Our Goal Is To Provide More Than 11,000 Turkeys At the Annual Holiday Distribution

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

12th Annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive Saturday, Nov. 17th

Help St. Mary’s Reach Goal of Collecting 7,000 Donated Turkeys and Holiday Boxes

The 100-degree temperatures are finally in Arizona’s rear-view mirror. This means it’s almost Turkey Time – and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Super Saturday is just around the corner!

St. Mary’s will hold its 12th annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive, presented by Mobile Mini, on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Food Bank locations in Phoenix and Surprise as well as 28 Albertsons and Safeway locations around the Valley striving to meet the anticipated need for the 2018 holiday season.

The Food Bank distributed more than 11,000 Holiday Food Boxes in the three days leading up to Thanksgiving in 2017. Each year, hopes are that each will contain a turkey and other assorted holiday dinner items giving Arizona families the chance to enjoy the comforting tradition of a holiday meal.

In addition to helping reach the goal of 7,000 donated turkeys, St. Mary’s Food Bank staff and scores of volunteers will gladly accept any monetary or food donations (both perishable and non-perishable) on Super Saturday. All donors are invited to register for a chance to win 50,000 AAdvantage miles for Travel donated by American Airlines.

“As the CEO of one of Arizona’s largest publicly traded companies, I am proud to serve on the board of St. Mary’s Food Bank and roll up my sleeves on Super Saturday alongside hundreds of volunteers,” Mobile Mini President and CEO Erik Olsson said. “I will be joined by Mobile Mini employees and their families in helping combat hunger this holiday season.”

Look for the giant inflatable turkey and smiling St. Mary’s volunteers ready for your visit at the following 30 Super Saturday locations around the Valley:

(Click here for an interactive map)

Food Bank Locations (2)

  • Del Webb: 2831 N 31st Ave, Phoenix, 85009
  • Surprise: 13050 W Elm St., Surprise, 85378

Albertson’s Locations (11)

  • 5040 W Cactus Rd, Glendale, 85304 (51st and Cactus)
  • 8035 N 19th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021 (19th Ave and Northern)
  • 2785 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85257 (Thomas and Scottsdale Rd)
  • 6965 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85250 (Indian Bend and Hayden)
  • 4747 E Greenway Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032 (Greenway and Tatum)
  • 8950 W Bell Rd, Peoria AZ 85382 (91st and Bell)
  • 18411 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix AZ 85032 (Cave Creek and Union Hills)
  • 8240 W Deer Valley Rd, Peoria, AZ 85382 (83rd and Deer Valley)
  • 3130 W Carefree Hwy, Phoenix AZ 85086 (Carefree and I-17 Freeway)
  • 21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix AZ 85050 (Tatum and Deer Valley)
  • 12970 W Indian School Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340 (Indian School and Dysart)

Safeway Locations (17)

  • 520 W Osborn Rd, Phoenix AZ 85013 (7th Ave and Osborn)
  • 10926 W Bell Rd, Sun City AZ 85373 (Bell and Del Webb Blvd)
  • 4747 E Elliot Rd, Phoenix AZ 85044 (48th and Elliot)
  • 4005 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix AZ 85044 (40th St and Chandler Blvd)
  • 1500 E Cedar Ave, Flagstaff AZ 86001 (Not using SMFBA Resources)
  • 23565 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85255 (Pinnacle Peak and Scottsdale)
  • 13733 Fountain Hills Blvd, Fountain Hills AZ 85268 (Fountain Hills and Palisades Blvd)
  • 20901 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85255 (Pima and Thompson Peak)
  • 6501 E Greenway Pkwy, Scottsdale AZ 85254 (64th St and Greenway)
  • 13440 N 7th St, Phoenix AZ 85022 (7th St and Thunderbird)
  • 10773 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85254 (Scottsdale Rd and Shea)
  • 3132 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix AZ 85016 (32nd St and Camelback)
  • 13503 Camino del Sol, Sun City West AZ 85375 (Camino del Sol and NRH Johnson Blvd)
  • 4750 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix AZ 85018 (Indian School and Arcadia Dr)
  • 14175 W Indian School Rd, Goodyear, AZ 85395 (Indian School and Litchfield)
  • 10641 W Olive Ave, Peoria, AZ 85345 (107th Ave and Olive)
  • 3655 W Anthem Way, Anthem, AZ 85086 (Anthem Way and I-17 Freeway)

St. Mary’s Food Bank To Send Truckload To Hurricane Michael Victims

This afternoon, St. Mary’s Food Bank was asked to activate in its role as responder to national disasters and provide a truckload of food to the victims of Hurricane Michael in Florida. Now that the search and rescue efforts have wound down, the emphasis changes to providing food to those who have either been displaced from their homes or remain without power.

The food bank will be compiling the requested items during the weekend and a truck will leave for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Big Bend in Tallahassee Florida early next week.

We have received many calls from Arizonans wondering how they can help. In order to get this food to where it needs to be as soon as possible, St. Mary’s will pull from its own shelves for the disaster relief. That leaves us short on the types of foods that will depart – peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, ready-to-eat canned meals and other non-perishables. We are asking for your help by making a cash donation to www.firstfoodbank.org or by donating our most-needed food items to drive boxes at your nearest Goodwill location.

St. Mary’s has responded to several disasters in the past year. This has taxed our reserves, especially in the past 30 days. With the holidays soon upon us, please consider helping us replenish now.

Take Action Against Hunger, Feed a Struggling Neighbor

Today, you can help feed a hungry neighbor. Right here in our area we distribute enough food for 250,000 meals every day to people at risk of going hungry.

We believe that everyone should have access to food. That is why September Hunger Action Month is so important – 30 days of focusing on ending hunger and increasing awareness that there is still a lot to be done.

For example, the steeply rising cost of food, rent and basic necessities is making it extremely difficult for low-income families, seniors and others in need. Our neighbors are suffering.

There are seniors who have worked hard all their lives, yet they are skipping meals to pay for their medications. If not for St. Mary’s, they would have nothing to eat.

Imagine children going to school hungry. They can’t concentrate on schoolwork because their stomachs are growling. Boys and girls from low-income families have the most difficult time on Mondays because they have had very little to eat over the weekend. They are tired and have very little energy.

But you can make a real difference by taking action today!

For every $1 you send, we can distribute enough food for 7 meals. Just think how many neighbors you can help today! Thank you for your continued partnership to fight hunger in our community.

12th Annual CANSTRUCTION® Event Begins with construction on Saturday, July 14, 2018

Phoenix Canstruction 2017 Recap 1

The American Institute of Architects Phoenix Metro Chapter will host the 12th Annual CANSTRUCTION® Design Build Competition, July 14-20, 2018 at the Phoenix Convention Center (100 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ). All proceeds from the event will benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Seven teams of architectural, engineering and construction firms will compete to display their talents while feeding the hungry. In the last ten years, the CANSTRUCTION® event has been able to donate over 440,000 pounds of canned goods to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. The event has become the largest single-event donations for the Food Bank, with more than 51,000 cans used to construct incredibly imaginative designs last year.

All of the non-perishable items used during Phoenix CANSTRUCTION® 2018 are donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank to help fill the more than 400,000 Emergency Food Boxes St. Mary’s distributes into the community annually.

This year seven teams will have 12 hours to build their structures in a 10x10x10 foot space on the morning of Saturday, July 14 beginning at 8 a.m. These unique works of art will be on display for the public to view, beginning Sunday, July 15 continuing through Friday, July 20 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

During the first week of exhibition, the public is encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice award at the Convention Center or at Facebook.com/phoenixcanstruction.

The CANSTRUCTION® teams have the opportunity to win awards for the can structures for the following categories Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity, Most Cans and Jurors’ Favorite by a panel of judges. Winning teams will be honored at an Awards Ceremony and dinner on Thursday, July 26.

Arizona Diamondbacks Hold Hunger Awareness Night Friday, June 22 At Chase Field

PHOENIX – Summertime is here. Kids need breakfast to start the day. And you can help.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Milk Producers are teaming up to help St. Mary’s Food Bank with a special for Hunger Awareness Night on Friday, June 29 at Chase Field, before the Diamondbacks meet the San Francisco Giants at 6:40 p.m.

Here’s the deal: Just bring three boxes of cereal or donate $10 – which St. Mary’s will use to distribute enough food for 70 meals this summer – and you will gain entry into a raffle with a chance to win one of three special Diamondback prize packages.

Each winner will receive four tickets to a future Diamondbacks game AND four passes to watch batting practice ON THE FIELD before the game! In addition each winner will receive, either a PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT autographed bat, an ARCHIE BRADLEY autographed baseball or an AJ POLLOCK autographed photo.

Just look for the St. Mary’s Food Bank truck and the special raffle booth on the main plaza beginning at 4:30 p.m. to make your donation and enter the raffle.

Help feed kids this summer and earn a chance to take home free tickets and a great piece of memorabilia from your favorite Diamondbacks stars!

To see full flyer click HERE!

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance Announces Sponsorship Of Our 2018 Summer Food Service Program

St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance Announces Sponsorship Of Our 2018 Summer Food Service Program

Food Served in Partnership with School, Church and Recreation Programs

Phoenix – St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance again assumes sponsorship of the 2018 Summer Food Service Program for Children and will provide meals at the following locations.  The purpose of the program is to help ease demand summer food, particularly among children who take part in the free breakfast and lunch programs during the school year.

Meals will be made available free to all eligible children in the following OPEN sites 18 years of age and under within the approved geographical area without discrimination against any child because of race, color, national origin, sex age or disability.   Any person who believes that he/she has been discriminated against in any USDA related activity should write immediately to the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.

Listed below are the dates, times and locations meals will be provided for children in more than a dozen cities around Arizona. Please contact the person listed to check on space and enrollment qualifications.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Receives $17K Grant from APS for Backpack and Emergency Food Box Programs

St. Mary’s Food Bank Receives $17K Grant from APS for Backpack and Emergency Food Box Programs

With schools closed due to teacher walkouts, St. Mary’s Food Bank staff and volunteers have been working diligently to make sure Arizona children and their families don’t go hungry. But long after the students are back in school, the work of St. Mary’s will continue. Since 1967, this organization has been a reliable source of nutritious food for thousands of Arizonans who are struggling to make ends meet.

St. Mary’s is the state’s largest food bank and without it, far too many people in our state would go without. Over the past year, the organization distributed nearly 87 million pounds of food to its partner agencies, which was used to prepare meals for thousands of low-income, hungry Arizonans. St. Mary’s also served 1.3 million after-school and summer meals at 246 program sites for children who did not have one waiting at home, distributed over 25,000 “backpacks” of food to children who were at risk of missing meals on weekends and during school breaks, and distributed over 700,000 emergency food boxes filled with nutritious perishable and non-perishable food items to families dealing with an emergency situation.

APS has been a longtime partner of St. Mary’s Food Bank, providing financial support, donations, and teams of volunteers to help with food sorting and packing.

“We are so fortunate to have partners like APS who provide support at all three legs of our triangle – financial support, food donations, and volunteering,” said Jerry Brown, St. Mary’s Director of Public Relations. “When APS received our grant application and saw we had a need to support our backpack and emergency food box programs, they came through with the funding we needed.”

APS recently awarded St. Mary’s Food Bank with a $17,000 grant. The funds will be split between two programs, with $14,000 going toward the backpack program in Maricopa County and $3,000 allocated for the emergency food box program in Flagstaff. This translates into 2,000 backpacks and over 400 emergency food boxes.

Brown explains that the backpack is a bag of food that kids can carry or put in their backpack. Kids will pick it up after school on Fridays, typically every week during the school year and sometimes into summer.

Originally intended to provide nourishment for the child only, St. Mary’s soon learned that the food was being shared with siblings and parents as well.

“We increased the amount of food and instead of including single serving items, we made it more a family-style pack with food that the family can use to make meals for the weekend.”

The food box program, which the grant will fund in Flagstaff, provides emergency boxes of food that are designed to last a family of four for three days. The boxes typically contain pasta, rice, canned fruits, canned vegetables, and when available, protein such as canned meat, tuna, or soup. Brown says the food boxes are usually supplemented with donated food like additional protein, produce, and bread.

Those who wish to support the work of St. Mary’s Food Bank are invited to provide financial support, food donations, or volunteer to sort and pack food.

Brown says in the past year, St. Mary’s had 86,418 individuals and corporate groups volunteer at their facilities, providing a total of 272,303 volunteer hours.

“That’s an equivalent of 131 full time employees!” said Brown, noting that the St. Mary’s volunteering experience is always a fun one, with music cranking and an assembly line-style setup for the boxing and bagging of food.

The 26th Annual ‘STAMP OUT HUNGER’ Food Drive – Saturday, May 12th

The 26th Annual ‘STAMP OUT HUNGER’ Food Drive - Saturday, May 12th 1

The largest single-day food drive in the United States – one which helps St. Mary’s Food Bank and other Arizona Food Banks stocked during the long, hot summer – turns 26 years old in 2018.

And it all takes place at your mailbox.

On Saturday, May 12th, over 230,000 letter carriers nationwide, including over 5,000 here in the Valley will be picking up canned food donations on their regular mail routes during the 26th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) “Stamp out Hunger” Food Drive.

This drive began right here in Arizona more than 40 years ago.  In 1976, Phoenix land Glendale letter carriers from NALC Branch 576 began picking up food donations in their own pickup trucks for St. Mary’s Food Bank. That soon evolved into a national effort that has collected more than a 1.5 billion pounds over the last 24 years for Americans suffering from food insecurity. A record total of 80 million pounds, the most food donations EVER in one day, was collected in 2016.

Throughout the week leading up to the food drive, local letter carriers will be dropping off reminder post cards and special grocery bags to both city and rural residents’ mailboxes. The letter carriers encourage those who can help to fill the bags, or any other grocery bag, with nonperishable food items and leave them by their mailboxes on the morning of Saturday May 12th. Your letter carrier will do the rest, making sure the food gets to the one in five Arizonans – and one in four children – dealing with hunger issues in our state.

The hot summer months are almost here in Arizona. Food demand increases with children out of school, while donations dwindle with many residents escaping to cooler climates. With 24 percent of Arizona children living in poverty, and tough economic times challenging the community further, Arizona Food Banks rely on “Stamp Out Hunger” to provide that much-needed influx of food. St. Mary’s distributes more than 40,000 emergency food boxes each month, as well as stocking the 500-plus agency partners it serves.

Items most needed by the food banks include canned fruit and vegetables, soups and meals in a can, pasta, peanut butter, tuna, rice and cereal.

For more information on this event, visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.  For statistics on poverty and hunger, media inquiries, photos or interview requests, please contact Jerry Brown at (602) 343-3160, (602) 684-0939 or jjbrown@firstfoodbank.org.

St. Mary’s Goes Mobile To Increase Efforts To Feed Children And Families : Operation Meal Kit Beginning May 1st

With the school closures rolling into a second week and food crisis for hundreds of thousands of Arizona reaching emergency levels, St. Mary’s Food Bank will move to first-responder status beginning on Tuesday, May 1 and take food outreach to the streets with “Operation Meal Kit.”

In addition to ramping up our kids meal program by 25 percent to more than 9,000 and offering emergency food boxes at hundreds of locations for all, St. Mary’s will attack the crisis head-on and fan out across Phoenix and the north and west Valley to hand out specially designed meal kits at locations selected to reach as many at-risk kids and families as possible.

“St. Mary’s has been a first-responder to fire and flood disasters in northern Arizona and hurricane and tornado disasters across the country,” Food Bank President and CEO Tom Kertis said. “But with a situation in our own backyard reaching disaster level, it’s time to aggressively step up our response and reach as many kids and families who continue to struggle as possible.”

Kits featuring peanut butter, jelly, breads and cereals will be handed out from 2-6 p.m. – specially designed to give working parents an opportunity to stop by on the way home from work – at these locations. Look for the St. Mary’s Food Bank truck and the smiling volunteers ready to hand out this meal kits at the following locations with more to be announced on Monday:

Church of God Prophecy –  5141 N. 23rd Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85015

Avondale Resource Center – 328 W. Western Avenue, Avondale AZ 85323

Epworth United Methodist Church – 4802 N. 59th Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85003

Santo Nino Community Center – 3206 West Melvin Street, Phoenix AZ 85009

Peoria Community Center – 8335 W, Jefferson Street, Peoria AZ 85345

Pure Heart Church – 14240 N. 43rd Avenue, Glendale AZ  85306

For more information on “Operation Meal Kit” and more information on emergency food options, visit www.firstfoodbank.org and look for the “School Closures/Get Help” section on the main page.