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 9 of Arizona’s 15 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 Isaacs
Sun Orchard, Inc. (retired)
Board Member
Arnott Duncan
Duncan Family Farms
Vice Chairman
Bob Beake
Shamrock Foods Company (retired)
Board Member
Jackie Askin
Askin Consulting
Douglas Currault
Freeport-McMoran Inc.
Board Member
Becky Winterscheidt
Partner, Snell & Wilmer
John Ginty
Golden West, A Financial Corp.
Board Member
Tom Clark
Board Member
Graeme Parkes
Mobile Mini, Inc.
Board Member
Peter Larson
Brunswick Corporation, Retired
Board Member
Terry Morrison
Crescent Crown Distributing
Board Member
Judd Norris
Arizona Diamondbacks
Board Member
Erik Olsson
Mobile Mini, Inc.
Board Member
Gene Peterson
Wells Fargo
Board Member
John Roussel
Shamrock Foods
Board Member
Sheryl Hildebrand
Deloitte Consulting (retired)
Board Member
Paul Swartz
Lifetime MemberSwartz Concrete Company (retired)

Tom Kertis President & CEO

Duane Lawson Chief Operations Officer

Marcos Gaucin Chief Programs Officer

Lisa Notaro, CFRE

Lisa Notaro, CFRE Chief Development & Community Relations Officer

Sarah Stuckey, CPA

Sarah Stuckey, CPA Chief Financial Officer

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.