The Association of Arizona Food Banks and Arizona’s food-bank network were saddened to learn of Bashas’ recent bankruptcy filing. Over the years, Bashas’ has been a model corporate citizen, community partner and stellar example of charitable support. It has also been a tremendous asset to Arizona’s food banks for more than 40 years, ever since St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance – the nation’s first food bank – opened its doors in Phoenix in 1967.
Since then, Bashas’ has continued to provide food, financial and promotional support to Arizona’s food banks, amongst numerous worthy causes. Bashas’ was the first grocery store to regularly have food banks come to its stores to pick up donated meat, dairy, produce, bread and other staples that were about to expire or were otherwise unsalable. This concept has since been emulated by other grocery stores and has saved millions of pounds of food from being thrown out annually – instead providing thousands of meals to hungry Arizonans. Bashas’ leadership has made a world of difference in the way corporate Arizona supports food banks, pantries, soup kitchens and many other charities.
Beyond food donations, Bashas’ has provided many other services to Arizona’s citizens and our foodbank network. To this day, Bashas’ continues to operate its Diné markets on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in northeastern Arizona, as well as Bashas’ stores in other Native American communities throughout the state where no other grocery stores were present for many years. Without Bashas’, where would residents of those rural, underserved communities purchase food?
In the East Valley, Bashas’ has graciously provided regular maintenance and service to United Food Bank’s delivery trucks for many years now. This has saved United Food Bank thousands of dollars annually, allowing it to purchase more food for the communities it serves. Bashas’ was also instrumental in the formation of the Association of Arizona Food Banks, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year as one of the most successful state associations in the country.
Without Bashas’ support, AAFB would not be able to provide as much for its member food banks through advocacy, food purchase and the Arizona Statewide Gleaning Project trucking and logistics operation.
We firmly believe Bashas’ will emerge from this chapter of its history as an even more strategic, vibrant organization dedicated to serving the people of Arizona. Now more than ever, we commend Bashas’ for its legacy of service to the people and communities they serve.
by Ginny Hildebrand