Scottsdale Salutes truck driver Gene Griffin

Thanks to the efforts of one Scottsdale resident, 300 low-income residents in the city’s Brown Bag Program every Thursday receive much-needed items from the Westside Food Bank.

Gene Griffin (Submitted photo)

Gene Griffin (Submitted photo)

Delivering the goods in a large 16-foot panel Budget Rental truck after driving more than 40 miles to Sun City at 4:30 a.m. and back, is longtime Scottsdale resident Graydon “Gene” Griffin.

“We pick up a load of food commodities and bring them back to the Granite Reef Senior Center,” said Mr. Griffin in a Sept. 15 phone interview.

“The load is broken up and put into brown paper sacks and less than half we load back onto the truck and deliver to low-income housing.”

Places such as the AZ Retirement Home and Via Linda Senior Center in Scottsdale are recipients of the donations, according to Mr. Griffin.

He has been donating five hours every Thursday to this job for the past five years, although he isn’t always the driver, he said.

Mr. Griffin first heard of the gig after there was an advertisement in a city magazine looking for drivers.

“I like to drive,” said Mr. Griffin. “We have an RV so the size of the truck is smaller than the RV we have; it’s really easy for me and something I knew how to do.”

Mr. Griffin attributes his love for the road as the driving force behind volunteering for the city.  Recent incidents involving the Interstate 10 shootings have made the job a bit more challenging.

“Last week we got to run the gauntlet on the I-10,” he said about the recent freeway shootings around the valley.

“We take the 202 and the I-10 to the 101 and drive north on the 101 to Peoria. The food bank is on 106th avenue and Peoria avenue.”

Mr. Griffin and his wife moved into their home in Scottsdale in November 1973. He was an electronics engineer at Motorolla for 34 1/2 years before retiring.

To volunteer with the city of Scottsdale, visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/volunteer.

To nominate a Scottsdale volunteer for Scottsdale Salutes, e-mail Melissa Fittro at Mfittro@newszap.com.

Northeast Valley News Services Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at mrosequist@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/mrosequist_.

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