Tri-Community Food Bank in Mammoth.

This history of the Tri-Community Food Bank was compiled with the assistance of Joyce McClung, a current volunteer, and veteran volunteer since 1997.

The Tri-Community Food Bank and Thrift Shop (TCFB) was founded in 1980/81 by Jean Peterson and Beverly Pyritz. It was originally located in one room in a Pinal County Building in Mammoth. Early funding came from local grocery stores, local resident donations and the small thrift shop. When the Food Bank expanded and moved to another building in Mammoth, the thrift store remained in the original one-room space.

The United Way of Pinal County was the first larger funding source for the Food Bank. In 1997, funding of food started with the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) through the United Food Bank of Mesa. In 1998, the first SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Food Drive was held. The SBCO Food Drive continues to be held each year, and is a major food and monetary funding source for the TCFB.

Cynthia Chevalley became Chairperson of the Tri-Community Food Bank in 2005. Cynthia was determined to do something about the leaky roof and limited heating and cooling at the Food Bank facilities. In 2008, she coordinated with the town of Mammoth and Pinal County Supervisor Lionel Ruiz to develop a grant to renovate the Redwood Inn Restaurant. The county eventually purchased the former Redwood Inn Restaurant at an auction. In 2010, TCFB moved into the renovated, former restaurant at a nominal yearly rent paid to Pinal County.

Cynthia shepherded the Food Bank through many notable periods of growth and improvement. These included the installation of an outdoor cooler (2013) and freezer (2021), the purchase of a van (2019), and the COVID epidemic, which, during that time the Food Bank remained open as usual, but the Thrift Store closed permanently. Cynthia served as Chairperson until her retirement in 2021.

Upon Cynthia’s retirement, an Executive Board was established to oversee the operations of the Food Bank. In 2022, a new warehouse was constructed behind the main Food Bank building to replace the former storage space located on Main Street in Mammoth. In 2023, the Food Bank lobby was updated, adding a new cooler and new Mission Statement—“Feeding Neighbors in SE Pinal County”.

The Tri-Community Food Bank has always been an all-volunteer organization, spending zero percent on administration costs. We need ongoing and substitute volunteers, especially during the summer months. To volunteer, call the Food Bank at (520) 487-2010, during business hours. The TCFB is located at 108 Redwood Road, in Mammoth, and is open five days a week (Monday to Thursday and Saturday) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. We serve the communities of Oracle, San Manuel, Mammoth and Dudleyville.

The TCFB has been an IRS 501c(3) non-profit corporation since 2001, thanks to the help of Bob Shogren. We are also an Arizona Qualifying Charitable Organization.

Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.