Category Archives: Partner Agencies


The only statewide food drive in Arizona, the annual Wells Fargo summer food drive to benefit the Association of Arizona Food Banks continues until July 31 with collection bins in all 261 Wells Fargo Community Banking Stores across Arizona.

More than 100,000 pounds of food was collected through the drive last year and is one of the largest corporate drives in Arizona each year. The donations benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and the other members of the Association of Arizona Food Banks, which collectively distributed more than 110 million pounds of food to the hungry of our state last year through 1,600 sites.

Those who wish to donate cash to the drive – for St. Mary’s every dollar in donations can lead to the distribution of seven meals into the community – checks can be made payable to the Association of Arizona Food Banks and sent to 2100 N. Central Ave., Ste. 230, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Donations can also be made online at


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Filed under donations, Events, Food Drives, Local Business, Partner Agencies


St. Mary’s would like to thank U.S. Congressman and friend of the Food Bank Alliance Harry Mitchell. Once again, he is donating a portion of his automatic pay raise to help feed the hungry of Arizona.

Mitchell believes the members of Congress should not accept a raise in pay when so many in their states are hurting. And while a bill he has sponsored to stop the pay raises hasn’t received the necessary votes, he will again donate the $8,800 he would have received in raises among 17 non-profit groups in the Valley.

In addition to St. Mary’s, organizations like the Arthritis Foundation; Sojourner Center; East Valley Crisis Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale will also benefit from the donation.

In past months, Mitchell has toured the Food Bank, packed Emergency Food Boxes and even held a food drive in his administrative offices. We appreciate Mitchell’s donation and his attempts to raise awareness among his constituents.

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Filed under Local Business, Partner Agencies

St. Mary’s to assist Yavapai Food Bank

Prescott Valley Tribune
By Cheryl Hartz

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Three weeks ago, Yavapai Food Bank Director Ann Wilson prayed for help to fill the empty shelves. The media and community responded and the food bank didn’t have to turn away hungry people.

But this past week, her prayers were answered in an even bigger way.

“As soon as we were alerted there was another food bank in trouble, we set a plan in motion,” said Jerry Brown, community relationship specialist for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix.

St. Mary’s, the world’s first and largest food bank, committed to sending a 48-foot tractor trailer load of food once a week. That translates to about 30 pallets of food weekly, including produce, non-perishables, breads and pastries, according to Brown.

“We’ll start with this and see if that gets it done,” Brown said.

John van Hengel founded St. Mary’s Food Bank in 1967. While collecting donations for the St. Vincent de Paul community dining room, he learned about the food grocery stores threw away if the packages were damaged or near expiration dates. He persuaded store managers to donate this unsellable but still edible food to St. Vincent de Paul. When the dining room received more food than it could use, the food bank concept emerged. Van Hengel approached St. Mary’s Basilica as a central location.

The first year, some 250,000 pounds of food went to 36 local agencies. In the past year, St. Mary’s distributed 67.7 million pounds in 13 of Arizona’s 15 counties. It merged with Westside Food Bank in 2005, and with its vision to spread further into northern Arizona, St. Mary’s recently opened a new location in Flagstaff at what used to be the Care and Share, Brown said.

The weekly truckloads to YFB will come from Flagstaff, he said, and should “take care of needs for two to three days” each time.

YFB Director Ann Wilson was thrilled to get the news. Although the community responded strongly to her plea, the need is never-ending, as several other area banks depend upon YFB for their food supplies.

“We need food to continue to come in,” Wilson said. “These are the hardest months, at least through December, when holiday drives are in force. But the public’s response has been tremendous. (In addition to local help) I can’t believe how many checks we got in from the Phoenix area.”

The first truck arrives this morning.

“St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is more than happy to help out a sister food bank,” Brown said.

For more information on Yavapai Food Bank, call 928-775-5255. To learn more about St. Mary’s Food Bank Allia or call 602-352-3640.

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Filed under Food Banking, Partner Agencies

Giving With Gumballs…


St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance CEO Terry Shannon and Bob Mahoney, ON Semiconductor Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing and the gumball machine plaque.

St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance CEO Terry Shannon and Bob Mahoney, ON Semiconductor Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing and the gumball machine plaque.

by Kara Fort, Communications Specialist at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance


People often wonder how they can make a difference for our food bank. Here’s a perfect example of how ON Semiconductor decided to get creative about giving.



At ON Semiconductor in Phoenix…there is a 7-foot tall green gumball machine designed to look like a vintage filling station gas pump standing in the main hallway at ON Semiconductor’s headquarters. Not your typical corporate hallway décor to be sure. This kitschy looking vending machine was originally purchased on eBay for use at a company automotive electronics tradeshow booth. At the conference, the gumball machine was a big hit – dispensing green gumballs akin to the ON Semiconductor logo. Several of the automotive enthusiasts who visited the ON Semiconductor booth offered to buy the gumball machine outright. No go! The odd amenity was shipped back to Arizona. Rather than store it away, it found a new home in the main hallway near a display promoting the company’s automotive products.


“When we put it in the hallway I figured the gumballs would get hard enough to break someone’s tooth long before we would ever have to refill the machine,” said Anne Spitza, the corporate communications manager who’d enlisted the machine for the tradeshow. “Yet every couple weeks I noticed the gumballs were dwindling. I got a call one day from the facilities department saying the gumball machine was jammed. We opened it up and discovered it was backed up with quarters. A lot of quarters. That was when we realized the machine would annually generate enough money to donate to a good cause.

DoDie Hernandez from ON Semiconductor’s Sales and Marketing team had been coordinating employee volunteer groups for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance so we were well aware of the organizations contribution to the community. Donating the ‘gumball money’ – as we’d come to call it – to the food bank made good sense. Certainly, the machine’s become an example that every little bit not only counts… but adds up.”


How much does it add up? ON Semiconductor was able to give St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance a check of$778.87 which will go towards delivering 5,446 meals into the community.

THANK YOU………..ON Semiconductor!

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Filed under Food Banking, Local Business, Partner Agencies, Personal Experience

It’s peanut butter and jelly time.

Brought to you by: ~Melody~

Filming for the Food Bank video continues, this time at Glendale Community Center at 54th Avenue and Ocotillo.  Glendale Community Center is one of 27 sites in the Valley that partners with the Food Bank for the Kids Cafe® program.

Of those receiving emergency food in Arizona, 41 percent are children and seniors. The mission of Kids Cafe is to alleviate childhood hunger in Arizona by providing nutritious meals in a safe, accessible and nurturing environment to children at-risk of hunger…because no child deserves to go to bed hungry.  Click here to learn more about the program.

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Filed under Media, Partner Agencies

Arizona ranks second. But not in a good way.

Brought to you by: ~Melody~

Records keep climbing, both nationally and here in Arizona.  During  the month of July, according to,

Arizona ranked second for the most filings per 1,000 households at 54.9. Nevada was No. 1 at 59.1. Florida and California came in third and fourth.

Read the full article here

Demand for the Food Bank’s services has increased 20 percent over the same time last year.  Those utilizing our services may not be the people you expect.  The common misconception is only the homeless visit food banks and soup kitchens.  In reality, those seeking assistance at our locations and those of our partner agencies are people like you and me, trying to make ends meet in a difficult time.

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Filed under General, Partner Agencies

Playing Reporter for the Morning

Brought to you by: Cynde C.

We decided a couple of months ago that we needed a St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance video and maybe some mpegs for the Web site in the future.  So, we began our first day of filming with our production crew on July 29.  And, I got to be reporter for the morning.

While one of the cameramen followed our agencies through the shopping process, I found agency members to interview in front of our other camera.  It was a great morning, meeting so many dedicated men and women.  I liked playing reporter and asking them about their agency and what they did.  Eyes would light up when they explained their mission and how the Food Bank helped them achieve that mission.

Being on the other side of the camera was a nice change for me.  I enjoyed hearing about the Food Bank from another perspective.  It was a nice reminder, after being in the middle of it everday, that we really make a huge difference in the lives of many people with our food.  It was a great morning!

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