Maricopa Pantry founder Jim Shoaf named to ‘Who’s Who in America’

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Jim Shoaf, the founder of Maricopa Pantry Food Bank, has been selected for the prestigious "Who's Who in America" list for 2023. He will be on the cover of the group's magazine, Millennium, which is distributed worldwide. [Maricopa Pantry]

Jim Shoaf, who founded Maricopa Pantry Food Bank in 2004, has been named to “Who’s Who in America” for 2023. He will appear on the cover of “Millennium Magazine,” the official magazine of Marquis Who’s Who.

The digital magazine will be distributed worldwide beginning in summer 2023.

According to Marquis, Shoaf was selected for his position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility and prominence in his field.

“We were totally shocked, to be honest with you,” Shoaf said. “When we started (Maricopa Pantry), we never expected any kind of recognition for it. To get this honor, or any award, is just amazing. All I can say is we must be doing something right.”

Shoaf said he is passionate about serving his rural community, particularly during challenging economic times. He considers serving the community and its families through Maricopa Pantry the highlight of his professional life.

Shoaf has faced a major rebuilding project since the pantry’s facility burned to the ground last summer. He continues putting together financing for a new warehouse facility.

Through it all, he has not stopped providing meals. He said his organization fed 1,575 families last Saturday, Nov. 26. The organization distributed more than 3 million pounds of food in 2021.

Jim Shoaf founded Maricopa Pantry Food Bank in 2004. The group fed more than 1,500 area families Thanksgiving weekend. [Brian Petersheim, Jr.]

He hopes the rebuild will allow him to expand the group’s reach and services to include growing the food pantry beyond Arizona, providing additional services, such as a clothing bank, diaper storage and distribution, and offering counseling services.

He plans to continue serving as a mentor, helping people take personal responsibility for their lives and work toward changing their futures. He has spent nearly 20 years helping troubled youth find positive paths forward.

He founded the food pantry after nearly 30 years with UPS Freight as a truck driver.

The recognition for his efforts was all unexpected, according to Shoaf.

“It’s a big shock,” he said. “When we found out, it was heart-wrenching. My wife and I were stunned and said, ‘Where did this came from?’ We were speechless. I’m small potatoes. I’m nothing special. So to actually win the award was flabbergasting.”

Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the first edition of Who’s Who in America, Marquis Who’s Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment.

Today, Who’s Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Information: www.marquiswhoswho.com.