They are commonly known for delivering vacation planning or roadside assistance, but after forming a dedicated community service team, AAA Arizona employees are sharing more of their time with the community. Performing more than 275 hours of charitable service since the start of the year, AAA Volunteers has demonstrated it is “there when you need us most.”
AAA’s benevolence touched St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance with a “Virtual Food Drive” to benefit the hungry of Arizona. At the start of June, AAA launched the online food drive, where employees can make monetary donations. For every $1 raised, the food bank can distributed enough food to provide seven meals. The club’s goal was to raise $1,000 for the month, which will provide 7,000 meals to individuals in need.
AAA reached their goal and then some! By the end of the month, $1,652 was raised, allowing the Food Bank to distribute enough food to provide 11,564 meals during the summer months when the demand increases at St. Mary’s while donations tend to decline.
“I am so proud of the humanity and generosity of AAA Volunteers,” said Mike Tully, president and CEO for AAA Arizona. “We have known that our employees were active volunteers before, but through our community service committee, we have been able to multiply our employees’ time and talents to create a collective impact in our community.”
Earlier this year, 25 AAA volunteers visited St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Knight Transportation Client Services Center, gathering and distributing groceries to more than 500 families at the food bank’s distribution center.
“Organizing our ideas and efforts toward community service has been such a successful venture,” said Mark Allan, controller for AAA Arizona and president of the community service committee. “By bringing together a team of representatives throughout the club, we’ve been able to arrange fulfilling opportunities for employees to take part in.”
It was a long-awaited, much-anticipated celebration of progress on Apr. 7 when the Kids Cafe program opened the doors to its new meal preparation facility at the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance Surprise facility.
The Kids Cafe program provides an important after school meal for at-risk kids who receive breakfast and lunch at school but in many cases don’t have a dinner meal waiting for them at home. One in four children in Arizona today are living in poverty, amounting to more than 260,000 children in Maricopa Country alone. Kids Cafe seeks to feed as many school-age children as possible.
“This expansion has been years in the making, and we’re very excited that the day is finally here,” said Laura Brill, Kids Cafe program manager. “The statistics of childhood hunger in Arizona are disturbing and unacceptable. This is the future of Arizona, and we feel like we need to invest now.”
What was a 200-square-foot area for volunteers to make sandwiches has expanded to an 8,500-square-foot facility that will allow the program to immediately expand from the current level of 1,700 meals per day to 3,000 by this summer and 4,000 by the end of 2011. The ultimate goal is to reach 8,000 to 10,000 meals by 2013, with the introduction of hot meals for the first time.
Currently, about 40 volunteers prepare the sandwiches, fruits and vegetables for the daily Kids Cafe meals. But more volunteers are now needed to keep up with expansion and to perform site-checks for future program sites. Anyone interested in volunteering should call Grace Rodil at (602) 343-5629 or Melissa Jensen at (602) 647-1820.
St. Mary’s Food Bank Thanks Alice Cooper for his Support of “Get in Bed With Mark” and Arizona’s hungry
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to thank Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Alice Cooper for his appearance at “Get in Bed With Mark” this year in support of Arizona’s hungry.
Alice was gracious enough to autograph some of his legendary CD’s for the Food Bank and also spent more than a half hour signing and posing for pictures with fans who flocked to the Paradise Valley Mall Sleep America location for a chance to meet and greet Arizona’s No. 1 rock star.
With the help of KSLX, Sleep America and an incredible list of special guests like Alice, the 2011 “Get in Bed With Mark” was most successful in the five years of the event. More than 20,000 pounds of food and more than $20,000 in cash – enough to allow St. Mary’s to distribute enough food for 160,000 meals to hungry Arizonans – was raised over the three days. Thank you KSLX, Sleep America, and thank you Alice Cooper for your time and talents.
If you are interested in purchasing an autographed Alice Cooper CD to benefit the food bank, a limited quantity is still available for a $75 tax-deductible donation. Call Jerry Brown at (602) 343-3160 for more information.
Support St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance on Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Over Easy is passionate about feeding hungry people. So passionate, in fact, that on Wednesday, April 20, the two yummy breakfast and lunch spots (one at the Ice Den in North Scottsdale, the other in Arcadia) promise a FREE breakfast to customers kind enough to help feed the Valley’s hungry.
On that day, both Over Easy locations (see below) will serve a free bacon & eggs breakfast (two eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast and coffee, juice or soft drink) to every customer who brings in a bag of non-perishable food items to donate to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. If a family of four brings in four bags of food, they’ll all get a free breakfast. It’s that simple. Both restaurants will also accept cash donations, which will go directly to the food bank.
Although all donations, big and small, are important and happily accepted, each customer must bring in at least five food items to be eligible for one free breakfast. Given the wonderful response from customers last year, Over Easy anticipates an outpouring of generosity from its fan base.
Hickman’s Family Farms is also doing its part to help St. Mary’s by donating the day’s supply of fresh eggs to both restaurants AND by giving everyone who brings in a bag of groceries a coupon for a dozen eggs to be redeemed at most grocery stores.
Over Easy – two Valley locations
Ice Den – North Scottsdale
9375 E. Bell Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
6:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
4730 E. Indian School Road
6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Contacts: Renee Moore, 602-920-4345, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikki Buchanan, 480-242-7426, email@example.com
Tomorrow’s Events: Sleep America’s 5th Annual ‘Get in Bed with Mark’ race benefiting St. Mary’s AND….the 10th Annual Kids Cafe Golf Tournament with presenting sponsor Neighborhood Restaurants (Zipps Sports Grill) at the beautiful Wigwam Resort and Spa. Anyone excited? St. Mary’s is for sure! Thank you to all who are participating and have a great day!!
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to thank Starbucks Coffee for their eagle-level sponsorship of the 10th Annual Kids Cafe Open. It’s a long drive and an early first tee at the Wigwam resort on Friday, April 8 beginning at 6 a.m. So what better way to get those pistons firing than with a delicious cup of Starbucks?
Thank you Starbucks for you continued support of feeding Arizona’s hungry children.