St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance began its 25th annual holiday food distribution this week, providing Thanksgiving meals to thousands of families in need. For three days, employees of the Department of Economic Security (DES) Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) volunteered to prepare carts, direct traffic, and hand out refreshments to fellow volunteers and break down boxes.
Three DES Volunteers with a kid at St. Mary’s Food Bank
Two DES Volunteers at St. Mary’s Food Bank waving
Two DES Volunteers at St. Mary’s Food Bank distributing food
The food distribution involves a drive-through where several lines of cars pull up to volunteers who load cars with cartloads of food. Individuals without access to a car can walk through the line to receive their food as well.
The DES 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. Recently, HRP and its partners increased outreach efforts to serve more than 8,000 additional seniors each month.
By Isabella Neal