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.
Since 2011, the Harvest Compassion Center Phoenix/Maryvale has been serving guests throughout the Valley.
The HCC strives to be more than just a local food bank, it’s your one-stop shop! It is set up like a mini-mart and clothing boutique, where guests are welcomed to shop and choose their desired food items, hygiene products, baby items, various home products and clothing FREE of charge. We are open to the general public and provide service to anyone living in Arizona, as there are no pre-qualifications or appointments ever needed.
Our desire is to welcome and love every guest who walks through our doors offering a first class service experience! We love taking time with each family who visits us, having one-on-one interactions and conversations which lets each guest feel truly welcome. Our hope and prayer is to continue to serve those living in and around the Valley, as well as expand our reach to every underserved area of the state. The HCC’s have served over 22,000 families since opening, however, it is still each individual story that makes an impact on the staff and volunteers at HCC.
This place goes above and beyond per Adrie Olson who nominated this agency. They take pride in allowing their guests to shop for their own items. In their mini-mart style shopping center, their guests feel welcomed and given a voice. Everything is spotless and looks perfect. The labels of each can and food/hygiene items on the shelf is facing out and in perfect rows. It’s just like a store.
From kids in school to someone looking for a job, families find the clothing items they need in the boutique. They can even change into the clothes they choose right away because every item is washed and dried and even ironed! They are a quality organization that strives for excellence in all they do.
One of our biggest food drives of the year happens on May 12, and all you have to do is leave nonperishable food items for your mail carrier. They will pick it up and do the rest!
The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is an annual event that started in Phoenix and now takes place nationwide. Any nonperishable food items you donate will go directly to local children and families who face hunger in Arizona.
Urgent items needed include canned fruits and vegetables, soups and meals in a can, pasta, peanut butter, tuna, rice and cereal. For more information, please visit HelpStampOutHunger.com, or call us at (602) 343-3164. Thank you for helping Stamp Out Hunger in Arizona!
Host your own food drive
If you are looking for a way to involve your school, business, church or other organization in fighting hunger, please consider hosting a food drive. Any nonperishable food items collected will be distributed directly to hungry neighbors in the 13 counties in Arizona we serve.
To register, please call the Food Drive Hotline at (602) 343-3173 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attention snowbirds! Clean out your cupboards and help feed the hungry before heading back home and earn a tasty treat from Culver’s!
Now through April 12th, donate five non-perishable food items at any of 10 Culver’s locations and be rewarded with a free one-scoop dessert item. Feed the hungry and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time!
The following Culver’s locations are participating in the St. Mary’s Snowbird Food Drive. Gather up your cans and enjoy the rewards of giving back!
1. Culver’s Chandler – 3155 West Ray Road, Chandler
2. Culver’s Mesa – 1263 Crismon Road, Mesa
3. Culver’s East Phoenix – 825 East Camelback Road, Phoenix
4. Culver’s Surprise – 16145 West Bell Road, Surprise
5. Culver’s Peoria – 8271 West Ludlow, Peoria
6. Culver’s Glendale – 5127 N. 99th Avenue, Glendale
7. Culver’s MetroCenter – 10225 N 28th Dr, Phoenix
8. Culver’s Scottsdale – 8668 East Shea Blvd, Scottsdale
9. Culver’s Verrado – 1540 N. Verrado Way, Buckeye
10. Culver’s Avondale – 1025 N. Avondale Blvd, Avondale
The Suns will host a Food Drive for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance on Friday, April 6, 2018. Fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items, especially peanut butter, to the game and drop it off with volunteers stationed outside all entrance gates at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Beginning at 3 p.m., fans that donate three or more jars of peanut butter will receive two (2) tickets to the Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans game that evening (while supplies last). April 6 is also Devin Booker Bobblehead night, with the first 5,000 fans receiving a bobblehead of the Suns star guard. Call 602-343-3160 for more information.
“My name is Frank. I remember thinking the eight years I spent in the Marine Corps were tough. They didn’t hold a candle to what came next. After my service, I made bad decisions and found myself in a tough scene. Then I met a kind woman and things went well for a while. She left when I chose bad habits over her love. That felt like rock bottom, so I reached out for help with my addictions. I’m clean and sober today. Still, without St. Mary’s Food Bank, I might not have survived. There’s no way I could afford to buy the healthy, delicious stuff they provide.”
“For example, at Thanksgiving I received a turkey with all the trimmings. I shared it with friends — making enough for an army, literally! I use everything the Food Bank gives me, every time. My military career gave me a sense of purpose. Now I’m finding that again by sharing the good, nutritious food I’ve been so blessed to receive. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping people like me when we need it most.”
When heroes like Frank fall on hard times, you’re there to help them get back on their feet. Thank you for giving generously to ensure that hungry Arizonans receive the food they need to survive.
PHOENIX – Makutu’s Island is supporting Hunger Action Month and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s 50th Anniversary Celebration this September. And they are helping to fight childhood hunger by offering two great ways to earn FREE admission to their family fun center on Friday, September 8.
Anyone who brings a donation of five (5) canned food items will receive FREE admission to Makutu’s Island (6919 West Ray Road in Chandler) all day on Friday Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). The normal entrance prices for children ($11.99 plus tax) and adult will be waived on this special day to help the more than one in four Arizona children who struggle with hunger in Arizona.
Want an even better deal? Donate 10 cans on Sept. 8 and Makutu’s Island will present you with a complimentary FUNtastic Pass, packed with great deals from other local businesses including free admission to Makutu’s Island for the rest of September.
Bottled water and packaged noodles (spaghetti, ramen, etc.) and cereal are not accepted for this drive. St. Mary’s most needed items as it heads toward the holiday season are peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables and canned proteins like tuna, beans and ready-to-eat meals.
Makutu’s Island is one of America’s largest indoor play places, is a trip into fantasy and adventure for children of all ages and a perfect way to beat the Arizona heat. Designed with a tropical theme, Makutu’s is a lush, exciting indoor “island” with towering trees, climbs, bungee, zip tracker, arcade, café, theater, toddler zone and mysterious caves.
The centerpiece of Makutu’s Island is its magnificent indoor tree. Filled with tunnels, tubes, mole-holes and slides, the magnificent tree offers hours of fun and adventure. Around the tree’s perimeter, guests will find animals carved within its extensive roots and a comical three-animal totem pole. Within the majestic tree, the “snake” slide is a sure thrill as it starts on the forth level in the air and winds more than 35 feet around the outside of the tree to its base.
“We are incredibly proud to support St. Mary’s Food Bank and Hunger Action Month and give back to the community,” Makutu’s Island spokesman Roy Peterson said. “With the kids back to school and the holidays right around the corner, the food bank is distributing more than 45,000 emergency food boxes to families and children in need each month. They need our help and we invite everyone to take advantage of these great offers.”
For more information on the Matuku’s food drive, visit the Makutu’s Island website www.makutusisland.com or call (480) 344-3740.
“Go Orange,” and take action in September with our 30 Ways in 30 Days to help those in need. Support the fight against hunger!
Phoenix – The World’s First Food Bank celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017-18 and St. Mary’s Food Bank will kick off its golden anniversary festivities by joining other food banks across America by raising awareness and encouraging the public to make a special effort to help those in need during Hunger Action Month.
One in five Arizonans struggle with hunger each day of the year. One in four Arizona children in our state aren’t able to enjoy three meals a day. But these numbers can change if you take action, support St. Mary’s and earn some great benefits for yourself in the process.
How can you help? St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s “30 Ways in 30 Days” Hunger Action Month calendar, presented by Arby’s, provides an action or activity for every day in September so all Arizonans can step forward and help those struggling with food insecurity.
It can be as simple as making a cup of coffee or a brown-bag lunch at home and donating what you would have spent that day to help the hungry – every dollar donated will allow St. Mary’s to distribute enough food for SEVEN meals. Or you can take advantage of many ways to donate time, food or funds alongside some of the many local businesses who will step up during Hunger Action Month.
Governor Doug Ducey has proclaimed September as “Hunger Action Month” in Arizona.
Just some of the great events planned for the month include:
Donate $1 or more to St. Mary’s Food Bank at any Valley Arby’s location on Tuesday, Sept. 5 and you will receive a FREE Arby’s Classic Roast Beef sandwich on the spot!
Anyone who brings a donation of five (5) canned food items will receive FREE admission to Makutu’s Island (6919 West Ray Road in Chandler) all day on Friday Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Want an even better deal? Donate 10 cans and Makutu’s Island will present you with a complimentary FUNtastic Pass good for free admission for the rest of September!
To celebrate national “Go Orange Day” on Thursday Sept. 14, Arizona politicians and news personalities will mark the day by wearing orange ties, and other clothing items to raise awareness to the issue of hunger.
Oregano’s will hold its third annual “Carbs for a Cause” event from Sept. 18-22. Just order a pasta meal any day during the event and Oregano’s will donate THREE pasta meals to St. Mary’s on your behalf!
Volunteers from Arizona Ford Dealers will volunteer at St. Mary’s Knight Transportation Client Services Center on Wednesday Sept. 13 to assist clients with food boxes and donate 50,000 meals to the Food Bank.
You can enjoy a day of fun at Castles N’ Coasters on Saturday Sept. 23. A donation of 10 canned food items (excluding water and ramen noodles) will allow each person entrance into the park access to all the rides for just $10! That’s the lowest price all year, so get ready to take advantage. What a great way to help out!
There are many other ways to help and many other companies and groups who will hold events or volunteer their time during Hunger Action Month. Log on to stmarysfoodbank.org for a full calendar or click the calendar above of “30 Ways in 30 Days” activities. Click on each calendar square and read about that day’s event. Pick out the ones that appeal to you – or better yet, come up with an idea to help yourself and let us know what you’re up to on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram so we can help spotlight your efforts!
Every year St. Mary’s Food Bank gets a huge donation of food from architects, engineers, contractors, design firms, and design students who all participate in Phoenix Canstruction. Phoenix Canstruction is an amazing event, hosted by the Society for Marketing Professional Services, that invites teams to get creative and make structures entirely out of canned goods!
51,000 lbs. donated!
From dump trucks to tractors and Mr. T to Mario, these teams took up to seven hours to create some incredible structures all while helping provide food for people in need. Last year, Phoenix Canstruction helped donate 47,000 pounds of food to St. Mary’s Food Bank. This year they bested their high score and donated 51,000 pounds of food!
The structures that were built are still on display for the public to see at the Phoenix Convention Center until August 12th (appropriately named “Decanstruction Day”).
Holding ourselves to a high standard, we still have a goal to be able to distribute 125 million pounds of food by 2021. With amazing events like Phoenix Canstruction we will consistently strive to make sure that our communities are growing and we are truly fighting hunger. St. Mary’s Food Bank thanks the Phoenix Canstruction teams and the Society for Marketing Professional Services for helping donate 51,000 pounds of food and for putting on an amazing event. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year!
Want to see more of these magnificent structures? Click HERE to check out the Canstruction Facebook page.