SUN CITY, Ariz. (Dec. 14, 2023) – As the holidays unfold, Banner Olive Branch Senior Center is experiencing a notable upswing in demand for its food pantry and meal services. In response, the facility is modifying pantry hours to better serve the community's needs; as of January 2nd, 2024, the new operating hours will be Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Banner Olive Branch pantry, which partners with St. Mary’s Food Bank, is available to the public at no cost. Jennifer Lawless, director of Banner Olive Branch Senior Center, said the need has never been greater and hopes these hours will provide more convenience for community members, offering flexibility and ensuring that essential resources are accessible to all.
“As we extend the food pantry hours, my hope is that it brings genuine convenience to those we serve,” Lawless said. “I believe that small change can make a big difference. Our seniors, their families and the community at large deserve easy access to resources, and this is one step closer to ensuring nobody is left behind.”
Robert Thrailkill, who has been volunteering at Banner Olive Branch Senior Center for five years, said this pantry is vital to the needs of seniors in the area, many of whom rely solely on social security checks.
“The products available in this pantry are ones that are often challenging for seniors to afford,” Thrailkill said. “The pantry offers a vast array of necessities– from food to household items - which is tremendously helpful and allow seniors to spend money on lifesaving medications and other much needed items.”
Thrailkill added that he meets people from all over the valley coming to use the pantry and meals offered at Banner Olive Branch Senior Center.
“We’re very privileged to have this facility,” Thrailkill noted.
The center has also seen an increase in folks coming for daily breakfast and lunch meals.
“We encourage anyone in the area who needs a free or low-cost meal to come out,” Lawless said.
Banner Olive Branch provides several meals including:
- Breakfast – available to everyone from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Monday through Friday ($4 charge)
- Lunch – available weekdays to seniors 60 years of age and older from 10:30 to 11 a.m. ($5 donation appreciated but not required). Lunch available to other community members for $7 per person
About Banner Olive Branch Senior Center
Banner Olive Branch Senior Center has been serving the Sun Cities and surrounding communities since 1988. The senior center offers a variety of social and educational programs, as well as support services, including a home-delivered meal program, daily congregate meals, health and wellness classes and a pantry program supported by donations from the community. The center is a Medicare benefits check-up site and houses a satellite office for the Arizona Attorney General. For information about Banner Olive Branch Senior Center, visit bannerhealth.com/olivebranch.