Introducing the Joshua Tree Feeding Program
Back when Marisa Hall told me that she wanted her bag to benefit the Joshua Tree Feeding Program, I had never heard of them. I was immediately intrigued on reading their information. Marisa and I finally had an opportunity to go there this morning and meet with them. They are a pretty incredible group of people and I’m excited we are connected!
JTFP does two great things. First of all, they provide food to low-income members of our community who have been diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. They have been doing this since 1988. Pretty quietly, pretty consistently, and to a group of people who really need good nutrition (super important for building and maintaining the immune system, and in the case of HIV/AIDS, to help fight off infections).
JTFP provides, at no cost to its participants, one weekly food box. In the past 12 months, they have given food to 283 clients; they average 302 free food boxes per month. They have strong relationships with the Association of Arizona Food Banks, and also St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, but as with any charity, there is always a need for as much connection as possible. Check out the CHARD they showcase on their Facebook page!
Something very cool about JTFP is that they also provide support for the pets of their clients. When I asked how that came about, they shared that they were noticing that clients were making choices for their food boxes based on what their pets liked and didn’t like. So touching that people in dire consequences themselves love their pets enough to put their needs first!
Recognizing that both people and pets needed help, JTFP started a separate Pet Assistance program that last year distributed 8,071 pounds of dog and cat foodto 652 last year alone! If you think one step further, the fact that JTFP provides pet support to their client likely saved more than a few furry friends from less desirable fates at the animal shelter. (They also work with shelters to procure discounted adoption rates for their clients.) It is a great win-win for everyone involved, tail or no tail.
I am going to go down on food box day on Wednesday, March 13, to get to know some of the faces JFTP serves. Marisa said she’s in as well. If you’d like to join us please let us know!
In the meantime, if you like what you are hearing, here are some ways you can support the JTFP.
1. Buy Marisa’s bag. 1/3 of the profits from sales will be donated. Until March 8, the price for bags is $18; after that they are $20.
2. Attend their fundraiser and pet fair this Sunday! Dodgeball! Fur and wagging tails! Great weather! How can you go wrong?!?!?!?
3. Donate directly, to www.wepay.com/donate/jtfp
We are hoping to be at upcoming events and to be more closely connected with these great people.
So grateful that Marisa turned me on to this great organization. I had the best morning spending time with them and look forward to more of that!