People & Places: Couple helps feed the hungry in the community
Food bank aids people in Chino Valley and beyond
It seems that during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays people are more aware of helping the needy. Rudy and Margo Salazar have been managing the Chino Valley Food Bank, for the past 18 years, help people in need all year long and loving every minute of it.
“We are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:15 for anyone who is in need. If they say they’re hungry we will overload that box. If we have it, they get it,” Rudy Salazar said.
“Even though the food bank is only open three days a week, Rudy and I are here seven days a week for one thing or another,” Margo Salazar said.
The original food bank was started in 1988 and was located across from the police department. But three years ago they were able to move into a new building built at 840 Road 1 South.
“A very generous man here in Chino Valley helped us build this building at no cost. God really blessed us with our friend, Angelo,” Rudy Salazar said.
“The Chino Valley Food Bank not only helps the people in our community of Chino and Paulden, but Prescott, Prescott Valley, Ash Fork, Seligman, Skull Valley, Cordes Junction, and more. We even help people in need with food who are traveling,” he said.
The Salazars have a total of 23 volunteers, who they say are the best. They help them separate the food, build the boxes and help distribute the food each week.
“When people come to the food bank they are shown to the back of the building when they can pick up their veggies, bread, and pastries, as they are allowed to come in once a week for bread and vegetables. Then the people get a box of food which consists of some meat, tuna, pasta, soup, beans, cereal, and canned vegetables,” Margo Salazar said.
With the holidays approaching, they will have more families to help and are always in need of holiday food, such as hams, turkeys, stuffing, potatoes, yams, etc.
“Of course cash donations are always welcome, and we purchase food with that money,” Rudy Salazar said. “This food bank is run by donations, and the government is not involved.”
“At Christmas besides the food we also let each child that comes in pick a toy,” Margo Salazar said.
“As a child I learned the value of a gift from the heart has no price. We both enjoy the people, the giving, and will continue this work until the Lord says that’s enough or calls us home,” Rudy Salazar said.
The most amazing thing about the Salazar’s work at the food bank is that Rudy is 86 and Margo is 76, which should be a real inspiration to seniors who think they can no longer be useful in society.
To contact the Chino Valley Food Bank call 928-636-8478.