Feeding the hungry in our area had been the responsibility of various religious organizations. An increase in demand prompted the Greater Paradise Valley Community Council to form a subcommittee to study the hunger problem. Using surveys and projections this group concluded that there was a need for a non-governmental community based organization to service the hungry - so the Greater Paradise Valley Community Assistance Team (GPVCAT) was formed in April 1986.
The goals of the organization were to have a permanent storage facility for food, within our service boundaries, which would be available to clients referred by religious and charitable organizations. To facilitate this goal the first efforts were to locate a site and interest a core of volunteers to handle requests and stock food supplies.
Thanks to the encouragement and financial and logistical support of many businesses and religious institutions in our community, office and storage space was made available. A temporary location was established at 4242 E. Greenway Rd. Food drives conducted by area schools and businesses filled the shelves. By early 1987 we were in business.
A search for a permanent site led us to our Shea Plaza location in October 1987. The name GPVCAT was replaced by our business name Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank. We occupied a space rent-free until 1997 when a change in ownership necessitated our signing a lease agreement. New space was prepared and made available to us at our present location.
We are governed by a Board of Directors, meeting four times each year, made up of community business and civic leaders. Our connection to the business, civic and religious community is essential, as we must not only solicit food donations but also monetary contributions to offset our fixed costs.
We should all be proud of our part in the success of the Food Bank. Our motto, "Neighbors Sharing - Neighbors Caring," summarizes our commitment to our community.