Inside the
world’s first
food bank.

Feeding America Logo

Our Mission

St. Mary’s Food Bank serves to alleviate hunger through the gathering and distribution of food while encouraging self-sufficiency, collaboration, advocacy and education.

St. Mary’s Food Bank is truly a community-based organization. Individual donors, corporate donors, and private grants help feed hungry individuals and families in our area. Serving two-thirds of Arizona’s 13 counties, we are committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need.

Financial Accountability & Transparency

St. Mary’s maintains a system of internal accounting controls, ensuring that all transactions are properly executed and recorded, all assets are safeguarded, and all established policies and procedures are carefully followed.

You can see the impact of your donations by viewing St. Mary’s financial reports below.

Note: This statement of revenue, allocations and expenses is the responsibility of the management of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Our Team

For everyone working at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, ending hunger in Arizona is more than our profession. It is our life’s mission. Our team is made up of passionate professionals who believe that everyone has the right to a nutritious meal. We invite you to take a moment to get to know us.

Marc IsaacsSun Orchard, Inc.
Nicki Schillhahn-AmosFry’s Food Stores
Vice Chairman
Sheryl HildebrandDeloitte Consulting
Susan WainScottsdale Insurance (Nationwide)
Arnott DuncanDuncan Family Farms
Mary BennettPhoenix Memorial Hospital (retired)
Tom ClarkNationwide
John GintyGolden West, A Financial Corp.
Graeme ParkesMobile Mini, Inc.
John DemetraImmediate Past-Chairman, Retired, Deloitte Consulting
Stephan KingStephan King PC
Peter LarsonBrunswick Corporation, Retired
Terry MorrisonCrescent Crown Distributing
Judd NorrisArizona Diamondbacks
Erik OlssonMobile Mini
Gene PetersonWells Fargo
John RousselShamrock Foods
Paul SwartzSwartz Concrete Company (retired)
Tom Kertis 2
Tom KertisPresident & CEO
Duane Lawson
Duane LawsonChief Operations Officer
Lisa Notaro, CFRE
Lisa Notaro, CFREChief Development & Community Relations Officer
Sarah Stuckey, CPA
Sarah Stuckey, CPAChief Financial Officer

Are you passionate about ending hunger? We’d love to have you on our team.
View our career opportunities.

Filling hungry stomachs for 50 years!

A hungry, young mother. A man with a mission. And a new goal.

These were the beginnings of the world’s first food bank. John van Hengel founded St. Mary’s Food Bank in 1967. He had been volunteering at a local soup kitchen, serving dinner to those in need when a young mother told him that she depended on soup kitchens and food from grocery store dumpsters to feed her children. Van Hengel’s heart was broken. His conversation with the young woman ignited a desire to help hungry families like hers, so he came up with the idea of a “Food Bank,” where individuals and companies with excess food could “deposit” it, and those in need could “withdraw” it.

His local parish, St. Mary’s Basilica in downtown Phoenix, gave him $3,000 and an abandoned building where he was able to turn his dream into reality, and in gratitude, he named his food bank “St. Mary’s.” He then went on to become the founder of several other food banks across the country and even founded the national organization America’s Second Harvest (known today as Feeding America). Years later, van Hengel also founded the Global Food Banking network. John van Hengel is rightly referred to as “the father of food banking” with it starting right here at St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona.

Today, St. Mary’s Food Bank is one of the largest food banks in the United States, and proud of the impact it has had on Arizona — and the world.