13th Annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive

Help St. Mary’s Reach Our Goal of Collecting 10,000 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 13th annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive, presented by Mobile Mini, on Saturday, Nov. 23 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 2019 holiday season.

The Food Bank distributed more than 11,000 Holiday Food Boxes in the three days leading up to Thanksgiving in 2018. 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. For more turkey distribution info click HERE.

In addition to helping reach the goal of 10,000 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. Every dollar donated will help St. Mary’s provide seven meals for those in need during the 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:

Interactive Map

St. Mary’s 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 AZ 85304 (51st Avenue and Cactus)
  • 8035 N 19th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021 (19th Avenue and Northern)
  • 2785 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85257 (Thomas and Scottsdale Rd)
  • 11475 E Via Linda, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 (Via Linda and Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • 6965 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85250 (Indian Bend and Hayden)
  • 8950 W Bell Rd, Peoria AZ 85382 (91st Avenue and Bell Road)
  • 18411 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix AZ 85032 (Cave Creek and Union Hills)
  • 8240 W Deer Valley Rd, Peoria, AZ 85382 (83rd Avenue and Deer Valley)
  • 3130 W Carefree Hwy, Phoenix AZ 85086 (Carefree Highway and the I-17)
  • 21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix AZ 85050 (Tatum and Deer Valley)
  • 12970 W Indian School Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340 (Indian School and Dysart Road)

Safeway Locations (17)

  • 520 W Osborn Rd, Phoenix AZ 85013 (7th Ave and Osborn)
  • 3800 West Happy Valley Road, Glendale, 85310
  • 14696 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (FLW and Raintree)
  • 4747 E Elliot Rd, Phoenix AZ 85044 (48th and Elliot)
  • 4005 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix AZ 85044 (40th St and Chandler Blvd)
  • 4747 E Greenway Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032 (Tatum and Greenway)
  • 1500 E Cedar Ave, Flagstaff AZ 86001 (Not using SMFBA Resources)
  • 23565 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85255 (Pinnacle Peak and Scottsdale)
  • 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)
  • 10641 W Olive Ave, Peoria, AZ 85345 (107th Ave and Olive)
  • 3655 W Anthem Way, Anthem, AZ 85086 (Anthem Way and I-17 Freeway)

From Outreach To Success

At St. Mary’s, we take pride in our numerous programs that help individuals both in the valley and across the state.

The Emergency Food Box program, Kids Café and Community Kitchen are just a few that boost and enhance lives every day. Regardless of the program, it does our hearts good to see efforts start as an outreach strategy and end with success. This is one of those times.

A staple in the downtown Phoenix community, and a fantastic partner with our Community Kitchen program, Phoenix Public Library’s Burton Barr Central Library provides more than a beautiful safe haven and quality literature. They also are a hub of teaching and training at no cost. They have a litany of classes and resources available.

Credit Phoenix New TImes

They have a litany of classes and resources available: the PhxWorks program serves the workforce community with job fairs and a youth employment series, the hive@central offers free a startup business series to entrepreneurs launch a new business, and the College Depot programs provides trainings to help individuals get into college.

Not to mention they also have a free computer training program and happen to be a meal distribution site for our Kids Cafe program!

As a Community Kitchen partner, Burton Barr allows a St. Mary’s Recruitment Specialist into the building once a month to help us advocate and educate the community for a healthier Arizona. This is where the journey to seeing our outreach success begins.

Shawntele has been living in the Phoenix area for about 13 years. She had been working as educator and a music together instructor when some unexpected life changes came her way. With those changes she had to go to part-time and she had to accept a major pay decrease. Over time, her hours were cut back even further and bills started to become an issue for her. This is when she met Adam Ketcham, our Community Kitchen Recruitment Specialist at the one and only Burton Barr Central Library.

She soon enrolled in Community Kitchen, and excelled! She says that she learned “Success is possible at any age, no matter what your circumstances are or have been. The experience at Community Kitchen encouraged and supported a healthier self-esteem, self- confidence, order, exactness, concentration and self- discipline. These are a few of many seeds planted, (and were) necessary for weeding out the shenanigans of life.”

St. Mary's CEO Tom Kertis and Shawntele

In her final weeks at Community Kitchen, she was put in contact with a program manager at S.T.A.R. (Stand Together and Recover Centers) that visited soon to be graduates in her class. After the interview process she was hired on to work as a Chef/Cook Training/Apprenticeship in their Culinary Arts Program. She assists with prepping, packing, loading, delivering and serving meals, assisting with some catering events and more.

Without Community Kitchen and without their partnership with Burton Barr Central Library, Shawntele believes that she would have “no opportunity to experience and once again be a successful student and citizen of the world.”

These are the stories that keep St. Mary’s moving. That let us know we are taking the right steps. That we are fulfilling part of our mission. To alleviate hunger through the gathering and distribution of food while encouraging self-sufficiency, collaboration, advocacy and education.

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.

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.

Agency Spotlight: Harvest Compassion Center

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.

You Can Make A Difference! Stamp Out Hunger on May 12

You Can Make A Difference! Stamp Out Hunger on May 12 2
You Can Make A Difference! Stamp Out Hunger on May 12 2

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 fooddrives@firstfoodbank.org

Culver’s Snowbird Food Drive

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

Help Fight Hunger With The Phoenix Suns.

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.

Frank Might Not Have Survived Without You

“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.

St. Mary’s And Makutu’s Island Join Forces Friday, Sept. 8th

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.

 

St. Mary's And Makutu's Island Join Forces Friday, Sept. 8th 1

 

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.