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Community Food Bank gets boost as Winterhaven lights up again

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is collecting food donations at the Winterhaven Festival of Lights.
Posted at 9:50 PM, Dec 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-12 00:16:41-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — COVID-19 kept the Winterhaven Festival of Lights dark last December.

But Tucson’s huge holiday celebration made its long-awaited return on Saturday. That’s giving the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona a big boost.

The festival is free, but organizers ask that people bring food items to donate at one of five drop-off locations in the neighborhood.

“We’re so happy to see people bringing a bag of food here because it adds up,” said Community Food Bank marketing specialist Norma Cable. “There’s two weeks of Winterhaven, and that can add up to, I think our last total the last year we had Winterhaven was 42,000 pounds.”

The Food Bank’s goal this year is 50,000 pounds of food.

Winterhaven is the Food Bank’s second-biggest food drive of the year. The holiday season is when there’s the biggest need for food.

“So we do see that demand come to pick up during the holidays,” Cable explained. “And it makes sense, with so much focus on food, with extra family staying with you. Sometimes that really is difficult for people who are just trying to make ends meet.”

With the festival cancelled last year, the Food Bank saw an influx of cash donations. But Cable says the food drives are critical because they provide a variety of food that can be given to the community.

“You know, like icing on the cake, it’s already a great event,” Cable said. “Then when you add that component of giving food that’s badly needed. It’s really a wonderful thing for us.”

The Winterhaven Festival of Lights runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 26.