Borderlands Food Bank can trace its history back to the early 1990’s. In 1992, the Mariposa Community Health Center (MCHC) formed a committee to explore the possibility of starting a food bank to provide assistance to the hungry in Santa Cruz County.
The following year, the MCHC met with the Community Food Bank in Tucson to ask for help with publicity and fund-raising. Community Food Bank provided MCHC with $10,200 to pay rent on a small warehouse in Nogales, Arizona. A grant from FEMA allowed them to provide emergency food boxes.
In May 1994, Community Food Bank took over the management of the Nogales food bank from MCHC, and decided that the food bank, which they named Borderlands Food Bank, should become a non-profit entity. A Board of Directors was formed, and in January 1995 Yolanda Soto was appointed Executive Director. Borderlands remained under the management of Community Food Bank until 1996, when at the urging of Ms. Soto, it became an independent entity. In August 1997, Borderland Food Bank received its 501(c3) designation.
Over time, Borderlands eventually outgrew its original facility. It currently leases a 13,000 square foot warehouse in Nogales. The facility has two cold rooms to better maintain the integrity of the donated product.
Currently, Borderlands receives approximately 20 to 40 million pounds of produce annually from over 120 donors. Less than 1% of the donations are non-produce - milk, canned soup, etc. Of the produce donated, usually up to 7% is not usable; it is either sent to local farmers as animal feed, trucked to Amado Ranch who composts or trucked to the local landfill. Some of the remaining produce is not saleable for cosmetic reasons, but is perfectly edible.
The Food Bank distributes food to a multitude of non-profit agencies and to individual families through its Client Service Program, Veggies R Us - Arizona Program – Produce on Wheels With-Out Waste (P.O.W.W.O.W.), which also has an extension program P.O.W.W.O.W. After-Hours - Produce Travels and PAC – Potpourri for Animals and Compost.
Our Arizona Charitable Tax Credit number is QCO20938.