Free estate planning workshops in March

Join us for a free workshop to learn more about the importance of a will or trust in planning for the future. A will or trust can remind your loved ones of your basic beliefs and commitments. Planning today can ensure that your future desires are fulfilled and provide peace of mind.

Four free workshops will be offered at three locations around the Valley with a local estate planning attorney.

West Valley

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance: Surprise location

13050 W Elm St, Surprise, 85374

Central Phoenix (Two workshops)

Tuesday, March 11, 4 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

University of Phoenix Center, 2nd Floor, Community Room

3003 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, 85009

East Valley

Thursday, March 20, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Tempe History Museum, Community Room

809 E Southern Ave, Tempe, 85282

The workshops are being co-hosted by St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Desert Botanical Gardens, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, and Phoenix Rescue Mission. Reservations are required. Please contact Claudia Cucitro at 602-343-3144 or

Celebrate National Canned Food Month with a food drive

Did you know that February is National Canned Food Month? Most of us don’t spend a lot of time analyzing and appreciating the steel cans lining our pantry shelves that hold our staple food, but at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, they are fundamental in our mission to alleviate hunger in Arizona.

Metal cans have been around for more than 200 years as an environmentally friendly, economical and safe packaging form for food.

History of the can

The history of the metal food can is traced back to 1795 when Napoleon was systematically taking over Europe. He offered a prize of 12,000 francs to anyone who could invent a method of preserving food for its army and navy, and in 1809 Nicolas Appert succeeded, winning the prize money.

Environmental impacts

Metal food cans are 100 percent recyclable and can actually be recycled over and over again without losing strength or quality. And every ton of recycled steel saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,000 pounds of coal and 40 pounds of limestone.

Nutrition and Safety

The canning process delivers long-term food quality and product shelf life. Canned fruits and vegetables are picked and packed at the peak of ripeness, and since most canneries are located just a few miles from the field, food freshness is guaranteed. Once the cans are sealed and heat processed, the food maintains its high quality for more than two years.

The metal food can enjoys an unparalleled safety record. Tamper-resistant and tamper-evident packaging gives consumers peace of mind knowing that their food is packaged safely and securely.

Get involved

Help us celebrate National Canned Food Month by hosting a canned food drive to help feed Arizonans in need. We especially need canned tuna, chicken, vegetables, beans and soup.

To sign up to host a food drive, click here.

Source: Can Manufacturers Institute

Tee Up for Kids Golf Tournament: March 28

At St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, our vision is that no child goes to bed hungry. Join us for the 13th Annual Tee Up for Kids Golf Tournament and help St. Mary’s accomplish this goal.

This year the golf tournament will be held again at The Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield Park, with the shotgun start bumped forward to 8 a.m. Sign up a foursome ($1000) or as an individual ($275). Or get your organization more involved in the fight against childhood hunger by becoming a sponsor of the tournament.

We know that a child missing meals on a consistent basis is sick more often, has difficulty concentrating and performs significantly lower in school, has higher instances of aggressive and anxious behavior problems, and is more susceptible to lifelong health problems. In response to these needs, and with your support, St. Mary’s Food Bank operates programs that help fight child hunger:

  • We collaborate with schools, community center and other neighborhood groups to provide free, healthy meals in afterschool and summer programs.
  • We distribute more than 30,000 Emergency Food Boxes each month at no cost to families and individuals in need.
  • We operate a Mobile Pantry program at more than 40 locations in both rural and urban areas bringing truckloads of fruits, vegetables, and bread to entire neighborhoods in need.

Since its inception in 2001, our annual Golf Open has raised more than $650,000 to help fight child hunger in our State.  That support has helped us provide more than 4.5 Million meals to children struggling with hunger.  With your help, we can accomplish even more.

GolfTournament-RegButton For more details or questions, please contact Gina Irons at

Extra, extra! The Horn of Plenty newsletter is hot off the presses!

layla smallA peek inside the pages of the newly redesigned Winter 2014 Horn of Plenty, the quarterly newsletter for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

  • Fighting hunger during the holidays
    • Sharing stories of clients served by the food bank during the busy holiday season
  • Katie Couric’s “Challenge for Change”
    • In a whirlwind event on Nov. 7, the Katie show came to Phoenix to help raise food and funds for the world’s first food bank
  • Kids Feeding Kids
    • Highlighting the inspiring children who support the food bank and help to feed the hungry
  • Holiday distribution
    • See photos of our volunteers, staff and clients as they executed a three-day holiday distribution that served 7,315 clients

Read the full Winter 2014 edition here: Horn of Plenty newsletter

Scouting for Food coming up: Feb. 1

Boy Scouts promise to “help other people at all times” and they are putting their words to action during their annual Scouting for Food drive. Scouting for Food is scheduled for Feb. 1, when Scouts throughout the Grand Canyon Council help make a difference to fight hunger.

On Jan. 25, thousands of Scouts will distribute door hangers in their neighborhoods to announce the upcoming food drive. Home owners place their food items in shopping bags and place the bags outside their doors and the Scouts return the following Saturday, Feb. 1 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.”

To find out more about the “2014 Scouting for Food Drive,” please go online today to

Pledge for St. Mary's in Birdies for Charity

During the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open, you can help St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance by making a pledge in the Birdies for Charity competition.

Simply pledge one cent or more for every birdie that will be made by the PGA TOUR players, Thursday through Sunday of the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open. It’s estimated that between 1,300 and 1,800 birdies will be made, depending on weather.

How does it work? If you pledge one cent per birdie and 1,500 birdies are made, you’ll receive an invoice for $15.00 from Thunderbirds Charities after the tournament. You can either make your check payable to “Thunderbirds Charities” or provide credit card information. If you pledge the support to St. Mary’s Food Bank, we will receive every single penny of collected pledges.

St. Mary’s can also receive a 10 percent BONUS on the total amount of pledges collected on our behalf during the Birdies For Charity Program. It’s as simple as it sounds. If the food bank collects $20,000 in pledges, we will receive 10 percent of that, or $2,000, courtesy of Thunderbirds Charities.

Learn more and pledge today at

St. Mary's helps Arizonans impacted by government shutdown

More than 2,200 employees of the Grand Canyon National Park are among the more than 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed as a result of the current government shutdown and resulting closure of the park. There are an additional 1,200 hospitality employees of surrounding businesses who have been furloughed while the shutdown continues.

Many of those workers depend on each paycheck to provide food for their families. Local aid agencies in the area have asked St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to step in and provide help to the Grand Canyon and Tusayan workers suddenly in need of emergency food assistance.

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, a truck will leave St. Mary’s Food Bank (2831 N. 31st Avenue in Phoenix) at approximately 7 a.m. It will contain more than 600 emergency food boxes and will first stop at the Tusayan Fire Station, before being allowed into the closed park to drop off food at the Maswick Lodge Cafeteria at the Grand Canyon for distribution on Tuesday and Wednesday. This will be followed by a mobile pantry distribution on Friday. Oct. 11 that is also open to all Grand Canyon and Tusayan employees.

The weekly distributions will continue throughout the duration of the government shutdown.

“The park closure has been devastating for the employees of Grand Canyon National Park and surrounding communities,” said Rev. Patrick Dotson, pastor of Grand Canyon Community Church who normally runs a small food distribution out of his home with donations from local residents.  “While local concessionaires are supporting their furloughed employees and their families by providing free rent and limited meal support, we anticipated a great need for food relief outside of our ability to sustain through local food donations.  We are so blessed that St. Mary’s has come to our aid!”


Enjoy the State Fair for free with donation

The Arizona State Fair opens up this weekend and you can have a chance to enjoy it for free AND help feed Arizona’s hungry. The first We Care Wednesday on Oct. 16 gives fair-goers an opportunity to donate three cans of non-perishable food items (per person) in exchange for free admission to the fair.

This offer is good between 12 and 6 p.m. on Oct. 16 only. Just look for the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance volunteers at the four main entrances to the park to exchange your donation for a voucher.

An added benefit to visiting the fair on Wednesdays is that from 12 to 6 p.m. all rides and games at the fair are just two dollars. But wait, there is more! One of the most covered bands of all time, Cheap Trick, will be performing the evening of Oct. 16 as a part of the concert series. If you arrive before 6 p.m. and bring your food donations, you can see them perform for free!

The 129th annual Arizona State Fair hosts a variety of fun-filled attractions, activities, and rides for all ages at its traditional location at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road in Phoenix. For more information on the fair,

End childhood hunger with 3TV, Bashas, Safeway and Food City

3TV is teaming with Food City, Bashas’ and Safeway for the first Childhood Hunger Campaign to help feed Arizona kids this September.

Starting September 4 through 30, customers at Safeway, Food City and Bashas’ will be able to make a monetary donation at the checkout register to help one of five Arizona charities that fight childhood hunger, including St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Help us feed the 1 in 4 children in Arizona who are food insecure.