Volunteer Spotlight – April 2018

Jane has been a proud volunteer for the YWCA for over 14 years. She helps out twice a week with the food pantry that offers fresh food such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread, and pasta to the seniors.

“It feels good to help those who otherwise could not do for themselves.”

What has kept her volunteering with the YWCA for so long? Laughter and friends.

“I laugh a lot here and have a good time. The YWCA has good people and programs that I learn a lot from. It is helpful on every level!”

Volunteer of the Month: Jeffery Ryanson – Ozanam Manor

Jeffrey rides his bike to our shelter, regardless of the temperature outside. He always arrives early with a smile and kind word, and a piece of candy for residents and staff. “He is a true Candy Man”. He is always willing to do whatever needs to be done at the shelter.

Recently, he has taken on the additional responsibility of assisting us in covering for our Facilities Manager who has been off ill for several weeks. Specifically, he has picked up meals, shopped for supplies, stocked supplies, cleaned the kitchen, made minor repairs, assisted residents, performed dorm and site inspections, assisted with breakfast prep & serving, assisted with service visits, covered phones & assisted in the office. He always wishes staff & clients a blessed day!

He is a true blessing at Ozanam Manor and we are truly thankful for everything he does and the wonderful way he does it. He is truly a hardworking, kind, & generous man that we are very fortunate to have as a volunteer at Ozanam Manor.

Great work Jeffrey!

Scouting for Food Annual Food Drive to Benefit Food Banks!

PHOENIX, January 30, 2018Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council will be collecting food to support Arizona food banks in serving those in need throughout the state.  This past weekend scouts distributed door hangers to let their neighbors know about the drive. Saturday, February 3, 2018, Scouts revisit the houses to pick up bags full of food that will be delivered to their local food bank.

“The holiday season is behind us, but the need for food is year- round and events like Scouting for Food is very important to help food banks remain stocked to serve those in need,”  St. Mary’s President and CEO Tom Kertis said. “We are grateful to scouts across Arizona taking part in this drive and the way they give back to their communities. We urge those who can to support this drive by leaving donations of non- perishable food for the scouts to collect.”

Scouting for Food Annual Food Drive to Benefit Food Banks! 2

Donations will benefit members of the Association of Arizona Food Banks, including St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and United Food Bank. Donations will also benefit other agencies that are a part of the food bank network in the state.  In 2017, Arizona food banks collectively distributed 178 million pounds of food – equivalent to more than 148 million meals, reaching Arizonans in need statewide.

We like to have the Scouting for Food drive serve two purposes. The first one is teaching the youth of our organization the meaning of community services and helping those in need, and the second purposes it to help raise food for those less fortunate in Arizona,” said Scout Executive and CEO Larry Abbott.

The needs of families and individuals around the state continue to be strong, according to the Association of Arizona Food Banks. Currently one in six Arizonans lack consistent access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food. This includes almost one in four children with Arizona showing some of the nation’s highest rates of food insecurity.

“The Scouting for Food drive helps restock our shelves after the holiday season,” noted Dave Richins, United Food Bank CEO. “The scouts who participate in this drive exemplify the Scout Oath ‘To help other people at all times,’ especially in their community.”

Continuing a Halloween Tradition

Say hello to Josh Schauer, who just showed up at St. Mary’s with his mom, more than 250 pounds of food for hungry children and a great story:

Last year his friend Stephanie asked him to help her collect food instead of candy on Halloween, asking for canned items when they went trick or treating.

Josh said yes and had a great time. So this year, when Stephanie went off to college, Josh decided his was going to do it again by himself.

Josh passed out fliers in his neighborhood to let people know he was coming by on Halloween “But you still get a few funny looks when you ask for a can of food instead of a candy bar,” he said. But almost everyone along the way had something for Josh and at the end of the night he had collected 262 pounds of food, which the family stuffed into the car and brought to us.

Thank you Josh. Thank you Stephanie, for planting the seed. And thank you to all who give up their time to help others. You should all dress up as superstars — because you are!

The Joy You Bring

A Letter from Our President & Chief Executive Officer – Tom Kertis

You put nutritious food on the tables of hungry neighbors when
you support St. Mary’s Food Bank this holiday season. What you
may not be aware of is the joy you bring to the people you help,
especially this time of year.

With holiday celebrations and food seemingly everywhere, many
families often feel left out of the festivities — like they’re on the
outside looking in. That’s where your compassion and generosity
come into play.

I wish you could see the joy (sometimes accompanied by tears)
on their faces when they walk out of St. Mary’s Food Bank with a
box brimming with delicious foods — even turkeys — knowing
they too will be able to celebrate around the table. Truly priceless!

You are the reason for that joy. It’s only because of caring friends
like you that St. Mary’s Food Bank can get food to those in need
across Arizona. So thank you, and if you are able, please continue
your kind support with a generous gift today.

Every $1 you share provides 7 meals for children, families, and
seniors. Just imagine all the good you will do . . . all the joy you
will bring!

Best wishes this fall,

The Joy You Bring 1

How You Can Help this Hunger Action Month

Hunger hurts people in every corner of the United States, including Arizona. All told, 48 million Americans are experiencing hunger. Worst of all, 15 million of them are children suffering due to circumstances beyond their control.

Thankfully, this catastrophic problem has a solution. Through your support of St. Mary’s Food Bank, you’re helping lead the fight to end hunger. This month, you can unite with caring people all across the country to feed hungry Americans. Here are three simple, direct ways to make a difference during September, Hunger Action Month.

3 Ways To Take Action

1) Give Food/Funds

Host a food or fund drive through your school, company, or church. Your canned goods or boxed items will feed a person in need. Every $1 you donate will provide 7 meals.

2) Donate Time

Volunteers form the backbone of the Food Bank. Please visit Volunteer.FirstFoodBank.org to learn about volunteer opportunities for individuals or groups.

3) Pay Tribute

Interested in acknowledging someone special in your life via a thoughtful gift to the food bank? Contact development@firstfoodbank.org or call (602) 343-2534 to learn more.

For more ways to participate in Hunger Action Month, visit http://www.stmarysfoodbank.org/get-involved/