Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Fry’s and St. Mary’s Employees On Hand for Check Presentation on Sept. 1;  Press Conference Begins “30 Ways in 30 Days” to Raise Hunger Awareness
Phoenix, AZ – With Governor Jan Brewer having proclaimed September as “Hunger Action Month” in the state of Arizona, Fry’s Food Stores will kick off a month of hunger awareness activities with a $60,000 check presentation to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance on Thursday Sept. 1 at the Fry’s Mercado at 4320 W. McDowell Road.

Fry’s Zone 1 Operations Supervisor and St. Mary’s Board of Directors member Nicki Schillhahn-Amos will make the presentation to St. Mary’s President and CEO Terry Shannon at 8 a.m. with employees of both Fry’s and St. Mary’s enjoying breakfast provided by the Fry’s Mercado. It will also serve as a kick off to St. Mary’s “30 Ways in 30 Days” calendar of events featuring ways to fight hunger in Arizona during every day of Hunger Action Month. Fry’s will also have a display of the Food Bank 30 “Most Needed Items” on display for those interested in making a food donation.
The check presentation to St. Mary’s is part of Fry’s and The Kroger Co. nationwide “Bring Hope to the Table®” campaign, which will donate $3 million in funds and $1 million in product to help those struggling with hunger in the communities where the company operates. All told, the program has directed $20 million in funds and food to local food banks as they struggle to meet the demand across the country. Thursday’s donation will allow St. Mary’s to distribute enough food to provide about 420,000 meals to clients and through agency partners.
Fry’s has become a strong and valued friend of St. Mary’s. Its stores donate more than two million pounds of fruits, vegetables, breads, pastries and other food through the food rescue program, providing food for the more than 400 member agencies at 600 locations in two-thirds of Arizona’s 15 counties. Fry’s employees also regularly volunteer to help sort donated food and pack emergency food boxes for distribution.
“We are so grateful to Fry’s Food Stores and Kroger for their continued and constant support of food banks and the battle against hunger in Arizona,” said Terry Shannon, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. “The combined donations of time, money and food prove Fry’s commitment to the community and how important they see this mission to be.”


Last year, five Weight Watchers locations in the Valley combined to collect more than 8,000 pounds of donated food for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to help those in need in their community. And the company normally committed to helping America lose weight is asking you to pack on the pounds again – all in the battle against hunger.

The five locations taking part in the drive to benefit St. Mary’s are: (1)  350 E. Bell Road, Phoenix, 85022, (2)  6990 E. Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, 85254, (3)  1608 E. Earll Drive, Phoenix, 85016,  (4)  14537 W. Grand Avenue, Surprise, 85374, (5)  5016 W. Cactus Road, Glendale, 8530
Please help Weight Watchers meet another important goal: Feeding Arizona’s hungry.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Be part of the Difference you want to see in the world! 2011 National Student Food Drive

Last year over 30 high schools participated and collected enough for over 145,000 meals while having a great time and winning super prizes and recognition participating with the National Student Food Drive.
In a joint effort with United Food Bank of Mesa, St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance is registering schools across the Valley now so there's still time for your high school to join. Don’t assume some other club or team is doing it for your school.
Touch base with us and we can confirm if another group has already registered your high school. If they have, we’ll let you know who. If no one has yet; your group could take the lead your high school’s drive. Now’s the time with the Kick-Off in late September
Call Chet Provorse 602-343-3169 for more details or to join this great high school food drive.

Friday, August 19, 2011


It’s time for you to step up to the plate and be heard!   As the federal government continues to wrestle with the budget deficit, difficult reduction decisions will have to be made in the coming month. In addition to the recently passed debt ceiling agreement, there are a number of threats to safety net programs that serve millions of low-income Americans. Any cuts will come at a time when unemployment and the need for food assistance remain stubbornly high. As a result, more and more people will be forced to seek help from the agencies that are already struggling to meet the overwhelming need.
Your representatives need to understand the incredible impact of social service reduction. St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is working closely with its national network food bank, Feeding America, to make sure your voice is heard. Now is the time to step up the plate and make sure your stories, comments, concerns and ideas heard and we’re providing you with the perfect parchment: PAPER PLATES!
You & Your thoughts needed …
Please share any ideas, concerns, words or picture on a paper plate you may have, on the attached photo of a plate, or just email you comments to Chet Provorse, at cdprovorse@firstfoodbank.com that tell how you feel about Hunger, food banks, your community and yourself.
You might think of one of these questions to write about:
• HOW has the recession affected you and your family?
• WHY is the food you get from the food bank important to you and your family?
• WHY do you come to this food bank or pantry?
• WHAT do you want your elected officials to know about Hunger & you?
• WHAT would happen if the food, food stamps or other food help were cut to less?
Thanks for your help.
You can also send your plates via the mail to: Chet Provorse, Education Programs Manager, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, 2831 N. 31st Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009 or email at cdprovorse@firstfoodbank.org.
***Please note: We need your plates and thoughts by Thursday Aug. 25***
Thanks for your continuing support in the fight to end Hunger in America

Thursday, August 18, 2011

56th Fighter Wing Air Force Unit at Luke Air Force Base Helps Send Childhood Hunger Packing

St. Mary’s Food Bank is always proud to partner with our brave fighting men and women in Arizona and Food Bank employees are always excited to take part in events like the Turkeys for Troops food distribution in November. And the troops often give back to the Food Bank as well, especially our friends at the 56th Fighter Wing.
This unit, who often volunteers time at the St. Mary’s facility in Surprise, recently held a food drive to help St. Mary’s help “Send Childhood Hunger Packing” this summer. With Food Boxes commissary and the chapel among other locations, the Luke Community donated nearly 8,000 pounds of food (7,971 pounds to be exact. That’s about four tons of food coming at a time when the Food Bank annually struggles for donations.
To Sgt. Matthew Hawk and the other men and women of the 56th Fighter Wing, thank you for helping your community and helping to feed those in need. In the fight against hunger, we couldn’t ask for better support on our side!

Win a Private Dinner prepared by Chef Charles Wade Schwerd of Arrowhead Grill

While Feeding the Hungry of Arizona with a Donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank AllianceMore Arrowhead Grill info: www.arrowheadgrill.com
Arrowhead Grill is marking its third anniversary by giving back during the month of August – donating to local schools and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance while offering social-media based specials to its patrons, with one lucky couple winning a private dinner prepared by Chef Charles Wade Schwerd.

Schwerd’s steakhouse (8280 W. Union Hills Drive) is widely regarded as the best in the west Valley, opened its doors to rave reviews in August 2008. To mark the anniversary, Arrowhead Grill is offering special promotions, culminating in the private dinner with Schwerd.
“We’ve made it to our third anniversary and want to share with the community,” said Chef Charles Wade Schwerd, owner of Arrowhead Grill. “Giving back to local schools, a great charity like St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and our customers feels like the right way to celebrate.”
The promotions continue this week. Each patron who comments on a daily Facebook post at www.facebook.com/arrowheadgrill will be entered into a daily drawing for a $30 gift card. Plus, $3 from each Anniversary Delmonico purchased that week will be donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
Arrowhead Grill will close out the month with a weeklong charitable drive for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. In addition to each Anniversary Delmonico purchased resulting in a $3 donation, the highest cash contribution donated to St. Mary’s from August 22-31 will win the donor a private dinner prepared by Schwerd.
To make a reservation or for more information, please call 623-566-2224 or visit www.arrowheadgrill.com. To get the latest news on Arrowhead Grill’s daily specials, please visit us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arrowheadgrill or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arrowheadgrill.

Food Bank Virtual Video Lady continues to go Viral

Oh my gosh! St. Mary's Virtual Video Lady continues to go Viral.
And, we invite you to see what she's been up to lately on St. Mary's YouTube page.
Our YouTube page videos are added to frequently across a broad range of topics.
You are invited to drop at http://www.youtube.com/user/smfba by to see what going on with our food bank and let us know what you may find interesting

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

50,000 Meals and counting!

‎2011 Hill Of Beans Food Drive is piling it on with just a couple weeks to go.

18 Valley accounting firms and financial institutions have already collected enough food and funds provide 50,000 meals to people facing hunger across Arizona. And, they continue gathering bean products hard and fast across the Valley of the Sun. Good luck to all the teams!
If you call, Ray Combe at 602-343-3173 at our food bank, he can tell you where the closest bean collecting team is located near you.

Little people … with BIG hearts

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to thank Ms. Codi’s class at the Phoenix Children’s Academy in Chandler for such a warm welcome on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Not only were the kids attentive and enthusiastic during the presentation, but already had a surprise waiting for Hunger 101 Education Manager Chet Provorse.
The kids collected nearly $100 during their summer camp session, putting spare change and dollar bills into a large jar for the one in four children who might go to be hungry in their community. They were very happy to know that their donation will allow the food bank to distribute enough food for almost 700 meals
Thank you Ms. Codi and thank you Phoenix Children’s Academy students for their great act of kindness.

Arizona 7th Worst State for Food Hardships

Nearly 30 percent of American families have had problems putting food on the table at least once in the past year -- and a new report shows Arizona is tied with Louisiana as the seventh worst state with food hardships.
Among the 25 metro areas with the highest rate of food hardships, Tucson ranks 15th at nearly 29 percent.
The valley ranks 20th at nearly 28 percent.
Full Story at: http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/money/arizona-7th-worst-food-hardships-8-16-2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kids Cafe® Program On A Roll Thanks To New Thunderbird Charities Truck Fleet

Marking another step in the expansion process of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Kid’s Cafe® program, a fleet of three new refrigerated box trucks specifically dedicated to serving Arizona’s at-risk kids are ready to roll for the 2011-12 school year.
Purchased as part of a $250,000 capital campaign gift to Kids Cafe from Thunderbirds Charities, one of the three trucks made its maiden delivery to about 30 kids at Phoenix Youth at Risk (1001 E. Pierce Street, Phoenix) on Thursday, August 11. Thunderbirds “Big Chief” Michael McQuaid and Phoenix Youth At-Risk President and CEO Linda Lyman welcomed the truck along with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance President and CEO Terry Shannon.
The three 2011 Chevy 4500 diesel trucks, purchased at cost from Sands Chevrolet, are equipped with a 14-foot Supreme Kold King Box and a Thermo King Model T-600 refrigerator unit and are more than twice the size of their now-retired predecessors. And the Kids Cafe program really needs them now that it has expanded to more than 50 sites for the 2011-12 school year – providing a secure, nurturing, educational environment for at-risk children who may not have a meal waiting for them at home.
During Fiscal Year 2010-11, more than 410,000 Kids Cafe meals were served to children five to 18 years of age.
Thank you, Thunderbirds Charities for your incredible donation and investment in the children of Arizona. Thank you, Phoenix Youth At-Risk for being such gracious hosts and all you do to mentor children. And thank you Sands Chevrolet, the new trucks look great!


We have good news and GREAT news from our friends at Whataburger.
The good news is Whataburger is now serving their delicious fare at another location in the Valley, cutting the ribbon on their store at 2910 W. Thunderbird Road for the dining pleasure of those in the West Valley.
The GREAT news for Arizona’s hungry is that the owners marked the occasion with a $500 donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank as part of their grand opening ceremonies! That will allow the Food Bank to distribute enough food to provide 3,500 meals around Arizona, and St. Mary’s accepts this great gift on their behalf.
But Whataburger and this new location aren’t done – they wanted YOU to have a chance to help the Food Bank as well. So Wednesday, September 7 is St. Mary’s Food Bank Day at the new Thunderbird store. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. that day, 20 percent of all sales will be donated to St. Mary’s – giving you an opportunity to not only enjoy a great meal but help the one in four Arizona children who go to bed hungry each night.
And on Tuesday, September 27, Whataburger will be the food host for our final Rock N Box event of the summer, providing food and drinks to the more than 150 volunteers expected to fill the Del E. Webb Distribution Center to sort and pack donated food for emergency food boxes.
What-a-great way to help the hunger. What-a-great idea for diner.
Thank you Whataburger!


September is right around the corner, and with it brings Hunger Action Month, where AAFB joins Feeding America and anti-hunger advocates from around the country to take action to fight domestic hunger. Here is just a sampling of how you can get involved and make a difference this as Arizonans across the state  can  participate in Arizona Hunger Action Week!
Join other individuals, organizations, schools, and the faith community September 12-18 to fight hunger in communities throughout Arizona through volunteering, food drives, and other great activities!


A new report by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) shows 29% of Arizona households with children experienced food hardship in 2010, defined as not having enough money to buy needed food during the previous twelve months. This ties Arizona with Louisiana for the 7th worst food hardship rate for households with children in the country. Nationally, the average food hardship rate for households with children was 23.4% and Washington D.C. led all states at 37.4%.
Food hardship data is also available by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. Both the Tucson and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSAs ranked in the top-25 nationally for food hardship in households with children, ranking 15th (28.7%) and 20th (27.7%) respectively. Unfortunately, that means more than 1 in 4 children in both of Arizona’s major metro areas struggle with food hardship.

Monday, August 15, 2011

THANKS to all the Brownies

who attend Hunger 101AZ presentations to learn more about the Food Bank and how they can help us fight Hunger in Arizona. YOU do make a difference!

More Hunger 101AZ information at: www.hunger101az.org

Friday, August 12, 2011


For more than 40 years, Shamrock Foods has been a partner with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in the fight against hunger. Shamrock founder Norman McClelland and St. Mary’s founder John Van Hengel were good friends for decades and started a relationship that still continues today.

Most recently. Shamrock promoted St. Mary’s during its 2011 Food Show, pledging to donate 10 cents for every case of new business earned during the sales period. More than 41,000 cases of new business later, Shamrock employee Elizabeth Tanardi presented Sandra Jorgensen and Sharon Pederson of St. Mary’s with a check for $4,109 – which will allow the Food Bank to distribute enough food for 29,000 meals into the community.
Whether it donations of food, funds or time. Shamrock Foods has been there for St. Mary’s and Arizona’s hungry. We appreciate their support and thank them for this most recent gift.


Did you get your 2011 Flagstaff Dining Club card yet? You’d better hurry, or you will miss out on the Northern Arizona’s best restaurant deal of the year. Get 2-for-1 dining at 32 of Flagstaff’s best restaurants – that’s 16 date nights or 16 golf bets, guys – with a purchase of the card. And you can save $5 on the $16 purchase price with a four-can (minimum) donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Flagstaff facility.
Which restaurants are participating? Glad you asked:
International House of Pancakes, Sizzler, Galaxy Diner, Denny’s, Granny’s Closet, Porky’s Pub, Cheba Hut, Greek Islands, Alpha and Mega, Country Host, Buffalo Wild Wings, Peter Piper Pizza, El Charro Restaurant, Karma Sushi, Pizza Furiosa, Monsoon Downtown, Sakura Sushi, Hog’s Restaurant, Coco’s, Mamma Luisa, Sportsman’s Bar and Grill, Altitudes, Louie’s Chicken Shack, Scott’s Chicago Pizza, Café Del Rio, Woodlands Restaurant, Morning Glory Café,  and Taverna Greek Grill,
There are only 1,000 of these cards. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were less than 200 left. More than 2,600 pounds of food has already been collected for St. Mary’s. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get a great deal at 32 restaurants and help feed the hungry of Flagstaff. St. Mary’s would like to thank the Arizona Daily Sun for all their help in this great annual event that feeds thousands in the community.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

West-MEC Employees Hold ‘Christmas is July’ Food Drive

In the dog days of summer, the thought of wintertime holidays can be a far-fetched thought for some, but not for the staff at Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) school district. The group, led by Superintendent Greg Donovan, jumped into the holiday spirit for a “Christmas in July” food drive to collect donations for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
“Often people give during the holidays, but forget that hunger is a year round problem,” said Donovan.
Donovan presented the idea of a summer food drive as a challenge to the staff after reading that community food banks have not been receiving adequate food donations during the summer months. He asked employees to donate non-perishable food items to assist those in need, making a bonus pact to personally match the donations with up to $100 worth of groceries. West-MEC staff stepped up to the challenge, collecting a total of 479 non-perishable food items to donate to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
Food Drive Information available at: http://www.firstfoodbank.org/fooddrive.html

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It was another night of fun and community service as more than 150 volunteers packed the Del E. Webb Distribution Center for Tuesday’s Rock N. Box “Salute to the 70s” on Aug. 9.
Along with groups from Basha High School (Future Farmers of America) the US Airways Do Crew, WalMart, United Dairy of Arizona, Bank of America, Arizona Certified Fraud Examiners, Boys Team Charity and Safeway, we had a special guest in the house. Fox 10’s morning guy Cory McCloskey brought his daughter to the food bank as part of her community service work for her high school and they both got into the thick of things, sorting donated food and building emergency food boxes.
The music was thumping (heard me enough Bee Gees to last the rest of the year) and when the night was done, 1,500 emergency boxes were built and 35,000 pounds of food was sorted for distribution. The public volunteers with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to the tune of more than 300,00 hours a year, and there is no way we could distribute 275,000 meals a day without YOU.
To volunteer, visit http://www.firstfoodbank.org/volunteer.html

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

‎2011 NATIONAL STUDENT FOOD DRIVE just around the corner.

Four schools from last already signed up for 2011 repeat success

As the 2011-12 school year begins, new and exciting events are being planned by students, teachers and staff alike across the Valley of the Sun – many in the name of fighting hunger side by side with the world’s first food bank.
Last year, a record 32 Arizona high schools took ...up the challenge of helping feed those in need in our state. When all was sai...d and done, enough food and cash donations were collected to distribute over 145,000 meals into the communities across Arizona.
The 2011 National Student Food Drive will kick off September 27th with the food drive competition ending November 4th. We're seeking high schools to join us. Now’s the time for students & educators to make a difference by responding to this critically important need.
It is time to walk the talk as schools across the Valley commit and compete in the 2011 National Student Food Drive.
For additional details or to join the NSFD, contact St. Mary’s Food Drive Manager Chet Provorse at (602) 343-3169 or by email at cdprovorse@firstfoodbank.org

Kids GET IT!


Pro’s Ranch Market at 59th Avenue and Thomas Wins “The Battle of the Stores,” Collecting More Than $2,200 For St. Mary’s at its Cash Registers
Phoenix, AZ – Leading the way in the goal to “Send Hunger Packing” this summer, the six Valley Pro Ranch Markets collected a total of $7,833 in customer donations during July to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

The donations will allow St. Mary’s to purchase enough food to distribute nearly 55,000 meals to the one in five Arizonans – and one in four children – who live at or below the poverty line and do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Customers made donations to St. Mary’s at all checkout stands during the month of July. Donations of $20 or more (140 meals) qualified shoppers for a drawing to win $100 Pro’s Ranch Market Gift cards to help stretch their food dollars as well.
“This is what it means to be a part of the community; giving back. We are pleased to help in any way we can,” said Mike Provenzano, owner of Pro’s Ranch Markets. “In these tough economic times it’s important to give customers an opportunity to come forward and helping our neighbors in the community in their times of need.”
Ways you can donate also:  www.firstfoodbank.org

It takes more than just food to change Lives and share Hope ...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 9:00 a.m. to Noon
Phoenix Workforce Connection, 3406 N. 51st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85031
There will be Job Fair Readiness Workshops. Bring an updated Resume & Dress to Impress

Thursday, August 4, 2011

THANKS Steve Breaston .. Reciever & Giver!er

Losing Steve Breaston (to the Kansas City Chiefs) might be a bigger blow to the community than it is to the Arizona Cardinals. It turns out that the world-class receiver was also a world-class giver.
Full Story at: http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/EJMontini/136021