Maricopa Pantry, which has been serving the west Pinal County city for seven years, suffered a devastating loss when its storage and equipment facility was destroyed in a March 28 fire. Now it’s rebuilding with the help of the community.
“We’re not done, it’s just a new beginning,” CEO and founder Jim Shoaf said in a Facebook video posted two days after the blaze that consumed several semi-trailers and a storage container full of food. Donations had already started pouring into a GoFundMe campaign and other portals for supporting the food bank.
An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 pounds of food were lost in the blaze. Shoaf said St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix and Midwest Food Bank in Gilbert had offered to help the pantry by sending trailers and food to the property as soon as it was safe to do so, and he hoped to build a more secure warehouse to replace the trailers.
The trailers were behind Mountain View Community Church, where Maricopa Pantry is based, at 4066 N. Hidden Valley Road south of Maricopa. The church building was not affected, and no injuries were reported.
Initial witness reports indicated the fire may have been caused by an animal chewing or getting caught in the wiring underneath one of the trailers. The food bank serves about 1,200 families per week, and swept the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce’s awards in the nonprofit category last year.
Visit @MaricopaPantry on Facebook for updates. Donations to the food bank can be sent through:
- Rebuild Fund for Maricopa Pantry at www.gofundme.com