Maricopa Food Pantry’s Melting Pot Luck draws early Thanksgiving crowd

Lacy Akers [Brian Petersheim Jr.]

Copper Sky was the site Thursday for a feast that could feed a village, and it’s a good thing. While an entire village did not show up, a sizable crowd did for the third annual Melting Pot Luck.

Already, “a couple hundred people” had brought dishes to share only a half hour into the event, estimated Jennifer Connelly, director of development for Maricopa Pantry. 

The potluck began at 10 a.m., when color guard presented the flags followed by a group prayer by Jashif Masih from Harvest International Mankind, and Nick Cook from Hope Ranch Youth Program. 

High school teacher Jude Basiga played Jimmy Buffett and Neil Diamond hits for Maricopans as they ate their meals. 

With the massive amount of food donated, Jim Shoaf, CEO of Maricopa Food Pantry, made it clear that it will not be going to waste.  

“At the end of the day, whatever (food) we have left over is going to go to the fire departments and the police departments,” Shoaf said. 

“There’s a lot of people in town who live alone, or they’re a couple who don’t have any extended family here, or folks like us where our kids have grown and gone,” said Alice Shoaf, explaining when people in those positions come to the potluck, it is like its own community. “They still have family.” 

Jim Shoaf added. “Nobody should be by themselves.”  

View a photo gallery of the potluck below: