St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance began its 26th annual holiday food distribution this week to provide Thanksgiving meals to thousands of families in need. The Department of Economic Security (DES) Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) employees volunteered this week to load carts, place food in vehicles, direct traffic, break down boxes and hand out refreshments to fellow volunteers. Individuals will receive meat, produce, non-perishable items and bread.
“We’re really lucky that we have the opportunity year after year to help our community partner with this event,” said Gloria Garcia-Hernandez, Coordinated Hunger Relief Program Manager. “In addition to supporting our partner and helping those we serve; this is an excellent team building event.”
On Monday alone, volunteers served 4,858 families among the Knight and Surprise locations. This is about 200 more than last year.
The DAAS Coordinated Hunger Relief Program (HRP) provides funding to the three Regional Food Banks—St. Mary’s Food Bank, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and United Food Bank—to distribute Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) food boxes to individuals and families experiencing hunger. The Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP) is a similar program, serving seniors 60 years of age or older with a monthly food package. To be eligible for both programs, one must self-declare that they are under a certain poverty level.
For more information on food assistance, visit the DES website.
By Isabella Neal