50th Anniversary and Hunger Action Month

Celebrating 50 Years

The world’s first food bank is now the first food bank to turn 50 years old. St. Mary’s Food Bank will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017-18, giving the public may ways to salute the guiding vision of founder John Van Hengel .

The fun begins in September with Hunger Action Month presented by Arby’s. It’s 30 ways in 30 days when you can help end hunger in Arizona though actions and donations of food, funds and time. Arby’s will join companies like U-Haul, the Arizona Ford Dealers, Charles Schwab, Oregano’s, the Phoenix Mercury, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Makutu’s Island and Castles & Coasters  in offering unique ways to spur public action. St. Mary’s will have an extend display of historical items and storytelling at the Arizona State Capitol Building in September and release a video chronicling its first 50 year and how Van Hengel’s vision of feeding Arizona and the world has blossomed.

Also in September, St. Mary’s will distribute its one BILLIONTH meal to the hungry of Arizona, signified by a special singular emergency food box packed by specially selected volunteers.

For more information on Hunger Action Month and how you can get involved, check out www.firstfoodbank.org/hungeractionmonth and the 30 ways in 30 days to fight hunger.

Morgan Stanley Grant to Expand Program Delivering Nutritious Meals to AZ Children & Families

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance recently received a $50,000 grant from the Morgan Stanley Foundation to fund its BackPack Program, which helps to ensure students continue to receive nutritious food during school breaks.

The grant is part of the Morgan Stanley Foundation’s recently announced $8 million, four-year pledge to support Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks, and its children’s hunger and produce programs. Since the firm’s partnership with Feeding America launched in 2009, the Foundation has given over $21 million, including $60,000 to St. Mary’s.

“We are thrilled to receive this important grant from the Morgan Stanley Foundation in support of our efforts to deliver more nutritious meals to children and families in Phoenix,” said St. Mary’s President and CEO Tom Kertis.  “Morgan Stanley and its employees provide vital support for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance by generous contributions like this and many hours volunteering.”

St. Mary’s BackPack Program puts nutritious food directly into the hands of children at risk of hunger by filling backpacks with staples like peanut butter, milk, cereal, bread and canned goods.  With this program, children who are eligible to receive reduced-price or free lunch at school can get the nutrition they need, even when they are not in school over weekends or long breaks.

“We are honored to be able to help St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in its important fight against child hunger,” said Morgan Stanley Complex Manager Rob Gaines. “Our employees volunteer regularly with St. Mary’s so we are delighted to extend our support through this grant and provide even more children with the foods they need to learn, grow and thrive.”

REDW named 'Chief Bean Counters' in the 18th Annual Hill of Beans Food Drive

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to thank the accounting and financial agencies that took part in our 18th Annual Hill of Beans food drive competition. ‘Bean counting’ companies from around the valley collected food and funds during the month of August in an effort alleviate hunger in Arizona….AND to be named the Chief Bean Counter. Each pound of food counted as one bean, and each dollar counted as seven beans. The total amount of beans collected was 49,599! We’ve tallied the individual results and we have a winner!

Our Chief Bean Counters this year is REDW with 25,025 beans! We can’t thank them enough!

Also participating this year:

Sigrist, Cheek, Potter & Huyser
Walker and Armstrong
Eide Bailly
Heinfeld Meech & Co. P.C.

Thank you to everyone for participating! We couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of our donors!

Action Alert: Federal Budget FRAC

This week, the U.S. House and Senate are expected to vote on FY2016 Budget Resolutions – and SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is being targeted. SNAP has extraordinary strengths, yet some would make disastrous changes to a program that serves millions of children, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, jobless adults seeking work, and those working – often multiple jobs – just to make ends meet.

In Arizona, 48% of SNAP participants are kids. That’s nearly a half million children who rely on SNAP benefits for their basic nutrition, and critical since 29% of children in Arizona go to bed hungry each night.

We need your voice – and the voices of thousands of others – to say that Congress should support SNAP.

St. Mary’s Food Bank joins our national partners Feeding America and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) in showing the wide support for SNAP from people across the county.

Call Congress today!

Call Congress is easy. Here’s how:

  1. Just dial our toll free number, (888) 398-8702, listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
  2. Once you are connected to your first Member of Congress, state that you are a constituent, and give your name and the town you are calling from.
  3. Let them know you are calling about the budget and deliver this important message: As your constituent and supporter/employee of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, I am calling you today to ask you to vote against any efforts to cut or block-grant hunger-relief programs like SNAP when you consider the budget resolution.  SNAP benefits have already been cut twice in the last two years.  Our clients rely on these programs, and St. Mary’s Food Bank will be unable to meet the need in our community if these programs are cut.  Please find a more responsible way to balance the budget. 

Be sure to dial back in and speak with both of your senators and your representative.

Also, please sign the petition today and share it widely with your family and friends. Join us and tell Congress you want and end to hunger in America, not ill-considered budget proposals that would increase it.

Thank you for advocating for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance!

Scouting for Food coming up: January 31st

The Boys Scout’s are putting their promises to “give goodwill” & “to help other people at all times” into action during their annual Scouting for Food drive. Scouting for Food is scheduled for January 31, 2015, when Scouts throughout the Grand Canyon Council help make a difference to fight hunger. In partnership with local food banks this council-wide service project begins Saturday, January 24th as Scouts distribute door hangers in their neighborhoods to announce the upcoming food drive. Scouts return the following Saturday, January 31st to pick up and deliver donations to their local food banks and pantries, including St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Beverly Damore, President and CEO of the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance said, “With one in five Arizonans and one in four children in need of emergency food in Arizona, donations of non-perishable food are more important than ever. The increases in food demand will deplete St. Mary’s resources quickly. We so appreciate the Boy Scouts helping those in through the Scouting for Food Drive and encourage everyone to donate in this very quick and convenient way.”

St. Mary’s Food Bank Scouting for Food Drop-off locations:

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
Del E. Webb Center | Main Warehouse Location
2831 N. 31st Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 242-FOOD (3663)
Fax: (480) 393-4511
10a – 2pm

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
Surprise
13050 W. Elm St.
Surprise, AZ 85378
Phone: (602) 242-FOOD (3663)
Fax: (480) 275-3233
10a – 2pm

To find out more about the “2015 Scouting for Food Drive,” please go online today to www.grandcanyonbsa.org/food

Events helping to scare away hunger

Tis the season for jack-o-lanterns, haunted houses, costumes, and all things spooky. Help scare away hunger this October while enjoying the fun of Halloween.

  1. Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak is transforming into a scene of jack-o-lanterns, ghouls, goblins and ghosts, Halloween treats, and family fun for the 17th Annual Pumpkins at the Peak event on Friday, Oct. 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. To gain entry, attendees are asked to bring two cans of food or $5 per person to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank.
  2. Bring the kids to the annual Halloween Monster Bash on Saturday, Oct. 25. Note there is a NEW location this year, at Centennial Plaza near the Peoria Public Library from 5 to 9 p.m. Enjoy a Parade of Costumes Contest, Trick or Treating, Inflatable Activities, Carnival Games, Make-n-Take Crafts, Puppet Shows, Fright Zone and more! Admission is free with a canned food to help St. Mary’s. For more info visit http://1.usa.gov/GBksBZ
  3. On Saturday, Oct. 25, Downtown Phoenix will be overrun by the living dead and other creatures of the night during Zombie Walk 6, one of the largest zombie walks in the United States. Join a zombie horde of over 10,000 at Heritage and Science Park for an all-day festival at 2 p.m. and the mass shuffle at 5:30 p.m. throughout the streets of downtown. Don’t know how to become a zombie? No problem! There will be makeup artists on hand to make you beautiful. The first 400 makeovers are free with a non-perishable food item or a cash donation to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank. https://www.facebook.com/DowntownPhoenixZombieWalk
  4. Catch some air at AZ Air Time’s Halloween Party on Oct. 25, 4-8 p.m. Get $2 off admission with a canned food donation for St. Mary’s! Enjoy free face painting, a costume contest and games for all ages! Check out the poster here.
  5. Looking for a fun and safe Halloween event? Donate a few cans of food for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in exchange for a night of spooktacular fun at the 3rd Annual Treat Street event at Adora Trails on Wednesday Oct. 29, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. More info here: http://bit.ly/1cyZLBN
  6. Trick-or-Donate: Turn your trick-or-treating into an opportunity to give back. Ask your neighbors to donate non-perishable food items or funds for the food bank. Cans can get heavy though so bring a wagon or extra man/woman-power! Call 602-343-3173 to register your trick-or-donating.
  7. It’s time to get your scare on! Bring canned food to either the 13th Floor Haunted House or Fear Farm. Check out http://13thflooraz.com/ or http://www.fearfarm.com for more information and look for our food drive boxes!

 

 

Help the hungry of Arizona and enjoy free admission to the Arizona State Fair

Donation of 3 non-perishable food items to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance earns a free fair admission from noon—6 p.m. on “We Care Wednesday.’ All Rides just $2, Darius Rucker concert admission included until 6 p.m.

The Arizona State Fair will partner with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance for the fourth consecutive year as an appreciative recipient of their special “We Care Wednesdays” promotion to benefit non-profits in Arizona while offering special admission prices for fairgoers.

Here’s the deal: Anyone who brings a donation of three non-perishable food items (per person) to the fair on Wednesday, Oct. 15 receives FREE ADMISSION into the fair from noon to 6 p.m. The offer is good for an unlimited amount of people, but each person will need three items to receive the discount.

And the deals don’t stop there! All day Wednesday, all rides and games at the fair are discounted at just $2 each. And your free admission to the fair – provided you present your can donation PRIOR TO 6 p.m. – will also score at chance at free general admission seats to that night’s Darius Rucker concert (while seats last) at Veterans Memorial Coliseum (gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 7 p.m.)

Just look for the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance volunteers stationed at each of the four main entrances to the fair and exchange your donation for a voucher that can be used at the ticket trailer. Over the last three years, St. Mary’s has collected more than 80,000 pounds of food that are placed immediately into emergency food boxes to help Arizonans in need.

So come on out on Oct. 15 and help yourself to a great deal while helping to feed Arizona’s hungry. St. Mary’s thanks the Arizona State Fair for this opportunity and encourages everyone to have fun at the fair!

Help Cousins Subs fill St. Mary’s Food Bank during Hunger Action Month

All five Cousins Subs restaurants in the Valley are giving their customers a chance to support St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and earn a delicious deal in support of Hunger Action Month during a special two-week long food drive from Sept. 7-20.

Just bring three non-perishable (canned) food items to any Cousins Subs location to benefit the World’s First Food Bank and you will receive a free 7 ½ inch sub (your choice) when you purchase a large drink and a side. It’s a great deal on a full lunch and allows you to fight hunger for others at the same time.

St. Mary’s is critically low on non-perishable and will use the donations to fill some of the 40,000 emergency food boxes it distributes each month to the hungry of our state. Here are the five participating Cousins Subs locations:

  • Tempe – 3118 South. Mill Avenue
  • Mesa – 1823 S. Greenfield Road
  • Phoenix – 4801 E. Washington Street
  • Scottsdale – 10240 N. 90th Street
  • Chandler – 2100 W. Chandler Boulevard

One in five Arizonans and one in four children do not have enough food on a regular basis and Cousins Subs is offering everyone a chance to make a difference and enjoy a great deal in the process.

Whataburger and St. Mary’s Team Up to support Hunger Action Month

18 Valley-Area Whataburger Restaurants to Host “Oh Whata Night” Fundraisers for St. Mary’s Food Bank

Valley Whataburger Restaurants will help kick Hunger Action Month into high gear on Tuesday, Sept. 2 by giving back to those in need with a special volunteer event and on Wednesday, Sept. 3 by donating a portion of sales from all of their 18 Valley locations to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

One in five Arizonans and one in four children suffer from hunger. Each year, September serves as Hunger Action Month, with food banks across the country seeking to raise awareness for the problem of rising food insecurity in the United States.

Tuesday, Sept. 2, Whataburger volunteers will take over the St. Mary’s Warehouse (2831 N. 31st Avenue) from 6 to 8 p.m., feeding the food bank volunteers before assisting in the building of emergency food boxes for those in need.

Wednesday, Sept. 3, Whataburger will give Valley residents their chance to take action and fight hunger with a special “Oh Whata Night” event. Whataburger customers can show their support for St. Mary’s Food Bank by enjoying their favorite menu items at any of the participating 18 Valley locations and a portion of Whataburger’s sales from 5 to 7 p.m. will be donated to the food bank.

“Hunger Action Month is an initiative very near and dear to our hearts,” said Whataburger Director of Operations Delson Montes. “St. Mary’s Food Bank does an incredible job and we want to help bring awareness to hunger in Arizona and how we can all work together to end it. As a business that serves food daily, we are committed to helping those who don’t have enough to eat and are honored to take part in the Hunger Action Month campaign this year.”

Additionally, copies of St. Mary’s Food Bank’s “30 Ways in 30 Days” Hunger Action Month Calendar will be available at all Whataburger locations, showing the opportunities available all month long to help fight hunger. That includes Monday, Sept. 29, when anyone who brings three canned food items to the St. Mary’s warehouses in Phoenix or Surprise will receive a voucher good for a free Whataburger.