State Capitol food drive kicks off April 16

The goals of Arizona food banks to provide more healthy and nutritious meals to the hungry of our state has been buoyed by the announcement of a new partnership between St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and the Arizona Cattleman’s Association designed to provide more fresh protein to the hungry in our state.

The ACA’s initial donations of hundreds of pounds of beef to “The World’s First Food Bank” will be made during a special press conference on Wednesday, April 16 at noon on the lawn of the Arizona State Capitol.

“Access to high quality, nutritious beef is necessary for those in need of the Food Banks services as it provides the essential nutrients of Zinc and Iron needed for a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet,” said Arizona Beef Farmer, Norman Hinz.

The press conference will also include the results of a special two-week “Democrats vs. Republicans” food drive coordinated by District 20 Rep. Carl Seel (R) held within the walls of the capitol from April 1-15. The friendly competition collected non-perishable food items that will help fill the rest of the plate for the one on five Arizonans and one in four Arizona children who are food insecure.

“One of my constituents who volunteers at St. Mary’s told me about how beef is so difficult to come by for those seeking emergency food help,” Rep. Seel said. “We’ve been able to bring the Arizona Cattleman’s Association and St. Mary’s together in a partnership that will make more beef available to struggling families in our state.”

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance distributed 70 million pounds of food to its clients and agency partners in Fiscal Year 2013-14 and the need for emergency food in Arizona continues to grow. But along with the quantity comes the need to provide quality: A healthy and balanced diet with fruits, vegetables and protein, especially to our children and seniors.

“St. Mary’s continues to strive to provide more healthy and nutritious meals to the clients that we serve,” St. Mary’s President and CEO Beverly Damore said. “The Food Bank has more than doubled its distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables over the past two years, and the beginning of this amazing partnership with the Arizona Cattleman’s Association will add fresh beef to our distributions on a more consistent basis. We are very grateful to the ACA and to Rep. Seel for helping bring us together to benefit the hungry in our state.”