Shop local, donate local, Councilwoman Rizzi says

Apache Junction Councilwoman Christa Rizzi

Apache Junction Councilwoman Christa Rizzi

 

As we approach the holiday season, many of our local stores have collection boxes placed for community members to donate various items such as food clothing and toys. I feel it is important to keep our “Shop Local” campaign  in mind, as we give to the various worthwhile charities.

Our city has promoted the “Shop Local” program not only to support our local stores and “mom and pop shops” but also to ensure much-needed tax revenue stays within our community. This tax revenue pays for road maintenance and amenities like our well-used library.

While we support our stores by shopping local, it is equally important for our stores to ensure they are giving back to the community that supports them by donating locally. Last year a major supplier of our local food bank, St. Mary’s Food Bank, pulled out of our community. This means our local food bank lost 10,000 pounds of food each month needed to distribute to our families in need. Unfortunately this same organization continues to place donation boxes in our local stores. Rather than benefiting our local food bank, as many would think, the donations are being taken to Phoenix and distributed into other communities.

Apache Junction is hands down a wonderful community full of kind and generous people who never fail to assist those less-fortunate. We are, however, a small community with many struggling families and amazing charities that provide assistance to these families.

I am by no means suggesting not to donate to these worthwhile causes. What I am saying is we need to know where our donations are going to ensure they stay right here in our community

If we are going to promote and practice shopping local then the same is true for donating local. As we shop our local stores, ask the management if the collection boxes are supporting our local charities or being taken outside of our community.

I’ve talked with many store managers who were not aware that donations are going outside of Apache Junction.  Once brought to their attention most stores are more than happy to accommodate donating to our local charities. Shop local, donate local.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Editor’s note: Christa Rizzi is a member of the Apache Junction City Council.

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