TUCSON, Ariz. — It’s lights out in Winterhaven this year, which means the thousands of canned food donations that are collected every year at the event won't be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make sure Tucson is fed.
“I think like the rest of the community are saddened by this news, but also we completely support this decision to put the health and the safety of our community first, especially in this year,” said Norma Cable, Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
Although we won’t see people milling around the neighborhood showing their holiday spirit, the food bank explained there are other ways to donate.
People can still drop off food donations and make monetary donations through the Food Bank's website.
It’s something important that vendors like Julie Wycoff with Winterhaven Hayrides recognize.
“Everyone needs to remember this year, if possible, especially since the need is so much that we remember the donations to the food bank this year.”
In fact, the food bank says they have seen people that never thought they’d need a food bank," said Wycoff.
Luckily, the Food Bank is on track to feed everyone this holiday season.
“Thanksgiving brings our busiest time of year, we do have enough food, thanks to the community. We do have, what we need. We are going to be able to keep our doors open and have what we need for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” explained Cable.
One thing the food bank appreciated the most about the festival wasn’t just that it brought in donations.
“It is not only the food that people bring in but the awareness," explained Cable. "You're not just going out to see the winter lights with your family, you're picking up a few cans of food, non-perishables that can serve someone and we think that kind of awareness is invaluable,” said Cable.
While the neighborhood that brought thousands together will be quiet this year, it won’t be forgotten. In fact, the Food Bank and Winterfest Hayrides can't wait to interact with the community in the future.