COVID grantees delivering food and preparing food to distribute.

CFSA Provides Additional $50,000 in COVID-19 Relief Funding for Rural Food Insecurity

During a time of abundance for some and scarcity for others, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is pleased to announce that an additional $50,000 in COVID-19 relief funding was awarded in November to provide funding to rural nonprofit organizations addressing food insecurity.

In partnership with our generous donors and supporters, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has granted over $3.6 million in COVID-19 Response Grants since March 2020. To date, 267 grants were given to 168 organizations, totaling $3,717,949 in funding.

If you would like to learn how you can support efforts to combat food insecurity in our rural regions, please reach out to the Community Investment Staff at

November Grantees:

Grantee Highlights:

East Santa Cruz Community Food Bank is based in Patagonia, AZ and serves all of Eastern Santa Cruz County with supplemental food bags, boxes, and emergency food as needed. They provide an annual Thanksgiving distribution, along with monthly food bags.

Jim Staudacher, President of ESCCFB, shared, “The grant money we received from CFSA allowed us to purchase and distribute Thanksgiving Turkeys and Holiday Hams to our clients who otherwise were facing a holiday season without those traditionally special foods which have become expensive and in short supply.  Thank you CFSA!”

Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture stepped up to run the community food pantry in Ajo when COVID-19 hit. While this impacted their ability to do other important programming, they pivoted and started distributing food to families in need. Since the pandemic began, they have distributed more than 1.2 million pounds of food, making sure to provide culturally-appropriate and healthy foods.

Nina Sajovec, Founder and Director of Ajo CSA, shared, “This grant will allow a Native American-governed nonprofit Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture to continue a partnership-based emergency food relief program serving up to 500 families on the Tohono O’odham Nation and 300 families in Ajo.  We deeply appreciate the support of CFSA – it is thanks to your support that families in Ajo and on the Tohono O’odham Nation are not going to go hungry through the holidays.”

Arivaca Helping Hearts provides basic human needs, including medical and prescription co-pays and costs; propane, gasoline, and minor auto repairs; rent, water,  and phone bill assistance; groceries and baby needs; and more. They serve a population where 58% are on a fixed or low-income.

Beth Lusby, Treasurer of Arivaca Helping Hearts, shared, “Without the support of organizations like CFSA, we would not have been able to offer the help our clients desperately need.”

Arivaca Human Resources offers a number of services including food boxes, a food pantry, hot meal delivery for seniors, a clothing store, and much more. They deliver meals to Sasabe, Amado, and Arivaca and make sure to reach even the most isolated and in-need clients.

Rick Vogel, Board VP, shared, “These generous funds will allow us to continue to provide meals and emergency food to those in need, at a time we are not receiving adequate supplies from area food banks.”

Santa Cruz Valley Food Pantry is managed by Community Action Human Resource Agency Eloy to address the nutritional needs of food insecure households in Eloy, Arizona City, and Picacho areas. Volunteers of the food pantry shared, “This is an answer to our prayers. Thank you for helping us help others.”

Tombstone Community Food Bank serves central Cochise County with monthly food support and pantry visits. Pressures on supply chains during the pandemic have impacted the support pathways for food at this regional foodbank hub.

Ben Thompson, Director of the Tombstone Community Food Bank, shared, “Thank you CFSA the gracious support of the Tombstone Foodbank’s work. Your donation helps us assist those in our community to have a sense of food security in a region which lack ready access to even basic commodities. Your help at the holiday time also insures that we can provide a special meal to those who come through out doors.”

Willcox Community Food Pantry serves upwards of 500-600 people a week though drive-up food box distributions. Their demand has increased significantly since COVID-19 began, and anticipate they will distribute 650-700 holiday boxes to meet that demand.

Nell Worden, Director of the Willcox Community Food Pantry, shared, “This grant will help us pay for our Holiday Dinners (Thanksgiving and Christmas) which will cost up to $25,000 this year. The need is greater this year than even last years. This money is so appreciated!”