Tag Archives: food banks

food banks

Wells Fargo Supports Arizona Food Banks In Annual Drive

A proud supporter of food banks across Arizona, Wells Fargo is pleased to announce it is conducting its annual summer statewide food drive July 16 to Aug. 3. The event collects donations for food banks that span the entire state and remains the only statewide food drive held in Arizona– with collection bins in all Wells Fargo Community Banking stores throughout the state.

Donations will benefit members of the Association of Arizona Food Banks, which collectively distributed over 131 million pounds of food last year – a record and enough to provide 299,000 meals every day through 1,600 sites. People who wish to donate cash can send checks to the Association of Arizona Food Banks, 2100 N. Central Ave., Ste. 230, Phoenix, Ariz. 85004. Donations also may be made online at www.azfoodbanks.org.

“Our statewide food drive has become an annual Arizona Wells Fargo tradition that all of our team members look forward to,” said Pam Conboy, regional president for Wells Fargo Regional Banking in Arizona. “Last summer we collected 60 tons of food, equivalent to over 109,000 meals, and I am confident our efforts this year will continue strong. As America’s and Arizona’s Community Bank, Wells Fargo is committed to supporting our communities everywhere – and  I know our great team  will do all we can to help provide food to so many in need throughout Arizona.”

Needs of families and individuals around the state continue to be strong, according to the Association of Arizona Food Banks:

  • 1 in 5 (21%) of Arizonans live in poverty ($22,350 or less for a family of four)
  • 1 in 4 (25%) of Arizona children under the age of 18 live in poverty
  • 19% of Arizonans, including 29% of our children, are food insecure and do not have enough to eat
  • 1 in 3 Arizonans are considered “working poor” and may not always have enough to eat

“Almost one in five Arizonans struggles with hunger, and the record levels of demand at our food banks indicates just how many of our friends and neighbors are in need, said Ginny Hildebrand, President and CEO of the Association of Arizona Food Banks. “Food banks throughout Arizona are pleased to once again partner with Wells Fargo on this annual food drive, especially during the summer months when food donations slow down tremendously. It is companies like Wells Fargo that truly can make an impactful difference.”

For more information on Arizona food banks, visit www.azfoodbanks.org.

fresh produce

New Arizona Law Makes It Easier For Farmers To Donate Fresh Produce

A new Arizona law aims to increase fresh produce donations directly from farmers to food banks and other charities. The Western Growers-sponsored bill signed last night by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer allows farmers to receive tax deductions if they donate some of the crops they produce—literally giving away the fruits of their labor to the hungry. Building on the spirit of giving, the law revises previously complicated rules for the donations in hopes of boosting charitable contributions.

Sponsored by Arizona Sen. Steve Yarbrough (R-Chandler), the new law will apply to all 2012 tax year Arizona grown fresh produce donations.

“I am very pleased and appreciate the action whereby Gov. Brewer signed my Senate Bill 1121. This bill will make farm fresh produce donated to food banks easier to accomplish and will greatly benefit some of the most needy in our society,” said Yarbrough. “I applaud Western Growers for urging this legislation.”

Arizona food banks are also excited about the new law.

“We’re looking for good, solid nutritious food. And fresh produce, you can’t hardly get any better than that,” said Ginny Hildebrand, president & CEO of the Association of Arizona Food Banks. “We’re really excited about the potential of this law. What we know is that these growers and owners of fresh produce products in Arizona have one purpose in mind—that is to feed hungry people. They don’t grow product to see it wasted.”

Analysis from the food bank shows that less than 1 percent of fresh produce grown in Arizona was donated to food banks in past years. Hildebrand hopes the new law will change that. The law makes these fresh produce donations common sense by allowing farmers and others to deduct the wholesale market price of the fresh produce for tax purposes. The law also gets rid of complicated restrictions that entire crops be harvested on behalf of a charity. That means farmers can immediately donate food when they choose.

That’s important for Arizona farmers like Western Growers board member Gary Pasquinelli of Pasquinelli Produce Company, who heard about a similar law developed with help from Western Growers in California. Pasquinelli asked the right question: Why not a similar law in Arizona? Paul Muthart, also of Pasquinelli Produce Company, then provided critical input to make sure the tax deduction would work with businesses tax structures.

Established in 1984, the Association of Arizona Food Banks is a private, non-profit organization serving five-member regional food banks (Community Food Bank, Desert Mission Food Bank, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, United Food Bank, Yuma Community Food Bank) and a network of nearly 1,600 food pantries and agencies. As one of the first state associations in the nation and an inaugural partner state association of Feeding America, AAFB was instrumental in the development of a statewide gleaning project, and our advocacy efforts have brought about beneficial state and federal legislation for our member food banks and the people they serve. For more information, to find a food bank or pantry in your area, or to learn more about donation and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.azfoodbanks.org.