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  • Norris Air Canned Food Drive

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    Contributing to the betterment of the community during a pandemic isn’t an easy feat, but that didn’t stop Norris Air from doing it. On Wednesday, March 24th, the Mesa HVAC contractor, along with six other local companies, co-sponsored a canned food donation event to help feed the hungry. The event was staged as an ice cream drive-thru in order to be COVID-friendly, so canned food donors were not required to exit their vehicles; they simply drove up, contributed at least one canned food item, and received a free ice cream of choice presented to their car window. All food items were donated to the United Food Bank of Mesa.
    Norris Air Marketing & Community Representative Evonne Grabauskas explained, “Between 1
    p.m. and 3 p.m., cars entered through the entrance at Norris Air, donated at least one canned good item, received a cool swag bag, then continued to drive through to receive a free ice cream.”
    Grabauskas said overall the event was a huge success and a lot of fun, save for one small detail.
    “It turned out to be one of the coldest days of the month!” she laughed. “It had been so warm the week before, we thought the timing for an ice cream-themed event was perfect, but that Wednesday was so cold that several people who donated canned goods declined their free ice cream.”
    Even though the weather was not ideal, event coordinators had a secret weapon to garner attention to the event. Adorable dancing children in an ice cream cone, penguin, and a tooth costume managed to pull in a crowd despite the chill in the air.
    “The kids in costume were so great,” said Norris Air Owner Paula Norris. “The ice cream cone was moonwalking, the penguin and tooth were dancing - they did such a great job of drawing attention to our event. It was such a positive showing of our community.”
    Grabauskas added, “We were so fortunate to receive donations from such sweet, generous people during the event. Extremely generous. They didn’t just donate two or three cans of food. Most of the people who drove through had bags and bags of canned food in their backseats ready to go.
    Donations were packed to the hilt.”
    “Norris Air and our co-sponsors all collaborated on this event as a way to get people out of their homes and back into the community but in a safe way,” Norris explained. “And we always enjoy doing something for the community.”
    Norris said co-sponsors essential to the event included: Amazing Dental Care, Made in the Shade Window Tinting, Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery, Fox Reliable Insurance Agency,

    United Food Bank and Benefit Choice Advisors. In addition to assisting in the event, each sponsor donated $50 cash to United Food Bank.
    Norris Air delivered the funds and donations to United Food Bank in Mesa on Wednesday, March 31. In total, the ice cream drive-thru event raised 369 pounds of food, equaling 1,185 nutritious meals to be distributed to the Mesa community.
    The United Food Bank has been an exceptional resource during the pandemic providing countless meals to individuals and families in need, but supplies have been diminished. For those who wish to donate, online contributions can be made at unitedfoodbank.org. Donations can be dropped off at 245 S. Nina Drive, Mesa, Ariz., 85210. The food bank is in most need of the following items: cereals and oatmeal; chilis, soups and stews; canned tuna and chicken; peanut butter; beans; canned vegetables and fruit; canned or dried milk; canned tomato products; rice and pasta. The food bank requests no glass jars, baby food or opened food.
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