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ARIZONA HEART & SOL: Tucson man delivers food boxes to thousands

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 7:58 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - This week we’re recognizing a Tucson man who has single-handedly helped thousands of southern Arizona families over the years. Martin Valenzuela is making a big difference in the community.

“I do roughly 60 to 80 home deliveries myself where I go to the residents that can’t get out,” said Martin Valenzuela, this week’s Heart & Sol recipient.

For more than five years he’s helped distribute food to families in need through efforts at Santa Monica, St. Augustine and St. Vincent church.

“I go far, anywhere from where we’re at, all the way down south. Even as far as the mission,” he said.

He loads up his truck and takes the boxes directly to people’s homes.

“Right to their door. I got low-income families with a lot of children. They see me drive up and ask, do you have snacks for me today? Do you have cupcakes?” Valenzuela said.

During Thanksgiving, Christmas and even New Years, you can find him passing out holiday meals until the last one is served. He’s the driving force behind the deliveries and often travels to remote areas to ensure no one goes hungry on his watch.

“Overwhelming sometimes to see the people. Pretty heartbreaking to see the children especially,” he said.

He always shows up and gives 100 percent. Back in February, he pushed through extreme pain on a delivery day and ended up in the emergency room to undergo emergency gallbladder surgery. He’s become known around the community for his efforts and has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

“Helping the community. Helping the people out there. They need it, we all need it,” he said.

Valenzuela was presented with a $300 gift card from our sponsor Casino Del Sol. If you have someone you think embodies the “Heart and Sol of Tucson,” please nominate them, here.

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