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Along with providing meals for up to 1,500 families every day out of its two main Valley locations, St. Mary’s Food Bank also distributes food to a network of more than 700 agency partners around Arizona. St. Mary’s is always looking for opportunities to help our agency partners to make their distributions larger and easier.
This year, a grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and its Community Development Block Grant CDBG Program has allowed St. Mary’s to purchase seven Ford Transit vehicles and three full-sized refrigerated box trucks and more than 30 commercial-sized refrigerators and freezers to gift to agency partners both in the Valley and in more rural locations in northern Arizona.
The CDBG grants are funded through the CARES Act and funds were used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For St. Mary’s, the emphasis is on helping our agencies rescue food from local grocery stores in their area and providing better access to seniors struggling with hunger.
Adrie Olson, Volunteer Coordinator at Harvest Compassion Center says,
"We have been partners with St. Mary's for awhile now and through the years we have been able to get so much more product. Now with the vans, we will be able to pick up more food because it is refrigerated, so more food gets into the hands of families we serve and combat hunger in the valley."
The first two Transit Vans obtained via this grant – wrapped with the logos of the partner recipients – will be presented to St. Vincent de Paul of Lake Havasu and Mitchell Swaback Harvest Compassion Centers in Maryvale and North Phoenix.
Representatives from both agency partners will be here to take possession of the keys and talk about what the vehicles will mean to their mission. St. Mary’s representatives will be here to talk about other charities who will be recipients of vehicles and enhanced food storage thanks to this grant as the year progresses. Olson says,