We are neighbors helping neighbors
Who We Are
For 30 years I have lived half a block away from Emerson Elementary School in the Coronado Historic District in Downtown Phoenix. I have watched parents walk their children past my house to school over the years. 100 percent of the students at Emerson receive free lunch and breakfast. Six years ago, I noticed that the condition of the families had changed. As a nurse and mother, I saw that many of the children did not look as well-nourished as they once had. Witnessing these changes motivated me to meet with the social worker at the school and ask if a weekend food program would be helpful.
The social worker, principal and teachers were enthusiastic about having a way to fill this gap for the children. The teachers worked with the social worker to identify the students in need, neighbors pitched in, and Caring Coalition was born. It didn’t take long to get $600 in our bank account. We started by serving 20 students each week. Six years later, by January 2020, we were providing food for 90 students every weekend during the school year and had hosted 12 food drives. Donations from neighbors and grants from corporations and community foundations helped build our grass-roots effort.
In March 2020, the COVID 19 pandemic brought a whole new set of needs for the families we serve. Our generous community stepped forward again and within weeks we had an expanded program to meet those needs. Our base of operations was transformed from a place to store food for our weekend food program into a food pantry designed to pack family-sized boxes of food for home delivery.
Our pantry is filled with nutritious shelf-stable food available for families facing today’s challenges that include living in food deserts, experiencing sudden unemployment, or holding down a job while keeping children on task with distance learning.
In the United States alone, 5 million school children live in a household where people can’t afford sufficient food, according to the think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. When we hear about the growing numbers of unemployed around the world, impending evictions and lack of support for families, we can take heart, knowing we are contributing to our community.
We are neighbors helping neighbors.
Caring Coalition is run exclusively by volunteers, which allows us to use 100% of donations for services to the community. We are people of all ages and circumstances who come together to help our neighbors. We always welcome more helpers for running food drives or packing weekend care packages. If you would like to get involved in a hands-on way, please let us know.
Healthy Food Choices
We aim to provide our children and families with healthful and appealing food choices that meet these standards:
High in protein
Low in sugar
Free of artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners
Our nonprofit is funded solely on monetary and food donations from neighbors like you and we thank you for your support and kindness!
Sat Kaur Khalsa
Caring Coalition AZ