The Yavapai Food Council has hired a former businessman with expertise in wholesale food distribution to serve as the Yavapai Food Neighbors Project Coordinator.
Mike Newcomb and his wife, Donna, have been active in hunger prevention in Yavapai County since moving to Sedona in 2013.
Across Yavapai County, one in three children, one in four adults and one in 5 seniors is “food insecure,” according to a Food Council news release.
“As the demand for emergency food continues, organizations and programs providing food to the hungry are struggling to meet the needs,” the council said in a news release. “Yavapai Food Council is dedicated to supporting organizations that feed the hungry through innovative and effective programs, including the Yavapai Food Neighbors Project.”
In August 2013, the council introduced the Food Neighbors Project.
The community-based “green bag” project has attracted over 1,650 local donors to date who buy staple food products on their regular trips to the grocery store. Every other month, on the second Saturday, donors place their bags outside their front doors and before 9 a.m. neighborhood coordinators collect the bags and deliver them to one of the council’s four collection sites. There, the food is weighed, sorted and distributed to emergency food providers. To date, this project has produced over 275,000 pounds of community-donated food that equates to some 620,000 meals, the release said.
In his new role, Newcomb will assist with the growth and expansion of this venture.
“The Yavapai Food Neighbors Project has made a huge difference to emergency food providers across the county,” said Council Executive Director Amy Aossey. “We look forward to growing the project in the existing communities and adding a Prescott Valley collection site before year end under Mike Newcomb’s capable guidance.”