PHOENIX – As the government shutdown enters its third week, federal workers and their families subject to furloughs and working without pay have started to feel the effects at home.
St. Mary’s Food Bank has seen a sharp uptick in the number of families reaching out for help and is stepping up its response by bringing food directly to the affected communities.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees are currently working their normal shifts without pay. To help the TSA families feeling the financial pinch, St. Mary’s will hold a special Mobile Pantry Distribution at the TSA Offices at Gateway Tower (410 North 44th Street, just north of Van Buren Street). St. Mary’s will be providing a balanced and nutritious array of foods for TSA workers to take home.
“No matter what your opinions are about the issues surrounding the shutdown, we can all agree that federal employees and their families are caught in the middle. We want to make sure they know we are here for them and ready to help,” St. Mary’s Food Bank President and CEO Tom Kertis said. “With the shutdown extended into a third week we felt it was time to step up our response. TSA workers are staying on the job without a paycheck. We hope we can provide some food for their families and eliminate one concern during a difficult time.”
With the partial Federal Government Shutdown now entering a third week and Arizona families missing paychecks as a result, St. Mary’s Food Bank is here to provide help to those who suddenly find themselves in in need of emergency food.
For those who have never been to the food bank and are unsure of the process, it Is a simple one. St. Mary’s has more than 500 agency partner locations in the state and one is likely in your neighborhood. You can visit our main locations in Phoenix (3131 West Thomas Road) or Surprise (13050 West Elm Street) for immediate food assistance and information on the closest agency partner near your home to receive food.
You can also call St. Mary’s Food Bank at (602) 242-FOOD or visit our website at stmarysfoodbank.org for more information on receiving food during this difficult time.
This week, St. Mary’s sent 150 emergency food boxes and other assorted staple food items to the Grand Canyon to assist families who work at the park and have been furloughed during the shutdown.
With Thanksgiving now just 17 days away, St. Mary’s Food Bank is more than 7,500 turkeys shy of its goal for its 25th annual Holiday Food Distribution that serves more than 11,000 families.
Of particular concern is that total is more than 1,000 turkeys behind the pace of last year, when the food bank was able to meet its goal a few days before the distribution.
“Thanksgiving comes very early this year – on the 22nd of November – and that combined with a slow start to donations makes for a concerning situation with so little time to reach our goal,” St. Mary’s Director of Media Relations Jerry Brown said. “If you have supported this incredible effort in the past we ask that you remember those in need and donate a turkey to ensure Arizona families will be able to have the comfort of a traditional Thanksgiving meal with their loved ones.”
St. Mary’s is accepting donations at its locations in Phoenix (2831 N. 31st Avenue) and Surprise (13050 West Elm Street) Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and volunteers will be at 30 Albertsons and Safeway locations for the annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive on Saturday, November 17 to collect your donations of food and funds.
For a map of locations click HERE