A Message From Tom Kertis, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank

It is “Business as Unusual” at St. Mary’s Food Bank.

As a supplier of food to those most in need we intend to keep operating to uphold our responsibility to the community. This is a fluid environment that changes frequently. Here is our current update:

*We have implemented “Best Practices” in the areas of cleaning, sanitizing, social distancing and having staff and volunteers who feel ill stay home. We are sharing those practices with our hundreds of agency partners throughout Arizona so they can implement these best practices as well. We are prepared to step in to support any of our agencies or communities with a mobile distribution if necessary.

We have gone to a no contact model for food distribution.

*Incoming food from grocery stores and food drives has virtually stopped. Combined, these areas typically bring in NINE semi-trucks of food per week. Today, we have enough food but we may need to purchase food in the near future to offset this shortfall.

Our biggest challenge at this point is a shortage of volunteers. Our volunteers have declined by more than 75% as many groups have cancelled. We need volunteers to pack our Emergency Food Boxes, our senior boxes and our Family back packs. We are reducing the number of people on a packing line to maximize the social distancing. Walk-in volunteers are welcome to join any of the following shifts:

Monday – Friday from 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday from 8 – 10 a.m. and Noon – 2 p.m.

In the meantime, we are redeploying many of our employees to pack food boxes and have hired some of our Community Kitchen graduates, who were laid off by their employer, to also help pack boxes.

A BIG thank you goes out to friends who are helping us:

*Fiesta Bowl Charities just gave us emergency funding.

*A few restaurants that are temporarily closing have reached out to us for us to come pick up highly perishable items that will spoil if left at the restaurants.

These are unprecedented times. We know that we will get through this. We can’t do it alone and we’re lucky we don’t have to.

Thank you friends,

Tom Kertis

President and CEO

St. Mary’s Food Bank