KGUN 9NewsEducation


Early child development services coming to south Pima County

Sahuarita Food Bank using grant money to open family resource center
Mr. Potato Head
Posted at 4:45 PM, Sep 18, 2023

SAHUARITA, Ariz. (KGUN) — For kids aged zero to five, resource centers like the one opening in Sahuarita might become more common in the City of Tucson.

“But in southern Pima County, we don’t have a lot of this,” Lela Messick with the United Way said.

Which is why she helped the Sahuarita Food Bank apply for a four-year grant to fund it.

While it’s not child care, it is a place for infants to play, and for parents to connect.

“We have baby gym, stay and play, arts for all kids, so activities for parents to do with their child," Messick said.

Classes will also be available for parents and guardians, ranging from help with workforce development, how to parent through a divorce and general tips.

“It can be scary to say I need help, I’m struggling with my children, I’m having trouble connecting but I really want to," Program Manager Sofia Castro said.

Workshops begin in October, and Castro says she expects the center to make a big impact in this area.

“You have a place to come and feel safe, there’s a professional guiding through the process and helping just a little bit," Castro said.

This will be just one of three family resource centers opened in the area.

The next two will be opened in the Sunnyside Unified School District and the Altar Valley Elementary School District.

Adam Klepp is a reporter for KGUN 9. At his previous station in Yuma, Adam focused on a range of local issues including the border, water rights and healthcare. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and attended both Loyola University Chicago and Syracuse University. Share your story ideas and important issues with Adam by emailing or by connecting on Twitter.