We are still overwhelmed by the generosity and support of our community during the Backbone Fire that threatened the towns of Pine and Strawberry in late June. While both towns were evacuated and we were unable to host guests at the Inn, I couldn't sit idly, I instantly knew I had to find a way to help. With the entire community uprooted from their homes, losing income due to the inability to work, and in need, I realized that the town being shut down would cause a ripple effect for many - and I wanted to find a way to get ahead of it!
I instantly connected with our friends at the Pine Strawberry Food Bank to see what their needs were. This is one of my favorite charities to support in the area and they have been serving our small towns for years and years. We were able to get a list of canned and non-perishable food items that would assist the food bank's supply. Not only did the fire evacuation effect their inventory of food, but the 4th of July holiday had delayed normal delivery from the United Food Bank. We were excited to spread the word of their needs to our social media following, as we had been getting tons of requests as to how to help.
Our incredible followers dropped endless bags of food, set up grocery store delivery by the bagful, and we even had a corporation hand-deliver multiple boxes of non-perishables directly to our drop of locations in the valley. We were able to raise an incredible $2,500 in monetary donations alone from our Instagram followers. Each and every single person who raised funds and donated food made such an impact to the community. It was truly heartwarming to see.
With the towns of Pine and Strawberry opening back up by the 4th of July weekend, we were so glad we could hand-deliver the donations to the food bank and volunteer as a family & business! With more than six full trucks overflowing with food, we were able to fulfill the distribution center. We loved being able to serve as a family alongside our team members of The Strawberry Inn and we plan to continue to support the food bank on-going.
If you'd like to continue to support the Pine Strawberry Food Bank's efforts, you can always collect canned and non-perishable food to hand deliver to them if you are in the area - or, if you are not local, you can send a check directly to them at the address below:
Pine Strawberry Food Bank | 928-476-5940
3886 AZ SR 87 Pine AZ 85544
We will also continue to accept donations on behalf of the food bank through our Venmo account @thestrawberryinn. Be sure to specify "FOOD BANK" in your payment.
Thank you to every single person who contributed. Your support and love for the community means the world. Thank you for helping us be able to make an impact such as this on our beloved community.
We can't wait to see you in town 'berry soon!
Read more about this story in the Payson Roundup.