Gilbert Leadership Class XXIX Donating Time, Manpower to Help Residents and Families Facing Food Insecurity

New Advocacy Effort Titled “29” Seeking Donations to Improve & Expand St. Anne’s Annex’s “Friends of the Needy” Program

GILBERT, Ariz. – At a time when many non-profit organizations are facing financial hardships and other adversities, some of Gilbert’s leaders are working together to give one local organization a facelift to help better serve those in need.

Gilbert Leadership, a program of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce Foundation, serves to develop our town’s current and future leaders by bringing together individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to develop their leadership potential. Each year, members of the class are tasked with collaborating to deliver a community project.

This year, members of Gilbert Leadership Class XXIX are working together to benefit Friends of the Needy at St. Anne’s Annex, a program which distributes healthy foods to community members in need. Class members will donate time and resources to improvement projects intended to enhance safety and increase functionality, including exterior signage, creating an after-hours donation bin, and adding fresh paint, landscaping, and lighting to the building’s exterior.

“Friends of the Needy has a history of helping the underserved, including low-income families and those who lack access to healthy, filling foods,” said Faith Roberts, owner of Gilbert-based M&M Lighting and member of Class XXIX. “Both of these demographics have grown substantially in recent months as a result of the pandemic, so the need has perhaps never been greater.”

While Friends of the Needy operates on the grounds of Gilbert’s St. Anne’s Catholic Parish Annex, the program serves the greater community at-large, and not just parish members.

To complete the project, Gilbert Leadership Class XXIX is spearheading “Campaign 29” to raise donations of $29, $290, and $2,900. Additionally, the group is accepting in-kind donations of supplies and services. Community members looking to donate to “Campaign 29” and help expand the reach of Friends of the Needy may do so by making a one-time or ongoing contribution to the cause.

The class also has teamed up with Joe’s Real BBQ (301 N Gilbert Road, Gilbert) to raise funds. Stop in on Wednesday, Feb. 24 and, with the mention of Gilbert Leadership, 20 percent of each purchase will benefit the community project.


Started in 1986, Friends of the Needy provides food, clothing, toys and services to those in need throughout the community. For more about Gilbert Leadership, visit To donate to Campaign 29, click here.