Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Arizona Celebration of Lights Continues –

Save on Admission -Donate to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

Arizona’s Largest Christmas Light Show is off and running until Jan.1, and you can save off the admission price for your car with a canned food donation to St. Mary’s. Our thanks to Madison for taking pictures of our banner and some of the great displays she saw during opening night so people could see how cool this event can be!
 Now in its 14th year, Arizona Celebration of Lights, has become a well-loved favorite family holiday destination in the Phoenix area. This year, visitors to the Phoenix Event Complex (99th Avenue and Thomas Road) will experience a light show that is bigger than ever, featuring more than 7 million lights, along with a Christmas Village full of fun.

You can save $2 off the regular cost ($15 per vehicle Monday-Thursday, and $20 per vehicle Friday-Sunday) with a donation of three cans or more to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance (limit one discount per vehicle). With tunnels, arches and whimsical displays created from millions of twinkling LED lights, the show will delight children as well as the young at heart.
Arizona Celebration of Lights will be open now through Jan 1, including Christmas Day. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday, 6-9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 5:30-10 p.m.
For more information on Arizona Celebration of Lights, visit

Line Grows Long for Free Meals at U.S. Schools

Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program. 

The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year from 18 million in 2006-7, a 17 percent increase.
More information about St. Mary's Food  Bank Alliance school feeding program at:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


 Join Westgate City Center, DeVry University, and six high schools from the west Valley for the second annual Bowls for the Hungry event to benefit the Kids Cafe program at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.  

About 150 business and marketing students from high schools representing Raymond S. Kellis, Copper Canyon, La Joya Community, Desert Heights Preparatory Academy, Tolleson and Willow Canyon are creating and painting handmade ceramic bowls that will be sold at a silent auction on Dec. 15th at the Westgate City Center prior to the Edmonton Oilers-Phoenix Coyotes hockey game. Howler, the Coyotes mascot, will be on-site to shake paws and sign autographs.
Many Westgate businesses and retailers will also be auctioning off bowls with prize packages (Howler’s bowl with Coyotes Tickets, Yard House with $50 gift certificate, Shout House with Happy Hour party, etc.)                 
In addition to the auction, the public is invited to participate in a simultaneous food drive, where ten cans of food will earn a bowl painted by an area high school student. The food drive is also open to the public from Nov. 28 through Dec. 14 at all Valley DeVry University/Keller Graduate School of Management locations including the Phoenix campus (2149 W. Dunlap Avenue), Glendale Center (6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Suite E104), Mesa Center 1201 S. Alma School Rd., Suite 5450) and northeast Phoenix (18500 N. Allied Way, Suite 150).

All proceeds will benefit the St. Mary’s Kids Cafe program, which provide an after-school meal for more than 3,000 at risk children each day.


St. Mary’s Food Bank employees in Surprise was VERY happy to see the bus from Happy Valley Elementary School pull up in its parking lot on Tuesday morning. Every year, the students from Happy Valley conduct a huge food drive and then bring what they have collected to the food bank – forming a huge human chain to fill bin after bin with canned food items. 

This year, the second graders (Mrs. Johnson) and sixth graders (Ms. Campaigne) delivered more than 3,200 pounds of food to help feed the hungry of Arizona this holiday season. This is the second straight year they school has topped the 3,200-pound mark, and the Patriots appeared to have a lot of fun making the donation. 

Thank you Happy Valley Elementary School, for making Thanksgiving better for so many. And have a Happy Thanksgiving yourselves!

Monday, November 21, 2011


St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance always looks forward to our annual call from All Saints Episcopal Church and Day School. And from this year’s photo, you can certainly tell why!

All Saints holds a St. Mary’s food drive to benefit the hungry of Arizona each year, and once again their congregation, parents and students put forth a great effort. The final total was more than 20,500 pounds of food – including many 50-pound bags of rice that our 500 partner agencies around the Valley and state will certainly put to good use. With more than $500 in cash donations included, this drive will allow the food bank to distribute more than 24,000 meals into the community.

This is a huge undertaking but a labor of love for the members of the church, who have donated more than 43,000 pounds in just the last two years alone.

Especially this year, with donations lagging and with so many people – including one in four of Arizona’s children – in need, this overwhelming donation is sincerely appreciated. Thank you All Saint Episcopal Church and Day School for your generosity, compassion and concern for those in your community who need help right now.


St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to thank Jeff Ottaway and his crew at Servpro for their great kickoff donation of meals consisting of turkeys, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, rolls and deserts that will feed hundreds of Arizona’s hungry during this holiday season.

Servpro managers from around the Valley were on hand on Nov. 17 to form a human chain to unload the more than 2,000 pounds of food and present it to the Food Bank. A great time was had by all and Mr. Ottaway tells us he’ll be back next year with even more.

On behalf of the hungry of Arizona, a big thank you to Servpro for their great donation and commitment to their community.

Pei Wei Holiday Food Drive!!!

Congratulations to John Demetra 2011 Spirit of Philanthropy Award Winner

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance Board Member and uber-volunteer John Demetra was honored by St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance with a Spirit of Philanthropy Award at the Nov. 16th AFP Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. St. Mary’s honored John for his exceptional volunteerism: 3 days a week at the Agency Shopping area, extensive involvement with the Kids Cafe Golf Tournament and the Kids Cafe Program. Accompanying John to the Dinner is his lovely wife Alice.

Terry Shannon, President & CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank presented a Spirit of Philanthropy Award to Board Member John Demetra for outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of St. Mary’s. The award was presented at the annual AFP Philanthropy Leadership Awards Dinner on November 16, 2011. Pictured above are honored volunteers and dinner guest (left to right) Jim Heidkamp, John Demetra, volunteer Bruce Miller and CEO Terry Shannon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Here's an idea for the holidays: create & send greeting cards as your personal note cards that include nutrition, recipes & food ideas!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's the ASU vs UA Rivalry Football Game, but Kind Food Donations Please!


Every Dollar Collected from Fans Will Provide Seven Meals This Holiday

Season; ASU4FOOD Looking to Beat Total Collected By Arizona Students
Phoenix, AZ – In a unique partnership with the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, State Farm Insurance is sponsoring the third annual Territorial Cup Series Food Fight. The purpose of the Food Fight for on-campus student organizations at ASU and UA to collect as much food and cash donations as possible – in a friendly “Food Fight” – to help the hungry in their communities.

This year, the annual UA-ASU “Duel in the Desert is set for Saturday, November 19, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ with the Territorial Cup and state bragging rights on the line for the Wildcats and Sun Devils.

This year more than ever, local Arizona food banks need more contributions to help meet the increased demand from people needing assistance. State Farm is challenging all fans attending the game – no matter your rooting interest – to bring non-perishable food item and/or cash to donate. There will be numerous food drop locations surrounding Sun Devil and Arizona Stadium. Look for “Collection Point” signs and bins and people wearing State Farm T-Shirts to assist you.
Recipients of the donations in the Valley will be St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, The Salvation Army and United Food Bank.
"The aim of our partnership is to not only spotlight athletic programs offered by each university, but also to help alleviate hunger in the community and address the educational funding challenges each university is currently experiencing," said State Farm Vice President-Agency Suzanne Shambrook. "State Farm is proud to be a part of such a storied past of two nationally renowned universities.”



Enter For a Chance To Win One of 16 $250 US Airways Flight Vouchers
Phoenix – It’s almost Turkey Time – and that means it’s “Super Saturday” time as well.
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance will hold its fifth annual “Super Saturday” Turkey Drive on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For the first time, the drive will expand to 16 locations around the Valley and in Flagstaff in hopes of meeting what is anticipated to be an unprecedented need for the 2011 Holiday season.

The Food Bank is anticipating requests for a record number of holiday food boxes. But hopes remain that each will contain turkey and other assorted holiday dinner items – to allow families around the Valley and state the chance to enjoy the comforting tradition of a holiday meal. Last year, through the generous donations of businesses and private citizens wanting to help, St. Mary’s estimates their pre-Thanksgiving food distribution provided meals for as many as 50,000 people.

In addition to turkeys, all other non-perishable food items as well as monetary donations will be gladly accepted. And at each of the 16 locations, all donors are invited to register for a chance to win a $250 US Airways travel voucher.

Look for the giant inflatable turkey and smiling volunteers ready for your visit at the following “Super Saturday” locations around the Valley and in Flagstaff:

• St. Mary’s Food Bank Stardust Campus (2831 N. 31st Avenue)

• St. Mary’s Westside Facility (13050 W. Elm Street in Surprise)

• Albertsons Desert Ridge (21001 N. Tatum Blvd.)

• Albertsons Glendale (20255 N. 59th Ave.)

• Albertsons Peoria (8240 W. Deer Valley Road)

• Albertsons Surprise (16750 W. Bell Road)

• Albertsons Scottsdale (2785 N. Scottsdale Road)

• Albertsons Via Linda (11475 E. Via Linda)

• Albertsons Flagstaff (1416 E. Route 66)

• Harkins Christown 14 (1620 W. Montebello)

• Harkins Scottsdale 101 14 (7000 E. Mayo Blvd.)

• Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18 (16046 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center)

• Harkins Gateway Pavilions 18 (10250 W. McDowell Road)

• Harkins Tempe Marketplace 16 (2000 E. Rio Salado Drive)

• Harkins Scottsdale Shea 14 (7354 E. Shea Blvd.)

• Harkins Flagstaff 11 (1959 Woodlands Village Blvd.)

ABOUT THE FOOD BANK: St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, the world’s first food bank, is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to 500 partner agencies at 700 locations that serve the hungry. Serving two-thirds of Arizona’s 15 counties, the organization is a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks, and is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships, and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 74.2 million pounds of food to families and individuals, provided enough food for 275,000 meals every day, and garnered more than 370,000 volunteer service hours. Web site:

Roger Clyne & P.H Naffah Puts on a Concert to Help St. Mary Feed the Hungry!


Phoenix, AZ – For the second consecutive year, Arizona’s own musical treasure Roger Clyne is teaming up with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to raise awareness – and food – for families struggling with hunger this holiday season.

This year, Roger is really upping the ante. He will make a special lunchtime appearance at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Del E. Webb Distribution Center (2831 N. 31st Avenue) on the day before Thanksgiving to give his fans who help the Food Bank a special treat of their own. From noon to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, Roger and drummer P.H. Naffah will not only play their own selections but take requests from fans who make special donations to the food bank.

St. Mary’s is asking that fans bring turkeys, canned food or cash equal to a $10 donation to the show to help the one in five adults and one in four children in Arizona that need help to put food on the table this holiday season St. Mary’s personnel will be stationed at the entrances to the food bank to collect the donations prior to entry to the Food Bank parking lot.

Later that day, Roger will head to the East Valley and collect canned food, turkeys and cash donation from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Top Liquors in Tempe (403 W. University Drive). Clyne will be signing bottles of his ultra-premium Mexican Moonshine Tequila for those who make a donation to St. Mary’s for the holiday season.

“The food bank would like to thank Roger Clyne for giving of his time to help the hungry of Arizona and we invite his fans to come to St. Mary’s Food Bank and take advantage of this great opportunity,” St. Mary’s president and CEO Terry Shannon. “Roger is known not only for his incredible music but his big heart when he comes to helping the community. We are honored he has selected our Food Bank as a partner and are looking forward to a great day.”

So come on out and talk Turkey – and stuffing, and canned vegetables – with Roger Clyne and help Arizona’s hungry while helping yourself to a great chance to check out some great music.

Drink Wine for Hunger!

Valley of the Sun 2030 Wine Soiree This Friday at the Mint in Scottsdale All Proceeds Benefit St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance

The Valley of the Sun 20/30 Club will hold their annual Holiday Wine Soiree this Friday, Nov. 18, at the Mint in Old Town Scottsdale ( from 7-9 p.m. The $25 admission ($30 at the door) includes two drink tickets and light hors d'oeuvres.

Click here to purchase tickets via PayPal and be sure to include your name and "Wine Soiree" in the comments section.

In addition, we will also have raffle items available - tickets may be purchased at a cost of $5 a piece or five for $20. Raffle tickets may also be purchased through PayPal in case someone is unable to attend, but be sure to notate that in the PayPal comments section as well. All proceeds will benefit St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance and help the one in five Arizonans – and one in four children – struggling with hunger.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fill a Boot? Fill a Box? It’s Fill-A Fire Truck For St. Mary’s Food Bank!

Help Rural Metro Fire Department make Saturday SUPER in Litchfield Park.

Date: November 19th, 2011

Time: 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Location: Bashas Supermarket at 5115 N. Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park, Arizona

The Rural-Metro Firemen ask that you help fill their truck with donations of non-perishable food items for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. Help your local Rural/Metro Fire Department tackle the challenge of easing hunger in the West Valley for those who are less fortunate or having financial hardships during these difficult economic times. Cash donations are also accepted – for each dollar raised, the Food Bank can distribute the equivalent of SEVEN meals into the community.

Requested food items include peanut butter, tuna, canned fruit and vegetables, rice, pasta and cereal. Please help your firefighters fight hunger on Nov. 19. We’ll see you there!


St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to thank Rent-A-Center for its continued support in the fight against hunger not only in Arizona, but across the country. On Nov. 9, Regional Coach Israel Beltran and his team of district managers presented St. Mary’s President and CEO Terry Shannon with a check for $20,000 – which will allow the Food Bank to distribute enough food for 140,000 meals.

St. Mary’s is one of 11 food banks across the nation selected to share in the $250,000 Rent-a-Center is donating to fight hunger in America this year. The donation is in addition to the recent hunger-relief initiative staged across Rent-A-Center’s 3000-plus stores. Dubbed “Soup to Nuts,” this campaign took place in September in support of Hunger Action Month. It saw Rent-A-Center stores serve as collection points for cans of soup, jars of peanut butter and other canned goods. The donated food products were delivered to hunger-relief partners such as senior centers, homeless shelters, daycare centers and churches.

“This is the second consecutive year that Rent-A-Center has made this generous donation, which will allow Food Banks to distribute enough food to provide more than 1.7 million meals to the hungry across the country,” St. Shannon said. “St. Mary’s is proud of its partnership with Rent-A-Center and overwhelmed by this very generous and overwhelming donation.”

Seasonal Elucidation #53:

What do you get when you cross a turkey with a centipede?

A drumstick for everybody

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Which Thanksgiving beverage is sad?

Apple Sigh-der.

Monday, November 7, 2011


CH Robinson Worldwide is taking its shot at bowling over hunger this Saturday, Dec. 12 when they take over the AMF Lanes at 32nd Street and Bell for a Bowl-A-Thon to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
Every dollar that is raised through bowling fees, pledges, raffle sales and a portion of concession sales will be matched by CH Robinson, so this is a great chance to enjoy a day of fun while feeding thousands of people in our community.
The event will take place from noon – 3 p.m. Entry fees are $15 with a donation of three cans to the food bank or $20 without food, with a portion of the fee going directly to St. Mary’s. All bowlers are encouraged to help the food bank by raising pledges from family, friends and co-workers – with prizes awarded to whoever collects the most pledges AND whoever bowls the highest score on their pledge drive game!
For more information, please call Team Hunger Strike (Dusty Waldron) at (480) 483-4999 or via email at


Spicy Pickle Sandwich Company will support the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance as it kicks off its 2011 holiday “food-raiser,” called “Cans for Cookies.” Customer will receive one free, freshly-baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookie for every three cans of food they bring in to donate at any participating Spicy Pickle location (while supplies last). Spicy Pickle’s goal is to collect more than 5,000 cans during the two-month campaign and throughout its network of stores.

The Spicy Pickle Sandwich Company in Chandler is. For additional information visit Also, please note that, in an effort to best help those in need, donated cans should be standard sized (14.5 oz or larger) and may only be traded in for cookies while supplies last at any individual participating location.

The Spicy Pickle Sandwich Company in Chandler -- located at the SW corner of Highway 101 and Ray Road (480-786-4483) and is open from 11am - 9pm Monday through Saturday; and 11am – 6 pm on Sundays – will sponsor “Cans for Cookies” during the months of November and December. During this time, Spicy Pickle’s customers are encouraged to drop off their food donations to the store and enjoy a delicious free cookie with their meal. Spicy Pickle hopes that local businesses will help support this community effort by encouraging employees to participate.

Save $2 on Admission to the AZ Celebration of Lights w/a 3-Can Donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank

Now in its 14th years, Arizona Celebration of Lights, has become a well-loved favorite family holiday destination in the Phoenix area. This year, visitors to the Phoenix Event Complex (99th Avenue and Thomas Road) will experience a light show that is bigger than ever, featuring more than 7 million lights, along with a Christmas Village full of fun.
The fun starts on Saturday, Nov. 19 and you can save $2 off the regular cost ($15 per vehicle Monday-Thursday, and $20 per vehicle Friday-Sunday) with a donation of three cans or more to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance (limit one discount per vehicle)..
With tunnels, arches and whimsical displays created from millions of twinkling LED lights, the show will delight children as well as the young at heart. The festive atmosphere is sure to create memories every family will cherish and draw visitors from near and far.
After touring through the sparkling wonderland of lights, the wonder continues in Santa’s Village where visitors can park their cars and explore the holiday scene. Let your family warm up with delicious hot chocolate and enjoy other concessions as well. The computerized Christmas light show that will be projected in the village is sure to captivate every visitor. Capture memories from your family’s holiday adventure with photo opportunities with Santa Claus himself.
Arizona Celebration of Lights will be open Nov. 19-Jan 1, including Christmas Day. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday, 6-9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 5:30-10 p.m. The Christmas Village will be open Thursday through Sunday until Christmas.

For more information on Arizona Celebration of Lights, visit


St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to thank the Heroes to Hometowns organization for the opportunity to take part in the Turkey to Troops food distribution again this year. About 800 families were served at the National Guard Armory in Phoenix and about 2,200 families received holiday food boxes – with a turkey voucher provided by University of Phoenix – around the state on Sunday, Nov. 6.

The reactions on the faces of the soldiers – and in some cases, spouses who are making ends meet while their husbands and wives protect freedom overseas – told the story better than any words could. St. Mary’s is proud and honored to take part in assisting this program and wish all of our fighting men and women and their families a joyous holiday season.
For anyone interested in donating to this worthwhile cause and becoming a sponsor of Turkeys for Troops next year, please contact Kathy Pearce at or (480) 330-1632.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Aloha Yogurt, Mojo Yogurt and Smashburger Partner with ASU4Food for Holiday Fundraiser

ASU4Food is partnering with Aloha Yogurt, Mojo Yogurt and Smashburger again this holiday season for a fundraising drive to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. Here is a look at how each store is approaching their drive:

*From now through Dec. 15, Mojo Yogurt is asking customers who visit any of their four stores located in Phoenix and Tempe to donate the cost of one extra ounce of frozen yogurt – an additional 39 cents – to help the one in five Arizonans and the one in four children who struggle with food insecurity. Last year, Mojo Yogurt collected over $900 during their drive, allowing St. Mary’s to distribute enough food for more than 6,000 meals in the community.

*During the same time period, Aloha Yogurt will be asking customers at their Tempe location to take part in the same offer, with a 40-cent donation, the price of an additional ounce of yogurt, going to support the work of the world’s first food bank.

*Smashburger continues their holiday tradition of helping St. Mary’s at all three of their Tempe locations. Customers who donate $1 to the fight against hunger – which allows the distribution of enough food for seven meals – can sign their autograph on a giant hamburger poster that will be hung in each store and will stay up during the length of the drive. The Food Bank has the buying power to stretch that dollar as far as possible, about 14 cents per meal, to help as many hungry people as possible.

So over the next six weeks enjoy a great meal at Smashburger or a wonderful desert at Aloha or Mojo Yogurt and share the love with a donation to make sure everyone has enough food this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Watch HUNGER Disappear at ASU's Homecoming

Check it out at:


St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance welcome Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Rex Hadnot, mascot Big Red and representatives from Sagicor Insurance to the Del E. Webb Distribution Center on Tuesday to kickoff the annual Sagicor/Cardinals Food Drive for St. Mary’s.

Hadnot made the first food donation of the drive while Sagicor Chief Operating Officer Bart Catmull presented St. Mary’s President and CEO Terry Shannon with an initial $1,500 donation. Last year’s Cardinals drive collected enough cash and food donations to distribute 75,000 meals to the hungry of Arizona, and the initial donation of 10,500 meals by Sagicor gets the 2011 drive off to a great start.

Thanks to Channel 3 and Channel 5 for their coverage of the event and now we need YOUR help. Please bring non-perishable food and/or cash donations to the Nov.6 Cardinals/Rams game at University of Phoenix Stadium. St. Mary’s employees and volunteers will be stationed at every entrance to make the donation process as simple as possible. Let’s get the holiday season off to a great start with a great food drive followed by a Cardinals victory!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Twisted Manga Team and Cosplayers for a Cause

On Friday October 21st the Twisted Manga Team and Cosplayers for a Cause joined the fight against hunger in Arizona by volunteering at St. Mary's Food Bank.
Take a peek of  what they accomplsihed:

Jaguars CAN Dance & gather food at the same time

The Desert Ridge High School Jaguars CAN Dance and have a good time gathering food for Arizonans in need.
The Jaguars were great hosts and full of energy as they push on with their 2011 food drive.

Take a look a their CAN Do & CAN Dance attitude… :