Thunderbirds Charities Donates $300,000 To Bolster Kids Cafe Program

Phoenix, AZ – Thunderbirds Charities, a major player in the growth and expansion of St. Mary’s Kids Cafe Program, has donated $300,000 to allow the food bank to purchase two new refrigerated trucks and to purchase food to help reach more of Arizona’s hungry children than ever before through a new program.

Kids Cafe serves more than 8,000 after-school meals at more than 140 locations to kids at risk of hunger who may not be receiving balanced, nutritional meals at home.

Many meals are served at after school programs that provide a safe environment for kids not only to eat but work on homework and participate in sports and other activities. But the Thunderbird are helping St. Mary’s reach even more kids in 2018 by supporting the new “Grab and Go” program where students receive a meal at the end of the school day before they walk home or get on the bus.

Thunderbirds Charities have provided more than $100 million to Valley non-profits over the years and have played an instrumental role in St. Mary’s reaching as many children as possible through Kid Cafe. The two new trucks will join St. Mary’s existing fleet of Kid Cafe trucks also made possible through donations by the Thunderbirds.

Kids Cafe is one of our most vital and important programs at St. Mary’s, and it would never be as successful or impactful without the continued support of Thunderbirds Charities,” Food Bank President and CEO Tom Kertis said. “The Thunderbirds have embraced the cause of childhood hunger and our mission to always serve one more child. The incredible expansion of Kids Cafe and our ability to open more and more site are a direct result of their vision and determination to help.”

Help St. Mary’s Food Bank “Go Further with Food”

March is National Nutrition Month, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has proclaimed this year’s theme: “Go Further with Food.” In that spirit, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance invites you to support healthy eating habits for Arizona’s families and children in need. You’re also encouraged to help cut down on food waste.

Here’s the great news!

It couldn’t be easier to participate in National Nutrition Month. Simply continue supporting St. Mary’s Food Bank’s crucial hunger-fighting programs. Your ongoing support helps us:

Distribute food to nearly 500 nonprofit partners in 13 Arizona counties. Our efficient distribution methods minimize food waste and maximize the number of hungry people served.

Feed children through our Kids Café, School Pantry, and Backpack programs. We place an emphasis on healthy foods, including produce, to ensure kids receive proper nourishment.

Teach adults to cook through our hands-on Community Kitchen training program. Thanks to you, people with barriers to employment can learn to be successful in the food service industry. On behalf of all of us at St. Mary’s Food Bank, we wish you a wholesome and delicious National Nutrition Month.

Thank you for your faithful support!

Anita Matthews: Volunteer of the Month

We would like to recognize Anita Matthews with Parker Food Bank as our November Outstanding Volunteer of the Month!

Anita has been volunteering at Parker Food Bank for over 5 years and was nominated by food bank staff member Maria Sanchez to highlight her great work. In her role as greeter and client intake volunteer, Maria describes Anita as a dedicated volunteer that can be characterized by 3 H’s- humble, happy, and honest. Anita began volunteering at the food bank to be able to reciprocate the help she received when she fell on hard times and sought assistance from others. She understands the importance of being reliable and honoring your word in day to day operations and uses this as her motivation to volunteer weekly.

When she’s not spending her time at the Parker Food Bank, Anita can be found volunteering at the locale senior center. Anita’s favorite thing about volunteering is being able to spread her positivity to help turn a client’s mood around all while providing a necessity they may not have otherwise received. We would like to thank Anita and the Parker Food Bank for all they do to help the community!

Thank you Anita!

11th Annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive

Phoenix – The 100-degree temperatures are finally in Arizona’s rear-view mirror. This means it’s almost Turkey Time – and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Super Saturday is just around the corner!

 St. Mary’s will hold its 11th annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive, presented by Mobile Mini, on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Food Bank locations in Phoenix and Surprise as well as 28 Albertsons and Safeway locations around the Valley striving to meet the anticipated need for the 2017 holiday season.

The Food Bank distributed more than 12,000 Holiday Food Boxes in the three days leading up to Thanksgiving in 2016. Each year, hopes are that each will contain a turkey and other assorted holiday dinner items giving Arizona families the chance to enjoy the comforting tradition of a holiday meal.

In addition to helping reach the goal of 7,000 donated turkeys, St. Mary’s Food Bank staff and scores of volunteers will gladly accept any monetary or food donations (both perishable and non-perishable) on Super Saturday. All donors are invited to register for a chance to win a $500 Gift Card for Travel donated by American Airlines.

“As the CEO of one of Arizona’s largest publicly traded companies, I am proud to serve on the board of St. Mary’s Food Bank and roll up my sleeves on Super Saturday alongside hundreds of volunteers,” Mobile Mini President and CEO Erik Olsson said. “I will be joined by Mobile Mini employees and their families in helping combat hunger this holiday season.”

Look for the giant inflatable turkey and smiling St. Mary’s volunteers ready for your visit at the following 30 Super Saturday locations around the Valley:

St. Mary’s Food Bank Locations:

2831 N 31st Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009
13050 W Elm St, Surprise AZ 85378

Albertson’s Locations:

5040 W Cactus Rd, Glendale AZ 85304
8035 N 19th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021
2785 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85257
6965 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85250
10665 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85028
8950 W Bell Rd, Peoria AZ 85382
18411 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix AZ 85032
8240 W Deer Valley Rd, Peoria, AZ 85382
3130 W Carefree Hwy, Phoenix AZ 85086
21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix AZ 85050

Safeway Locations:

520 W Osborn Rd, Phoenix AZ 85013
10926 W Bell Rd, Sun City AZ 85373
340 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix AZ 85003
4747 E Elliot Rd, Phoenix AZ 85044
5860 W Thunderbird Rd, Glendale AZ 85306
1500 E Cedar Ave, Flagstaff AZ 86001
6501 E Greenway Pkwy, Scottsdale AZ 85254
10773 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85254
13733 Fountain Hills Blvd, Fountain Hills AZ 85268
23565 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85255
20901 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85255
4005 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix AZ 85044
13440 N 7th St, Phoenix AZ 85022
3132 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix AZ 85016
13503 Camino del Sol, Sun City West AZ 85375
4750 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix AZ 85018
550 E Bell Rd, Phoenix AZ 85022
5035 W Baseline Rd, Laveen AZ 85339

Ready For The Next 50 Years

This fall, St. Mary’s Food Bank celebrates 50 years of improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. Thanks to support from steadfast friends like you, we’ve been able to feed thousands upon thousands of hungry children, seniors and families.

That’s a remarkable achievement, and you should feel proud to have changed so many lives for the better. Here at St. Mary’s Food Bank, we’re inspired by your generosity and courage. Arizonans have always been leaders in the fight against hunger, stretching all the way back to our humble beginnings as the world’s first food bank.

Your example serves to motivate us for the long fight ahead. We can’t afford to rest on our laurels — not when there are still so many people counting on us in this community. Every day, children are trying — and failing — to fall asleep at night in spite of the hunger pains. Seniors spend their days unsure if they’ll be able to put dinner on the table. So many families don’t even know they’ll need us yet.

With you on our side, I know we can help them. Thank you for your ongoing support of St. Mary’s Food Bank. Your generosity means the world to us as we look ahead to the next 50 years of service.

Best wishes this summer,

Tom Kertis

President and Chief Executive Offer

St. Mary’s And Makutu’s Island Join Forces Friday, Sept. 8th

PHOENIX – Makutu’s Island is supporting Hunger Action Month and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s 50th Anniversary Celebration this September. And they are helping to fight childhood hunger by offering two great ways to earn FREE admission to their family fun center on Friday, September 8.

Anyone who brings a donation of five (5) canned food items will receive FREE admission to Makutu’s Island (6919 West Ray Road in Chandler) all day on Friday Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). The normal entrance prices for children ($11.99 plus tax) and adult will be waived on this special day to help the more than one in four Arizona children who struggle with hunger in Arizona.

Want an even better deal? Donate 10 cans on Sept. 8 and Makutu’s Island will present you with a complimentary FUNtastic Pass, packed with great deals from other local businesses including free admission to Makutu’s Island for the rest of September.

Bottled water and packaged noodles (spaghetti, ramen, etc.) and cereal are not accepted for this drive. St. Mary’s most needed items as it heads toward the holiday season are peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables and canned proteins like tuna, beans and ready-to-eat meals.

 

St. Mary's And Makutu's Island Join Forces Friday, Sept. 8th 1

 

Makutu’s Island is one of America’s largest indoor play places, is a trip into fantasy and adventure for children of all ages and a perfect way to beat the Arizona heat.   Designed with a tropical theme, Makutu’s is a lush, exciting indoor “island” with towering trees, climbs, bungee, zip tracker, arcade, café, theater, toddler zone and mysterious caves.

The centerpiece of Makutu’s Island is its magnificent indoor tree.   Filled with tunnels, tubes, mole-holes and slides, the magnificent tree offers hours of fun and adventure.   Around the tree’s perimeter, guests will find animals carved within its extensive roots and a comical three-animal totem pole.  Within the majestic tree,  the “snake” slide is a sure thrill as it starts on the forth level in the air and winds more than 35 feet around the outside of the tree to its base.

“We are incredibly proud to support St. Mary’s Food Bank and Hunger Action Month and give back to the community,” Makutu’s Island spokesman Roy Peterson said. “With the kids back to school and the holidays right around the corner, the food bank is distributing more than 45,000 emergency food boxes to families and children in need each month. They need our help and we invite everyone to take advantage of these great offers.”

For more information on the Matuku’s food drive, visit the Makutu’s Island website www.makutusisland.com or call (480) 344-3740.

50th Anniversary Celebration & Hunger Action Month Presented by Arby’s

“Go Orange,” and take action in September with our 30 Ways in 30 Days to help those in need. Support the fight against hunger!

Phoenix – The World’s First Food Bank celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017-18 and St. Mary’s Food Bank will kick off its golden anniversary festivities by joining other food banks across America by raising awareness and encouraging the public to make a special effort to help those in need during Hunger Action Month.

One in five Arizonans struggle with hunger each day of the year. One in four Arizona children in our state aren’t able to enjoy three meals a day. But these numbers can change if you take action, support St. Mary’s and earn some great benefits for yourself in the process.

How can you help? St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s “30 Ways in 30 Days” Hunger Action Month calendar, presented by Arby’s, provides an action or activity for every day in September so all Arizonans can step forward and help those struggling with food insecurity.

It can be as simple as making a cup of coffee or a brown-bag lunch at home and donating what you would have spent that day to help the hungry – every dollar donated will allow St. Mary’s to distribute enough food for SEVEN meals. Or you can take advantage of many ways to donate time, food or funds alongside some of the many local businesses who will step up during Hunger Action Month.

Governor Doug Ducey has proclaimed September as “Hunger Action Month” in Arizona.

Just some of the great events planned for the month include:

  • Donate $1 or more to St. Mary’s Food Bank at any Valley Arby’s location on Tuesday, Sept. 5 and you will receive a FREE Arby’s Classic Roast Beef sandwich on the spot!
  • Anyone who brings a donation of five (5) canned food items will receive FREE admission to Makutu’s Island (6919 West Ray Road in Chandler) all day on Friday Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Want an even better deal? Donate 10 cans and Makutu’s Island will present you with a complimentary FUNtastic Pass good for free admission for the rest of September!
  • To celebrate national “Go Orange Day” on Thursday Sept. 14, Arizona politicians and news personalities will mark the day by wearing orange ties, and other clothing items to raise awareness to the issue of hunger.
  • Oregano’s will hold its third annual “Carbs for a Cause” event from Sept. 18-22. Just order a pasta meal any day during the event and Oregano’s will donate THREE pasta meals to St. Mary’s on your behalf!
  • Volunteers from Arizona Ford Dealers will volunteer at St. Mary’s Knight Transportation Client Services Center on Wednesday Sept. 13 to assist clients with food boxes and donate 50,000 meals to the Food Bank.
  • You can enjoy a day of fun at Castles N’ Coasters on Saturday Sept. 23. A donation of 10 canned food items (excluding water and ramen noodles) will allow each person entrance into the park access to all the rides for just $10! That’s the lowest price all year, so get ready to take advantage. What a great way to help out!

There are many other ways to help and many other companies and groups who will hold events or volunteer their time during Hunger Action Month. Log on to stmarysfoodbank.org for a full calendar or click the calendar above of “30 Ways in 30 Days” activities. Click on each calendar square and read about that day’s event. Pick out the ones that appeal to you – or better yet, come up with an idea to help yourself and let us know what you’re up to on Facebook, Twitter  or Instagram so we can help spotlight your efforts!

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.