Monthly Archives: September 2009

St. Mary’s volunteer, 96, takes bite out of hunger

September 27, 2009 5:04 PM
Erin Turner
Daily News-Sun

Art Molay wakes up every day the same as he always has.

On Tuesday and Thursday he prepares for the day, gets in his car and heads over to the St. Mary’s Food Bank in Surprise, where he volunteers for three hour shifts, packing food boxes for the hungry and making meals for underfed children.

The Sun Citian has repeated the same routine for the last five years and joins hundreds of other volunteers whose dedication ensures the food bank meets the demand.

What makes Molay extraordinary, however, is the birthday he celebrated last Tuesday — number 96.

Molay is the oldest volunteer at St. Mary’s, and as it turns out, one of its most dependable.

Molay is part of a group of about 15 seniors from Temple Beth Shalom in Sun City, who volunteer each week at the food bank. Several of the members are in their 90s.

“They’re incredible. Not only are they mentors to the younger folks who come and volunteer with us they carry a living heritage with them,” said Elizabeth Wunsch, volunteer services manager. “You know they’re going to be here. You can count on them. They have an incredible work ethic. They teach by what they do. We can’t keep up with them.”

“Everything they do with a great amount of pride and a great amount of love,” she added.

For Molay, volunteering at the food bank allows him to combine his desire to help the less fortunate and children, who he “just loves,” with ample free time in need of filling.

“When (my wife) passed away I was cornered. I had to have something to do. One of the members of our temple suggested that I try this, and I’m forever grateful to her for doing so because they’re wonderful people, they make me feel at home and it fills in my day for me,” he said. “I feel sorry for some of the people who come here, I really do. I feel I’m very fortunate in that respect. I like keeping busy and being able to help as much as possible. I enjoy it.”

Molay said his “donation of time” to the food bank is a simple way to give back to the community.

“You have to have some innovation of some sort, some stimulus to (volunteer),” he said. “The only compensation you get is knowing that you’re helping people. As long as I can drive, I’m all right. That has always been my worry — that I’m going to become too feeble to drive and then I’m stuck. But so far I’m able to keep up with it physically and mentally (and) I’m happy to help.”

Without the dedication and time from volunteers like Molay and his friends, the food bank wouldn’t be operational, especially when the need has grown so much in light of the economy, food bank officials said.

“Our hours our volunteers provide us give us over 150 full-time staff positions. There is no way in the world we could function without them,” Wunsch said. “And this year our numbers have gone up 120 percent … we got slammed and the (volunteers) kept up. Whatever you give them to do, they want more. They actually are competitive, too.”

And unlike other St. Mary’s locations around the Valley, the west side facility is largely dependent on senior volunteers like Molay.

“What’s great about the volunteer base we have here is their consistency. We know every Tuesday we can count on this group,” said Irma Leyendecker, director of volunteer services. “Whereas some of our other facilities (we’re unsure) what we’ll have each day, here we know we can count on these people. It’s a close-knit family.”

For Molay, his second career as a volunteer is just getting started. He said he feels, “as good as ever” and plans to continue “as long as he’s physically able.”

“I’m lucky to be able to keep active,” he said. “That, I’m thankful for. I don’t have any secret … except I chose the right parents. Good genes. There’s no secret to it — just luck.”

For information about volunteer services or donations, visit or call 602-242-FOOD.

Erin Turner may be reached at 623-876-2522 or



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Send Hunger Packing Event Pictures


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Send Hunger Packing Event

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance wishes to thank everyone who helped Send Hunger Packing this summer, recognizing that hunger doesn’t take a vacation.

Because of the great reaction from companies, organizations and individuals who responded with donations of food, money and time – the Food Bank was able to serve everyone who needed assistance to get through Arizona’s long, hot summer and keep some food in the shelves for the months ahead.

Here are some of the exciting wrap-up totals:

*Companies, organizations and individuals combined to raise $1,526,000 to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s during Send Hunger Packing 2009. This allowed the Food Bank to distribute over 10.6 million meals into the community, from children in the summer feeding program to seniors through our B.R.E.A.D. home distribution efforts.

*St. Mary’s received 15,786,036 pounds of donated food and other products during Send Hunger Packing 2009. It couldn’t have come at a better time since record demand required more than 100,000 Emergency Food Boxes and 35,000 Emergency Baby Boxes be distributed by the Food Bank this summer!

*With the help of four “Rock ‘N Box events and an overwhelming response from the companies, organizations and individuals, 95,262 volunteer hours were logged during Send Hunger Packing 2009. Those volunteer hours are equal to the equivalent of about 150 full-time employees added to St. Mary’s work force.

While everyone who helped played and important role, St. Mary’s wishes to thank those who made a special effort to Send Hunger Packing in 2009:

Donors of 3,000 pounds of food, $5,000 or 240 volunteer hours
*Denotes Food Bank Trifecta: Donor of food, time and money
Ace Vending
Advantage Logistics
Allen Orchard
American Italian Pasta Company
Americold Logistics
Arizona Daily Sun
Arizona Marketing
Automatic Vending Service
Bellevue Heights Church Foundation
BIMBO Bakery
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Blue Sky Farms
Bread Basket Bakery
Café Valley Bakery
Campbell Soup Company
The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation
Carolina Logistics
City Seafoods
City of Phoenix
Coca Cola
Coliman Pacific Corporation
Columbia Fresh Produce
Corona Del Sol High School
Del Monte
East Caffe
Everkrisp Vegetables, Inc.
Excel Ice Cream Company
The Ferry Family Foundation
Food City
Franciscan Renewal Center
Freedom Debt Relief
Freeport Logistics
Fresh & Easy
Frito Lay
Fry’s Food & Drug
G Farms
Glendale from the Heart
Golden State Foods
Grand Avenue Produce
Grand Canyon Distribution
Greer Farms
International Union Local 428
Jack In the Box Distribution
Knight Transportation
Kodiak Produce
La Canasta Mexican Food Products
Litchfield Elementary School
Marquez Brothers Southwest, Inc.
Martori Farms
McLane Foodservice
McLane Sunwest
Michael Lewis Company
Mission Foods
Mountain King Potatoes
Moreno Family Foundation
National Philanthropic Trust
Navajo Marketing Company
Otto & Edna Neely Foundation
Peddler’s Son
Pepperidge Farms
Phoenix Fresh Produce
Phoenix Meet Up
Pinnacle Produce
Phoenix Suns Charities
Pinto Creek Potato Company
Points West Sales & Marketing
Poore Brothers, Inc.
Produce Brokers of Arizona
Quik Trip
Reckitt & Benckiser
Red Hawk Farming
Roma of Arizona
Rotary – Phoenix Camelback Foundation
R&M Clark Family Foundation
Fousseau Farming Company
Ryder Logistics
Sam’s Club
Santa Rosa Produce
Sara Lee
S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
Scottsdale Insurance Co.
Shamrock Food
Signature Bread
Snyder’s of Hanover
Southwest Cold Storage
Southwest Traders
Southwestern Processors
Sparkletts Drinking Water
States Logistics
Stern Produce
Sun City Rotary Foundation
Sun City – Youngtown Rotary Foundation
Sunflower Markets
Super Valu
Tanita Produce
Target (food and volunteer hours)
Tavilla Sales
Trader Joe’s
U.S. Airways
U.S. Foodservice
University of Phoenix
Walmart Foundation
Wells Fargo*
Western Veg Produce
W. F. Williams Company
Willie Itule Produce Company

Weekend Warriors
Donors of 1,500 pounds of food, $2,500 or 120 volunteer hours
A Professional Image
Alphagraphics Glendale APS
American Bankers Insurance Group, Inc.
American Express
American Slavic Association
Arizona Highways
Basic Food Markets
Bank of America
Cheesecake Factory
Chicago / Earth, Wind & Fire with World Hunger Year
Concrete Restoration Systems Inc.
Custom Food Service
DeFalco Family Foundation
Deer Valley Unified School District
Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce
Flagstaff Rotary Foundation
Field Calibrations, Inc.
Gelato Matta
General Mills
Greenberg & Traurig
Knight Transportation
Lord of Life Lutheran Church
M&I Wealth Management
Monica J. Stern, CPA, PLLC
Phoenix Fire Station #52
Pilgrim’s Pride
Reliable Refrigeration
Scottsdale Police Department
Shea-Edwards Ltd. Partnership
Sodexo Foundation
Strength Training
US Bancorp Foundation, Inc.
US Foodservice
Wood, Patel & Associates, Inc.

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Turn Uncle Ben’s Rice Purchase Into Help For Kids Cafe

From now through October, every purchase of an Uncle Ben’s rice product will result in a donation to Feeding America’s Kids Cafe program to fund the development of new locations in the U.S. as well as the planned expansion of St. Mary’s Kids Café around the state. In addition, when you sign on to and sign Ben’s journal, Uncle Ben’s will donate an additional $1 for each signature added to the list.

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T.G.I.F. Holds In-House Charity Event for St. Mary’s

Looking for a fun Saturday night in the West Valley that will help feed the hungry as well? T.G.I. Friday’s in Glendale (5855 W. Bell Road) will hold a special St. Mary’s Saturday event on Sept. 12 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. with all proceeds benefiting the Food Bank.

Watch the T.G.I. F. bartenders perform and compete for the “Best Bartender” title. Waitresses will be “selling” seats, auctioning specials drinks, giving away prizes and holding a special raffle (must be present to win). Bar patrons are encourages to bring a bag of non-perishable items as a cover charge and then settle in for what promises to be a fun evening with the always entertaining restaurant staff.

For more information on this special event, make reservations for your table or to kick things off with special donation, contact the restaurant at (602) 843-9000.

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Download or Share Great Pork Recipes to Benefit St. Mary’s

In conjunction with their “National Eat Together Week,” the National Pork Board will hold a “Click For the Cause” promotion where anyone can make a donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance while sharing their love for “The Other White Meat.”

The Click for the Cause promotion will take place Sept. 20-26 online at

Download a recipe or share one with others, and a five pound donation of pork will be made to St. Mary’s when you designate the Food Bank as the recipient. For more information on the “Click for a Cause” Event, log on at

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