Food Bank Coordinator Curt Balko Recognized as Arizona Health Community Hero of the Week

  • Rikki Mioduski
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At University of Arizona Women’s Basketball game on February 4th, 2022, Food Bank Coordinator Curt Balko was honored as Arizona Health Community Hero of the Week. From the floor of McKale Center, Curt waved to the crowd while thousands cheered for his well-deserved recognition.

Curt Balko has worked as the Food Bank Coordinator at Interfaith Community Services for 11 years. Interfaith Community Services (ICS) supports in-need Tucsonans with a diverse array of services. From emergency financial assistance to mobile meals, self-sufficiency programs to community health outreach, ICS seeks to help people in need achieve stable, healthy, and independent lives. And at the center of ICS’ support is the Ina Road Food Bank, where Curt has helped design and cultivate the site’s food storage and distribution processes.

During a normal month, he schedules a roster of over 150 volunteers who come to ICS to distribute food to 1600-2000 families. During the start of the pandemic, he helped develop a safer and more efficient way for volunteers to give out food by shifting the food bank to a drive-through distribution site. Using this method, ICS was able to hand out 3 million pounds of food to families in need in the last year.

Curt strives to make the atmosphere at the ICS Food Bank friendly, welcoming, and accepting so that the brief period time when clients come to pick up food is “the best 10 minutes of their month.” His personal philosophy when it comes to distributing food is: “we are here to serve, not to judge.”

Generous contributions from grocery stores, bakeries, faith communities, organizations, and individuals who regularly donate food to the food bank allow Curt and his volunteers to give out even more food to families. If you would like to support the Interfaith Community Services Food Bank or any of the other services offered by ICS, please browse icstucson.org to see how.