Stop by to see the Canstructions until August 1

Competing teams of architectural, engineering and construction firms are showcasing their talents and feeding the hungry at Phoenix CANstruction® 2014.11 amazing structures were created entirely out of cans of non-perishable food on July 19 at the Phoenix Convention Center’s West Building (185 N. Second St). The display is open to the public for free until August 1.

Now in its eighth year, the Phoenix CANstruction competition benefits St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and is hosted by The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), Arizona chapter. The event has become one of the largest single-event donations for the Food Bank, with more than 50,000 cans used to construct incredibly imaginative designs this year.

During the exhibition, the public may cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award and donate canned food to St. Mary’s at food drive boxes positioned around the exhibits.

Awards are also presented for Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity and Jurors’ Favorite by a panel of judges. Winning teams will be publicly honored at an Awards & Networking Mixer on Thursday, July 24. Winners from local competitions around the nation will compete in the international Canstruction competition through photography submission.

Stop by to see them all!

Summer Feeding program expands to bridge the gap

Each summer, donations to the food bank decrease while demand for services spikes upwards – with many children at home and no longer receiving the free or reduced-lunch meals offered at school. For many families, providing two additional meals at home is an overwhelming hardship.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance seeks to bridge that gap for as many families as possible, providing meals each weekday and, at many locations on Saturdays as well.

Once again this summer St. Mary’s assumes sponsorship of the 2014 Summer Food Service Program for Children and will provide approximately 5,000 meals at a record 99 private and public sites around the Valley.

See list of locations

Free 4th of July baseball game and fireworks with donation

Come celebrate the 4th of July with Surprise! Community and Recreation Services will be hosting a Rookie League Baseball game and will end the night with a fireworks display. Admission is free with a non-perishable food donation for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Date: Friday, July 4
Time: Gates open at 4:30pm
Game starts at 5:30pm
Fireworks after the game
(Approximately 8:30pm)
Location: Surprise Stadium
15850 N. Bullard Ave.
Cost: Free Admission with a Canned Food Donation
More Info: Call 623.222.2000

Free admission to Hunger is No Joke at Tempe Improv this summer

Hunger is no laughing matter. But the world famous Tempe Improv and their nationally-known comics are teaming up to give everyone a great way to donate to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and enjoy a wonderful night of comedy during this summer’s special Hunger is No Joke! comedy series.

On Thursday, June 26, July 31 and Aug. 7, the first 100 people who donate five canned food items will receive free admission!  All shows are adult only (18 years or older).  Showtime is 8 p.m. and there is a two-drink minimum.  Here is your chance to get free admission and have some fun with a first-class comedy experience this summer.

Hunger is No Joke comedy lineup:

July 31: Hal Sparks, former host of E! Entertainment’s “Talk Soup.”

August 7: Brad Williams, from Comedy Central’s “Mind of Mencia.”

For more information on these great comics and the Hunger is No Joke series, check out or call 480-921-9877.





Get free tickets to the AZ United Soccer Game with 5-can donation

It’s World Cup time and a great time to support our local soccer team, AZ United Soccer Club, while helping to feed children in need this summer.

Bring a five-can donation to the Saturday, June 21 game against LA Galaxy II at the Peoria Sports Complex (7:30 p.m. start), and St. Mary’s Food Bank will give you a coupon for a FREE Endline and Sideline Elevated ticket with the purchase of another. That’s a savings of $23 for a 5-can donation for the world’s first food bank.

If you’ve never been to an AZ United game, you will love the level of play and the comfortable seats at the Peoria Sports Complex. So come on out on June 21, cheer on AZ United and help those in need!

Arizona letter carriers come together to help ‘Stamp Out Hunger’

The largest single-day food drive in the United States also happens to be one of the easiest to be a part of. All it takes is a quick trip to your mailbox.

On Saturday, May 10th, over 230,000 letter carriers nationwide, including over 5,000 here in the Valley will be picking up canned food donations on their regular mail routes during the 22nd Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive.

A drive that began right here in Phoenix in 1976 with letter carriers from NALC Branch 576 picking up food donations in their own pickup trucks has evolved into a national effort that has collected more than a billion pounds over the last two decades for Americans suffering from food insecurity. More than two million pounds was collected across Arizona in 2012.

Throughout the week leading up to the food drive, local letter carriers will be dropping off reminder post cards and special grocery bags to both city and rural residents’ mailboxes. The letter carriers encourage those who can help to fill the bags, or any other grocery bag, with nonperishable food items and leave them by their mailboxes on the morning of Saturday May 10th. Your letter carrier will do the rest, making sure the food gets to the one in five Arizonans – and one in four children – dealing with hunger issues in our state.

Dennis Kendrick from Cactus Station hands off to helper Karen LibertyArizona, and especially the Valley, is known for its intense summer heat. Food demand increases with children out of school, while donations dwindle with many residents escaping to cooler climates. With 28 percent of Arizona children living in poverty, and tough economic times challenging the community further, Arizona Food Banks rely on “Stamp Out Hunger” to provide that much-needed influx of food. St. Mary’s distributes more than 40,000 emergency food boxes each month, as well as providing food to the 300-plus agency partners it serves.

Items most needed by the food banks include canned fruit and vegetables, soups and meals in a can, pasta, peanut butter, tuna, rice and cereal.

For more information on this event visit

Pay off your library fines with 'Food for Fines'

National Library Week 2014 is April 13 to April 19 and the Phoenix Public Libraries is celebrating by once again helping you get out of debt – at least when it comes to overdue books.

Yes, it’s the time of year you’ve been waiting for! Come into any of 13 Phoenix Public Library locations from April 12 to April 26 with canned or non-perishable food items for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and the library will wipe out any outstanding fines.

During “Food for Fines,” you’ll receive a 50-cent credit per canned or non-perishable food toward your library fines. For the second straight year, Phoenix Public Libraries have decided to raise the maximum total of fines that can be paid with donated food from $50 to as much as $75! And also this year, “Food for Fines” will also apply not only to outstanding fines but to lost items or collections as well!

The program has collected a record 41,000 pounds of food for Arizona’s hungry last year – so we know you’ve been waiting for this chance to come correct with your favorite librarian! The library branches taking part in the “Food for Fines” program that benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance include:

Burton Barr Main Branch – 1221 North Central Avenue, Phoenix

Agave – 23550 North 36th Avenue, Phoenix

Cesar Chavez – 3635 West Baseline Road, Laveen

Century – 1750 East Highland Avenue, Phoenix

Cholla – 10050 Metro Parkway East, Phoenix

Desert Sage – 7602 West Encanto Boulevard, Phoenix

Harmon – 1325 South 5th Avenue, Phoenix

Ironwood – 4333 East Chandler Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ

Ocotillo – 102 West Southern Avenue, Phoenix AZ

Palo Verde – 4402 North 51st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

Saguaro – 2808 North 46th Street, Phoenix, AZ

South Mountain – 7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ

Yucca – 5648 North 15th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

For more information on “Food for Fines” or for a listing of the new Phoenix Library operating hours, log on to

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