Monthly Archives: March 2011

KSLX-FM’S Mark Mayfield & Sleep America to Host 5th Annual ‘Get In Bed With Mark’ Food Drive to Benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank

Three-day Radio-thon Runs From April 6-8 All Over The Valley With Goal Of Spreading the Word About Dire Hunger Issues Now Affecting Arizona

Phoenix – Fast-becoming an early-April Arizona tradition, KSLX (100.7 FM)’s morning man Mark Mayfield is getting ready to get back into his Sleep America bed for the fifth annual “Get in Bed with Mark” food drive to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

One of the Valley’s most popular morning personalities, Mayfield will begin his three-day live marathon at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6 at Sleep America’s Glendale location at the Lane Home Furnishings Center (7291 W. Bell Road, Ste. 101A). He will literally hop into a Sleep America bed aboard a flat-bed truck and collect both non-perishable food items and cash donations for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance – all while interviewing local celebrities, holding challenges, and talking about the need in Arizona.

At the end of the drive, Mayfield will raffle off the queen size Kingsdown bed, provided by Sleeping America, which will have served as his home for the three-day radiothon. And this year, Sleep America will introduce a new and exciting event for the last day. On April 8th, the Paradise Valley location will host “The Great Bed Race for Charity.” Five-member teams can still sign up for their place in the field with a $100 donation to the Food Bank.

“Get in Bed with Mark” collected more than 18,000 pounds of non-perishable food items and more than $14,000 in cash last year – providing more than 116,000 meals for St. Mary’s Food Bank to distribute to the hungry of Arizona. KSLX, Sleep America and St. Mary’s are all hoping to duplicate the success of last year’s event.

Mayfield and his Sleep America bed will leave the Glendale location at 10pm on the 6th, and from 6am – 10pm on Thursday, April 7, he will be at Tempe Marketplace (2010 E. Rio Salado Pkwy, Ste. 115) giving the East Valley listeners a chance to participate. The drive will finish off at the Paradise Valley Mall (4320 E. Cactus Road, Ste. A1) from 6am – 6 p.m. on Friday, April 8, with the Great Bed Race capping almost 50 hours live on the air.

For more information on the “Get in Bed with Mark” food drive or The Great Bed Race, visit or


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Kids Cafe in Surprise calls for Volunteers with Grand Opening Approaching on April 7th

Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 1:45 pm


Volunteers from the Sun Cities who devote time to the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Surprise don’t want Arizona children to go to bed hungry.

They see the faces of hunger while others just see statistics:

• One in four children in the state are living in poverty, amounting to more than 260,000 children in Maricopa Country alone.

• In Surprise, nearly 24 percent of households fall at or below the poverty level.

• Arizona ranks dead last in an America’s Health Ranking study with the greatest number of children in poverty.

The St. Mary’s Kids Cafe program is working toward changing those numbers by offering daily meals to impoverished children.

“Child hunger is getting worse,” said Laura Brill, the Kids Cafe manager, calling these statistics “disturbing and unacceptable.”

The program feeds about 1,700 school-age children at 32 different locations every day, but with a new building expansion, Brill hopes to expand that number to 3,000 over the summer and 4,000 by the end of the year.

The program will be moving next week to a renovated former storage space in the westside location of St. Mary’s, so volunteers and staff can pack, store and assemble the meals, which include sandwiches and fruit and vegetables, all in one place.

The volunteers appreciate the commitment to the westside location, said Jan Wells, who helps coordinate the volunteers.

“Everybody is very excited,” she said.

Wells hopes to expand the menu offered. Right now, volunteers make up ham sandwiches, beef and ranch wraps or other varieties of sandwiches.

“Our goal is to provide that nutritional meal,” she said.

Brill said children living in poverty don’t eat well because it’s usually the highly processed foods lacking in significant nutritional value that are the cheapest to buy and that leads not only to poorer general health, but fatigue, hospitalizations, behavioral difficulties and impaired performance in school.

Brill said the goal of the program, which exists on a combination of donations and government funding, is to give children consistent daily nutrition, and it’s about giving them both quantity and quality food.

“This is the future of Arizona, and we feel like we need to invest now,” Brill said.

It’s important to sustain that nutrition during the summer, and more difficult to do because the children aren’t in school, she said.

“We want to kind of keep them steady,” Brill said. “We want the kids to be ready for when school starts back up.”

The goal is to expand the Kids Cafe program to make 8,000 meals a day, but that’s a few years down the road, she said.

And for both the current and future expansion, the food bank needs new volunteers; both Brill and Wells emphasized their appreciation for the volunteers and the support of the Sun Cities and Surprise communities.

But it takes a lot of work, Brill said, stressing the need for volunteers looking for a more in-depth project who can adopt a Kids Cafe site to set up and track the program.

“We want to make sure we’re very mindful in our planning,” Brill said, explaining she doesn’t want to have to say to the children at the sites: “Sorry, we messed up, we’re not going to feed you anymore.”

If the program doesn’t get enough volunteers to visit sites, it can’t have as many locations and won’t be able to feed as many kids, Brill said.

The Kids Cafe program is also looking for potential new locations for the meal sites, which can be any place children have access to, from a church, playground or pool, or an apartment complex.

Volunteers interested in doing site visits can call Grace Rodil at 602-343-5629 or email her at

For volunteers looking to help prepare meals or do other work for St. Mary’s Westside location, call Jan Wells at 602-343-5637 or reach her by email at

Different sites looking to participate can call Melissa Jensen at 602-647-1820

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Filed under donations, Events, Food Banking, Volunteer, Westside

Golf or Donate For the Kids at the 10th Annual Kids Cafe® Open

Sign up or donate here:

This golf tournament will not only be a great time, with food, drinks and prizes offered to all participants, as well as a chance to bid at the silent auction, but it is most importantly a fundraiser for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Kids Cafe® program which feeds thousands of hungry children on a daily basis.

The program is expanding from the nearly 3,000 daily meals it currently serves to 10,000 meals within the next two years to help reach more of the at-risk children and youth in Arizona.

Foursomes are invited to play in the tournament for just $800. If you cannot make it to the tournament, or if golf is not really your thing, but you would still like to help, individuals and companies may become a Kids Cafe Open sponsor at the Eagle ($10,000), Birdie ($5,000), Par ($2,500) or Tee ($1,000) level, or also have the option to donate an item to the tournament’s silent auction. Every little bit helps, because no child deserves to go to bed hungry.

For more information on becoming sponsor of the tournament or play in the event, visit or contact St. Mary’s Development Officer Christina Calio at (602) 343-3148.

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Pay Off Your Library Fines with Food & Help St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance During the 2011 “FOOD FOR FINES” April 9-23

National Library Week is April 10th – 16th and the Phoenix Public Libraries is celebrating by once again helping you get out of debt – at least when it comes to overdue books.

Come into any of the 15 Phoenix Public Library locations from April 9th to April 24th with canned or non-perishable food items for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and the library will wipe out any outstanding fines.

During “Food for Fines,” you’ll receive a 50-cent credit per canned or non-perishable food toward your library fines. A maximum of $50 can be paid with donated food. “Food for Fines” does not apply to lost items or collections.

The program has collected as much as 24,000 pounds of food in past years – so we know you’ve been waiting for this chance to get right with your favorite librarian! Library branches taking part in the “Food for Fines” program that benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance include:

Burton Barr Main Branch – 1221 North Central Avenue, Phoenix

Agave – 23550 North 36th Avenue, Phoenix

Cesar Chavez – 3635 West Baseline Road, Laveen

Century – 1750 East Highland Avenue, Phoenix

Cholla – 10050 Metro Parkway East, Phoenix

Desert Sage – 7602 West Encanto Boulevard, Phoenix

Harmon – 1325 South 5th Avenue, Phoenix

Ironwood – 4333 East Chandler Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ

Ocotillo – 102 West Southern Ave, Phoenix, AZ

Palo Verde – 4402 North 51st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

Saguaro – 2808 North 46th Street, Phoenix, AZ

Yucca – 5648 North 15th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

For information on “Food For Fines” or for a listing of the new Phoenix Library operating hours, log on to

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Sunrise Mountain High School Raises More Than 17,500 MEALS During Annual Empty Bowls Event

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to sincerely thank the teachers (especially Mr. Eager, Mrs. Migliorino and Mr. Hollabaugh!), students and boosters of Sunrise Mountain High School for their fantastic 2nd Annual Empty Bowl Charity Dinner and Silent Auction held on March 24. As you can see from the photos, there was a packed house in the SMHS cafeteria as folks enjoyed a delicious dinner and took home an empty bowl created by Mr. Eager as a reminder of those in our community whose bowls are literally empty.

Sunrise Mountain has become a great friend of St. Mary’s Food Bank. This year’s event raised more than $2,500 – allowing the Food Bank to distribute enough food to provide more than 17,000 meals to Arizona’s hungry. In just two years, Sunrise Mountain has  allowed St. Mary’s to provide enough food for 35,000 meals.

Thank you Mustangs. And thank you Mr. Eager for all your dedication.

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What you’ve all been waiting for…What came first, the Chicken or the Egg Part 3!

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St. Mary’s Food Bank Partners with Ecoscraps to Turn Food Waste … Into a Way to GROW Food

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance works tirelessly to make sure every food donation gets to those who need it. But some perishable food is in-consumable when we receive it and we always err on the side of caution in making that call. About two percent of the food we receive falls into this category, remarkably low for a Food Bank.

Like most companies dealing with food, all St. Mary’s waste used to go to the landfill. Did you know food makes up one-fourth of all the garbage in US landfills? But thanks to an inspiring, emerging company called EcoScraps, which has one of its main locations in Tempe, five percent of our waste – with an eye toward much more in the future – is now being turned into compost and potting soil that can help regenerate food for the planet, and eventually, for food banks.

St. Mary’s encourages everyone to support EcoScraps and this great effort. Their Harvest Plenty potting soil and compost is sold at nurseries around the Valley (Harper’s, Whitfills, Summer Winds, etc. ) and the price is about the same as regular manure-based stuff. (This product actually says “no poop” right on the bag, and is actually edible!) And because there is no ammonia that can burn plants and grass, it is a better composition for plant growth and it holds the water in better (less watering, less drying out) which is perfect for Arizona gardeners.

View the story/video here via

Check out for more information and look for their Harvest Plenty products at these locations:

San Tan Nursery – 13012 E Chandler Heights Rd  Chandler, AZ 85249

A & P Nursery – 2601 E Baseline Rd  Gilbert, AZ 85234

A & P Plant Nurseries & Lawn – 2645 W Baseline Rd  Mesa, AZ 85202

A&P Plant Nurseries – 6129 E Brown Rd  Mesa, AZ 85205

Harper’s Nursery & Landscape Co – 1830 E McKellips Rd  Mesa, AZ 85203

Baker Nursery – 3414 N 40th St  Phoenix, AZ 85018

Berridge Nurseries – 4647 E Camelback Rd  Phoenix, AZ 85018

The Style Nursery – 7120 N 12th St Phoenix, AZ 85020

Whitfill Nurseries Inc – 5600 S 40th St  Phoenix, AZ

Harper’s Nurseries & Flower Shops – 2529 N Hayden Rd  Scottsdale, AZ 85257

SummerWinds Nursery – 17826 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85032 – 602-867-1822

SummerWinds Nursery – 3160 S. Country Club Mesa, AZ 85210 – 480-892-1469

SummerWinds Nursery – 6426 W. Bell Rd. Glendale, AZ 85308 – 623-979-5296

Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery – 1020 W Starr Pass Blvd  Tucson, AZ 85713

Green Things – 3235 E Allen Rd  Tucson, AZ 85718

Squash Blossom Nursery – 784 N Tegner St  Wickenburg, AZ 85390

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