,050 annually for a family of four.
    • 77% of households experienced food insecurity.

Maricopa County Statistics

  • More than 623,300 (16.5%) people live in poverty.
  • 26% of those living in poverty are children!
  • Nearly 1,138,000 (29%) are “working poor.”
  • Respondents to a Maricopa Association of Governments survey listed FOOD as their major need!
  • Food assistance requests are one of the most often received calls at 2-1-1 Arizona.

 

Boxes of food

So What does the United Food Bank do to help out those in hunger?

Highlights of Fiscal Year ‘11/’12 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012)

Food Distribution
We distributed 19,801,662 lbs. of food and grocery items (19,518,282 lbs. to 257
Community Partner Agencies/Sites & shared 283,380 lbs. with 5 sister food banks)

— Total Distributed food provided more than 16,501,300 meals – over 45,200 meals daily (365 days/year)
— 61% (12,084,030 lbs.) of all the food we distributed through partner agencies went to 151 partners in the East Valley & Maricopa
County
–During the year through our “Mobile Pantries” we made 1,555 distributions (an average of 130 distributions monthly) providing fresh produce and other food. More than 269,600 people were assisted.
— In our 30 year history (since 1983) we’ve distributed 257,659,895 pounds of food – food enough for 214,716,579 meals

Operations
–During an average workday our warehouse processed more than 80 tons of food
— For each $1 of expenses we can distribute 5.62 lbs. of food worth $9.04 – enough to provide 4.68 meals
— 4,764 volunteers (1,390 unduplicated) provided more than 51,300 hours of work – equivalent to 24.7 paid staff

SP Group Shot

INSPIRE was grateful to volunteer and be a part of the hunger solution!  So what did our dent in the fight for ending hunger look like. We sorted 4266 lbs. of food, Made 3,047 meals, and that comes out to about 169 meals per volunteer!

 

Children’s First Academy Service Project

INSPIRE was grateful to help out Children’s First Academy. We were able to help sort out hundreds of donated books for their school’s library. We had a great time and want to thank all those who came to help out!

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August 2013 Service Project at UMOM

The INSPIRE Chorus had an amazing experience volunteering at a UMOM New Day Center yesterday. UMOM is a shelter for the homeless with dependent children and families in transition.

 

The project was a literacy night for the kids who are residents there. We arrived early and set up tables and chairs and blankets all over the room. We put on name tags and got out the bins of books sorted by age with colored dots. They had us spread several hundred books all over the room. The children living at the shelter then arrived with a very loud entrance searching for smiling volunteers who would be willing to read to them. We read and talked and laughed and some of us built book forts when the kids were tired of reading. One boy went around and collected all the name tags from the volunteers. The kids seemed so happy and we loved being part of such a great night of service. The workers at UMOM asked to take our group picture afterward. We then met up with the INSPIRE group for some frozen yogurt. What a great night.

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INSPIRE San Diego Choir Tour (Day 1)

Saturday June 29, 2013

9:oo AM-12:00 PM  —Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center/Service Project

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We sang, “My Kindness” A Capella for the other workers and a group of college kids and leaders who were visiting the Estuary. It was a great experience to give of our time at the Tijuana Estuary!

1:00-7:00 PM – Free time in San Diego. 

 

INSPIRE Volunteers W/ Cardon Children’s Medical Center

INSPIRE volunteered with Walk For Water Safety and Cardon Children’s Medical Center to put together Water Safety and Drowning Prevention bags. These bags will be handed out to families.

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INSPIRE Plays Kickball W/ “Love, Your Friend”

INSPIRE was excited to play kickball with all those involved with the wonderful organization “Love, Your Friend.”  Brigham Nicoll, the President and Founder of LYF became friends with INSPIRE’s Co-Founder, Michael Sackett and that is how the two organizations started their friendship.

INSPIRE hopes to partner up with LYF in the future and would love it if anyone else wants to join us…? 🙂

Brigham, Kylee, Michael

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Here is a little more information about Love, Your Friend:

Love, your Friend is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to making time for our friends with physical and intellectual disabilities. We hold monthly activities throughout the year which help us accomplish our mission.

Mission of Love, your Friend

  • Provide activities that create positive social experiences for our friends with physical and intellectual disabilities.
  • Facilitate strong and enduring friendships among our members.
  • Provide our members with experiences, opportunities and resources that empower them to accomplish their specific goals and dreams.

INSPIRE Volunteers W/ Arizona’s Special Olympics

special olympics

In March 2013 INSPIRE was really excited to volunteer with the Special Olympics. We not only helped, score, give out lunches, direct people, organize, and so much more, but a few of us actually got to play basketball against the winning team.

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INSPIRE Volunteers W/ Feed My Starving Children

FMSC

INSPIRE was excited to do our first official service project on February 26, 2013 with an amazing organization called Feed My Starving Children. They were founded in 1987 my a business man who went on a service trip to Hondorus and was devastated by the poverty and children that were dying and starving of hunger.  Since their inception they have not only physically but also spiritually fed many! Here are some of their current stats:

FMSC Today
In early 2012, FMSC passed a milestone: 600 million meals produced over our history. Here is a snapshot of growth:

1994 2012
Meals 400,000 153,000,000
Volunteers 2,409 662,062
Employees 2 163
Partners 4 84 (primary)
Annual Budget $55,000 $38,600,000

By earning Charity Navigator’s highest rating for seven straight years, FMSC is among the nation’s 2% most -trustworthy charities. But the most important successes are the children—like Jonise of Haiti—given hope through MannaPack™ meals, and now leading productive lives.

FMSC Vision
With God’s help Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) will strive to eliminate starvation in children throughout the world by helping to instill compassion in people to hear and respond to the cries of those in need.