Emergency Food Box Requests Skyrocket for Valley Food Banks

News Article courtesy of The Arizona Republic/John Faherty
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/09/29/20080929ToughTimes.html

brought to you by Kara Ritter, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance Communications Specialist

Many are wondering…is it just the working poor who need help? Not surprisingly, the answer is no.

With the ecomony like it is, many working-class Americans who have stretched their needs from paycheck to paycheck have felt the devestation. The emergency food boxes provided by St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and other food banks in the Valley are helping meet this need–but–at the rate the demand is requiring, without donations, we will have to turn people away.

That means people turning away couples, children with mothers and the elderly like I saw today in the lines to get boxes. People who held babies. People hiding from abusive ex-husbands. People too embarrased to tell their stories for an upcoming story on ABC 15 to talk about the state of our economy.

For those of you wondering about the status of St. Mary’s Food Bank, here is our update to report.

-St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance reports certain agencies we distribute to such as Phoenix Rescue Mission and Community Economic Development Alliance has seen a more than 100 percent increase in requests for Emergency Food Boxes.

We do not expect the increased demand trend to slow down anytime soon. The holidays are always challenging for those on fixed income and the working poor…. This holiday season is going to be significantly more difficult if current trends continue.

-St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance works with more than 700 agency locations in the Valley that rely upon the organization for emergency food supplies. The recent trend in demand to our Emergency Food Box program has increased more than 35 percent.

So far, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance has not turned anyone away without food but will only be able to maintain our distribution if donations are received.

-Currently, St. Mary’s Food Bank has offered support to St. Vincent DePaul to assist their emergency food box needs and is awaiting a response.

     To help this need, the public can make donations year-round at any U-Haul or Goodwill store location or make a monetary donation using St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Web site at www.FirstFoodBank.org. For those interested in food drive opportunities or to volunteer, call (602) 242-FOOD.

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