A food pantry in Maricopa County, Arizona, has vowed to rebuild after its building was recently burned down in a fire.
According to ABC 15 Arizona, Maricopa Pantry lost 40,000 pounds of canned food, meat, and produce after its building caught fire on March 28. Along with the pantry's building, strong winds caused the fire to engulf a storage container and six semi-trailers, all filled with food donations.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Mike Connelly, president of Maricopa Food Pantry, told ABC 15 Arizona that many people relied on the food bank to keep themselves and their families fed.
"They really relied on this food bank, and I don't know where they are going to be without it," he explained. "Here in this part of Pinal County, there isn't really much. We're a food desert."
The pantry has served the community for 17 years and has distributed meals to nearly 1,200 families every week.
"We bring all the food out, and we have people packing boxes here, then we run cars in two lanes," Connelly added.
The pantry is now looking to rebuild, starting with replacing its trailers with a warehouse that will also function as a soup kitchen to feed those in need.
"I know we can't replace what we lost, but we're not done," Jim Shoaf, the group's founder and CEO, said. "We're going to rebuild. We're going to rebuild bigger and better than what we were."
According to CBN News, the pantry was located near Mountain View Community Church, which was not affected by the fire.
In a post on Facebook, Maricopa Food Pantry announced a fundraiser on GoFundMe to rebuild a new food bank.
"This is God's mission at His house. He saved His house, and the mission is still ours to continue," the organization wrote.
At the time of this writing, the GoFundMe fundraiser has raised $26,440 from 206 people, exceeding its $25,000 goal.
'I Was Praying the Whole Time': Firefighter Chaplain Helped Battle Historic Marshall Fire
Georgia Church Catches Fire during a Worship Service, Burns to the Ground
Photo courtesy: Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.