Partnering with Tribal Communities
St. Mary's Food Bank service territory covers 8 of 15 counties, covering 81,000 square miles of Arizona. This area is home to fifteen unique tribal communities
including Navajo, Hopi, Yavapai-Apache, Fort Mojave, Havasupai, and Hualapai Tribal lands, and reaching most of rural Arizona. “These areas have limited access to food and high rates of food insecurity. As a food bank, it is our responsibility to equally serve all of our high need areas,” explains Ceara Chirovsky, Northern Arizona Programs Manager for St. Mary’s Food Bank. The Navajo Nation, the largest tribe in the country, encompasses an area the size of Massachusetts, Maryland and Vermont combined. Stretching across three states, this massive area only hosts 14 grocery stores. Resources are extremely limited, including food access. St. Mary’s Food Bank distributes food to over 4,000 households every month through 70 community partners throughout Arizona’s tribal communities. “It takes a lot of time to travel to these locations, six hours round trip from our Flagstaff office to get to and from any given location at minimum.” Lauren Tomlinson, St. Mary’s Food Bank Mobile Distribution Manager explains. However, St. Mary’s Food Bank is committed to serving our entire service area and offering programs and services regardless of location. St. Mary’s recently opened a warehouse in Chinle, Arizona to offer a consistent distribution center on the Navajo Nation, this brick and mortar location is the first of its kind for our organization in a rural community. “Our hope is to find partner agencies and communities to help expand that to make food access easier for the community,” Tomlinson says. St. Mary’s Food Bank is currently distributing food through the assistance of Chapter Houses, Villages, and Tribal governments, but there are still many areas left that we need to reach.
Apached County, home to Navajo Nation and the Zuni and Fort Apached tribes, has more than a 20% food insecurity rate, the highest our of any majority Native American county in the United States.
Here is how St. Mary's Food Bank Helps.
AZFOODHELP.ORG was designed by St. Mary’s Food Bank’s Northern Arizona team to share and promote all of our food distributions in tribal communities. Our team updates the website regularly and gives all the necessary information for those needing food support to find distributions closest to them. If you or someone you know lives in a tribal community with limited access to food resources and needs, visit AZFOODHELP.ORG to see St. Mary’s Food Bank distributions across the state.
Tribal Food Boxes
St. Mary's Food Bank is committed to improving the quality and relevance of the food distributed to clients throughout our Tribal service areas and to supporting local Tribal economies. In November 2021, we launched our Tribal Food Box to help increase access to traditional foods and support local tribal vendors through purchasing and partnerships. This non-perishable food box is currently being distributed to 2500 households FREE of charge every month at participating Navajo Nation Chapter Houses and Hopi Villages and includes educational and historically relevant resources to support local food sovereignty initiatives. If your organization is Tribal affiliated and would like to learn more about this unique product, click the button below to contact us.
Become A Vendor
St. Mary’s Food Bank is invested in serving our entire service area and continuing to serve the highest need areas in the State of Arizona. We work with tribal food vendors to procure items in our Tribal Food Box to provide culturally relevant food and support local economies in rural communities.
Thanks to your support, we've touched countless lives.
With the support of our generous donors, and the help of Over a Thousand partner agencies, St. Mary’s Food Bank distributed 110,427,114 pounds of food last year throughout most of Arizona.
- 24 Agency Partners
- 10,500,000 pounds of food distributed last year
- 47 Agency Partners
- 8,500,000 pounds of food distributed last year
- 38 Agency Partners
- 9,080,000 pounds of food distributed last year
- 442 Agency Partners
- 65,600,000 pounds of food distributed last year
- 30 Agency Partners
- 3,940,000 pounds of food distributed last year
- 16 Agency Partners
- 2,500,000 pounds of food distributed last year
- 16 Agency Partners
- 3,990,000 pounds of food distributed last year
- 2 Agency Partners
- 42,000 pounds of food distributed last year
La Paz County
- 3 Agency Partners
- 618,000 pounds of food distributed last year
Meet some people impacted by your support.
Two Strokes Changed Everything
Joanna's Cooking Up Confidence
House Full Of Love Requires Healthy Food Too
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