Tag Archives: st. mary’s food bank alliance

foodbank

Progrexion Makes Large Donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank

Progrexion, a company dedicated to ensuring fair and accurate consumer credit reports, is hosting a one-year anniversary celebration today (Sept. 16) at 10 a.m. at its call center at 20620 N. 19th Ave. in Phoenix. The public is invited to bring canned goods and other non-perishable food that will be donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance as part of national Hunger Action Month. Those who donate in the month of September to the Progrexion location will be entered into a drawing for a pair of Pro Bowl tickets. Tickets will be awarded the first week of October.

At the event, Progrexion CEO Jeffrey Johnson will present a large check to St. Mary’s President and CEO, Beverly Damore. The company’s 310 Arizona employees collected cash and food over the summer in order to donate to the local nonprofit in September, as part of national hunger awareness campaign.

“We are so grateful to our employees in Phoenix for being so generous with their time and money and for getting behind this important cause,” said Johnson. “I also want to congratulate them all in celebrating a successful first year. Our company has grown significantly this past year, and we will continue to support this and other important community causes as we continue to expand in Phoenix and beyond.”

“We’re very grateful to Progrexion for actively collecting food and cash to help provide for the two million Arizonans who are living at or below the Federal Poverty Guideline,” said Beverly Damore, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. “And, we encourage to the community to continue to donate through Progrexion and our other community partners throughout Hunger Action Month.”

Progrexion’s Phoenix location, which started out with 30 employees one year ago, has seen impressive growth, and is now looking to hire 135 more by the end of the year, bringing a total employee count to 445 employees. The company will have recruiter’s onsite at the celebration on Sept. 17 from 10am-4pm to accept resumes and applications from people who would like to work for this organization that prides itself in giving back to the community.

“One in five kids in the United States faces hunger, and Progrexion is proud to be engaged in efforts that truly make a difference in the communities in which we work and live,” added Johnson.

Progrexion and its affiliated brands, including Lexington Law and CreditRepair.com, comprise the nation’s largest consumer advocacy network and employ more than 2,100 people at locations in Utah, Idaho and Arizona. Progrexion’s associates in Utah and Idaho also conducted food and fund donation drives this summer and recently donated more than $73,000 to non-profits in those states.

Chef Beau MacMillan & TNFL Founder Wayne Kostroski

MacMillan named AZ Cardinals’ celebrity chef

Taste of the NFL, a 501c3 organization, announced the launch the national Kick Hunger Challenge®, an annual fundraising campaign that pits fans from all 32 NFL markets against each other for a friendly competition to raise money for food banks nationwide. The season-long fundraiser kicks off as part of September’s Hunger Action Month and culminates at the 24th Annual Taste of the NFL’s Party with a Purpose® held on the eve of Super Bowl XLIX on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 at WestWorld in Scottsdale.

Fans are encouraged to support Taste of the NFL’s mission to end hunger by donating to their favorite NFL team’s fundraising page online at kickhungerchallenge.com. One hundred percent of donations made to a team’s individual page will be distributed to the team’s local food bank partner.

As part of the organization’s commitment to rallying the country’s top chefs to raise awareness and money, TASTE OF THE NFL has appointed Andrew Zimmern as this year’s national culinary host for its Party with a Purpose®. Zimmern, the creator, host and co-executive producer of Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, will lead the charge along side national celebrity spokesperson, Alyssa Milano.

“With millions of people in America struggling with hunger, the need to do more is greater than ever,” said Zimmern. “I am honored to support Taste of the NFL’s efforts as culinary host and one of many of this country’s top chefs and NFL players that are raising money and awareness in support of food banks throughout the United States.”

This year’s star-studded Party with a Purpose® fundraising event brings together exceptional cuisine, prominent chefs from around the country, including Arizona Cardinals Celebrity Chef Beau MacMillan of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain along with NFL players, coaches, legends and more, all to support the fight against hunger.

Tickets for Party with a Purpose® are on sale now and can be purchased at www.tasteofthenfl.com. Prices are $700 each for guest tickets and $9,000 for VIP tables of 10. An exclusive Diamond Package Experience is also available. For more information, visit tasteofthenfl.com/superbowlevent.

Those who can’t attend the event can still support Taste of the NFL’s mission to end hunger by participating in the Kick Hunger Challenge. NFL fans can visit www.KickHungerChallenge.com and make a donation on behalf of their favorite team. All proceeds from the Kick Hunger Challenge go directly to food banks in NFL team cities.

Arizona fundraising efforts include a Valley-wide restaurant fundraising promotion that supports Taste of the NFL’s Kick Hunger Challenge to promote awareness and action to end hunger in America – with local funds raised staying in Arizona.

In the spirit of Super Bowl XLIX, Taste of the NFL is enlisting 49 local restaurants to participate in the challenge from October – December to raise funds and compete for a chance to be part of the Taste of the NFL action. All proceeds raised in the “Flavors of the Valley” competition will support two local food banks – St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix and Vista del Camino Food Bank in Scottsdale.

The five (5) restaurants that raise the most money during promotion will be invited to participate in the “Flavors of the Valley” area at the Taste of the NFL’s Party with a Purpose®.

Taste of the NFL’s 24th Anniversary partners that have lent an effort to Kick Hunger include: E&J Gallo Winery, American Family Insurance, Low T Centers and TNFL’s newest partner, Arizona-based Avnet.

volunteer

11 SRP Employees Honored for Volunteer Work

In recognition of the invaluable contribution of their time, efforts and expertise to their communities, 11 SRP employee volunteers were awarded the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Awards. These dedicated employees have given countless hours of their time to help families put food on their tables; provide guidance to Latino youths as they prepare for college and give children with special needs horse therapy rides.

“Each year SRP recognizes inspiring employee volunteers who give of their time to helping Arizonans through a wide variety of community organizations,” said Rosemary Gannon, manager of SRP Community Outreach, who added that SRP employees and retirees, with help from their friends and families, donate thousands of volunteer hours a year to their communities. “Strong, thriving communities rely on the volunteer efforts of individuals like these recipients.”

This year, in addition to the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award, SRP employee Kyle Bridges was honored with the Karl F. Abel Volunteer Recognition Award for his sustained leadership role in addressing significant human service needs in his community. The late Karl F. Abel, a Glendale resident who served as president of SRP from 1972 to 1982, was a strong community advocate and  provided volunteer leadership to numerous organizations.

The 2013 SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award honorees and the nonprofits they assist are:

Chandler resident Holly Schaefer – AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue
Holly Schaefer is a founding member of AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue, which was established in 2009 to rescue and find loving homes for animals that are stray, abandoned or at risk of euthanasia. To date, AZ Happy Tails has rescued and found homes for more than 400 animals. Schaefer is responsible for all animal intake and adoption decisions, and she coordinates with foster homes to supply them with food and bedding and help with any other needs they may have.

Gilbert resident Barbara Sprungl – The Centers for Habilitation (TCH)
The Centers for Habilitation (TCH) provides promotes independence for Arizonans with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, Barbara Sprungl joined TCH’s board of directors, and she volunteers more than 20 hours a month. She chairs the Fund Development Committee and is vice chair of the Finance, Governance and Executive committee. She volunteers for fundraising events and helps with everything from setup and operation to planning. Sprungl implemented a new formal fundraising model and trained the rest of the board on the new approach. In 2012, she raised $12,500 for the Monster Mash Sponsorship Committee.

Glendale resident David Larson – Cactus High School Robotics Team
The Cactus High School Robotics Team is experienced in building, maintaining and operating robots. David Larson has been a mentor and coach since 2009 and volunteers an average of 67 hours a month. Because of his time investment, the robotics team has shown dramatic improvement. Larson readies the team for FIRST Robotics competition and this year they built a robot that plays basketball. Larson also holds workshops for welding, tube and wire soldering, painting, and many other skills. He also started a safety program, complete with a study guide and an exam for the program.

Mesa resident Kyle Tilghman – American Youth Soccer Organization — Region 1079
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) provides soccer programs for children ages 4–19 and Region 1079 is the largest soccer program in the East Valley. The region is run completely by volunteer coaches and referees, and a number of volunteers dedicate a lot of time to securing soccer fields and marketing the organization. Kyle Tilghman has been a volunteer coach with AYSO’s Region 1079 since 2006. Six years ago, he was volunteering three hours a month, but over the years, he has taken on more responsibilities. In addition to coaching and refereeing, he serves as the coach administrator for the region.

Peoria resident John Buonagurio – Theater Works
Theater Works is a nonprofit performing arts organization that has been serving Peoria and the West Valley for more than 25 years. John Buonagurio is a volunteer of nearly three years and is chairman of the board. He also serves on the Governance, Development and Artistic committees. It has been a challenging time for Theater Works, like many other arts organizations, as support at all levels has waned because of the recession. Buonagurio’s leadership over the past few years has brought continuity to Theater Works during a time of change and challenges.

Peoria resident Mark Burkhart – St. Mary’s Food Bank  Alliance
St. Mary’s Food Bank alleviates hunger by gathering and distributing food to  two-thirds of Arizona’s 15 counties and is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. Mark Burkhart has planned and managed a golf tournament that raises between $10,000 and $15,000 annually. Burkhart is dedicated to St. Mary’s and knows that every dollar he raises means seven meals for the hungry. In the 10 years he has been coordinating the golf tournament, he has helped St. Mary’s serve more than 900,000 meals.

Peoria resident Jim Custis – Joni and Friends Arizona
Joni and Friends Arizona works with local churches and organizations to form outreach programs for those who face the daily challenge of life with a disability. For the past six years, Jim Custis has been fundraising for the organization’s Family Retreat program, which provides a respite for families affected by disabilities. Custis and his family have raised more than $20,000 and spend about 15 hours a month volunteering with Joni and Friends and one week of vacation every summer serving families affected by disabilities.

Peoria resident Christopher Rodriguez – AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute
AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute prepares Latino/Latina youth, beginning as high school freshmen, for college admissions and graduation. Christopher Rodriguez fundraises, serves on the board of advisors and uses his bilingual skill to help Spanish-speaking parents understand the benefits of AGUILA and the importance of higher education for their children. He’s also a mentor, helping these students pursue their goals of higher education. Rodriguez is dedicated to this program because he knows many of the youth who attend AGUILA will be the first in their families to attend college.

Phoenix resident Shari Brady – Arizona FIRST Lego League
Arizona FIRST Lego League (FLL) is a robotics program for students ages 9–14 that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects. Shari Brady began volunteering when she was an ASU student and continues to volunteer about 17 hours a week. She serves on the Advisory Committee, which plans regional tournaments and helps develop volunteer recruiting strategies. This year, the tournament was expanded to include remote northern Arizona teams, allowing a number of school teams from Native American communities to participate without long travel times to tournament venues.

San Tan Valley resident Kyle Bridges – Epic Food Mission
Epic Food Mission provides hope, help and support to families facing financial difficulty in the Queen Creek/San Tan Valley area. Every first and third Saturday of the month, Epic Food Mission provides food boxes, baby food and personal hygiene items for distribution to those in need. For five years, Kyle Bridges has volunteered with Epic Food Mission, serving as the organization’s distribution coordinator. He is responsible for organizing 50 volunteers and six team leaders to prepare hundreds of care packages for families. Bridges donates 50 hours of his time each month. For the past three years, he has also found time to volunteer with Compassion Connect, which helps unite and mobilize local churches, nonprofits, schools, and businesses to provide free dental and medical care for underserved populations.

San Tan Valley resident Marty Sonnenberg – Angel Acres Inc.
Angel Acres Inc. is a program created by Marty Sonnenberg in 2003, successfully combining her love of working with special-needs children with her love of working with horses. Every year from October through May, Sonnenberg and other volunteers teach grooming and horse therapy riding as part of a six-week program. During that time, Sonnenberg donates nearly 90 hours a month to keep program costs low and allow all the funds raised to go directly to the program. To date, the program has helped more than 446 children and given more than 2,680 therapy rides.

foodbank

St. Mary’s Food Bank needs volunteers

Volunteers are being recruited to help conduct the nationwide 2014 Hunger Study – the most in-depth and comprehensive census of hunger in America that has been taken once every four years since 1993. As one of the largest food banks in the country, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is organizing a massive statewide effort in our state to interview hundreds of clients throughout different agencies in Arizona.

Volunteers will be trained by the Food Bank on how to conduct the Hunger Study with the use of tablets during the month of March. Study results will be used to provide local and national statistics on how many people are hungry and the types of daily choices families need to make, such as whether to spend money on food, electricity, or medical care. The data collected will be part of a nationwide study that will be used for hunger education, advocacy, and public policy throughout the country.

St. Mary’s Food Bank needs about 80 volunteers (18 or older) to complete the Hunger Study and those participating will be able to indicate their preference on where in the Valley and state that would like to travel, and on which days of the week at specific times. There is a particular need for bilingual volunteers and those who live in northern Arizona and the more remote areas of the state.

Interested volunteers should contact St. Mary’s Volunteer Services Specialist Jennifer Gonzales at (603) 343-3134 or via email at jvgonzales@firstfoodbank.org for more information or to become part of the hunger study team.

140458765

Panic Park partners with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

Scottsdale’s newest haunted attraction, The Panic Park, announced today it has entered into a partnership with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to scare away hunger this Halloween season beginning Sunday, October 14.

The Panic Park will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items for the hungry of Arizona each Sunday in October in exchange for $5 off admission to The Park. To qualify for the discount fear-seeking patrons must donate at least three canned or non-perishable items upon arrival on any Sunday during October.

“St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is a wonderful organization,” said George Nelson, Director of Operations for The Panic Park. “Unfortunately, though, they are currently about 50 percent behind on donations this year. And, with upwards of 20,000 customers coming to The Panic Park this Halloween season, I’m sure we can help put a little dent into their deficit.”

The Panic Park is open weekly Thursday – Sunday (Thurs & Sun 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Fri & Sat 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.). Tickets range in price from $5 for general admission to $35 for an All-Access VIP Super Pass which includes VIP Parking and a Fast Pass to all three haunts allowing immediate access to the front of the lines. Whether purchasing tickets online or at the door, The Panic Park offers NO ticketing fees and FREE paved parking with all purchases.

The Panic Park, developed by Scottsdale-based Darkside Productions LLC, is located in Scottsdale at The Pavilions at Talking Stick (Indian Bend Rd and Pima Rd.) directly behind Target. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.thepanicpark.com, call (480) 999-0303 or www.facebook.com/ThePanicPark.

MAC

2012 MAC Workplace Culture: St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

Brightest Stars

Four companies take the spotlight among Most Admired Companies in Arizona

On Sept. 5, AZ Business magazine and BestCompaniesAZ honored 40 of the most innovative and exceptional companies in Arizona at the third annual Most Admired Companies Awards at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix.

In addition to being honored with MAC Awards, four companies were singled out as spotlight winners in the categories of  leadership excellencesocial responsibilitycustomer opinion and workplace culture.

Workplace Culture: St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

St. Mary’s Food Bank — which distributed more than 69,000,000 pounds of food in 2011 — promotes a worker-friendly workplace through company values, employee involvement, recognition, and employee growth. The food bank’s strategic plan emphasizes career development as part of its succession planning program. Career development plans, personality assessments, and 360-degree evaluations by supervisors, peers, and direct reports are used to ensure that the right people are in the right jobs at the right time. Employee recognition takes many forms, including quarterly meetings where employees receive service anniversary awards and awards recognizing work that goes above and beyond, such as Peer Recognition Awards, Safe Driver Awards, Spot Bonus Awards, Key Contributor Awards, and an annual John van Hengel Achievement Award. In April of 2012, St. Mary’s held its first annual Forklift & Driver Safety Rodeo to help promote worker pride and safety. The event was a family-friendly and allowed workers to compete on obstacle courses for cash and trophies.

Video by Cory Bergquist

SMFBSt. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
Arizona base: Phoenix
Arizona leadership: Beverly Damore, president and CEO
Years in Arizona: 45
Employees in Arizona: 160
Fast fact: Organization has a prestigious Arizona heritage as the birthplace of the world’s first food bank.
Web: firstfoodbank.org


2012 Most Admired Companies Award Winners & Photos

MAC 2012 - View all photos

Corporate Giving - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Corporate Giving More Discriminating, But Still Charitable

Like the economy, a dip in corporate giving appears to have bottomed out, but that charitable landscape has changed both for givers and receivers.

Corporations are re-evaluating which not-for-profit organizations they support, and in some cases businesses are providing more volunteers and less cash. At the same time, fund-raising efforts are changing. Some elaborate parties designed to attract big donors are a little less gala. Instead of the usual full-blown dinner, some groups are opting for less expensive cocktail parties.

Nationally, corporate giving rose 10.6 percent (8.8 percent adjusted for inflation) in 2010, according to the Giving USA Foundation. In Arizona, Laine Seaton of the Greater Arizona Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals says corporate giving is improving, with some caveats.

“It’s starting to get a little better – slowly,” she says. “Two years ago was definitely worse than it is now. I’m seeing that more companies are looking at alternate ways to support nonprofits. Definitely, volunteerism is up. Corporations and nonprofits have to be more flexible. Those chicken dinners are hard to fill.”

At the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, demand for food has nearly doubled in the past three years to a record 74 million pounds, which equates to 285,000 meals a day going to 700 agency-partners in 10 Arizona counties. St. Mary’s depends on a three-pronged operation to serve the increased number of needy and unemployed: financial donations, volunteers to help run the massive distribution center at 31st Avenue and Thomas Road, and food donations.

Terry Shannon, president and CEO of the food bank, says everyone is tightening their belt during these tough economic times. “But, fortunately, the economy has caused many corporations to refocus some of their support,” he says. “Maybe the total they can give is down, potentially donating to fewer nonprofits and focusing on basic needs. Obviously, we supply a very basic need. Our corporate financial support is strong.”

Volunteering is strong as well, saving the food bank $5 million a year in labor costs. “Corporations in Arizona are encouraging employees to volunteer more and more,” Shannon says. “At our main distribution center, we can handle 150 to 200 volunteers at a time. We get many corporate groups from companies like American Express, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Target. It keeps their employees together – sorting, bagging and boxing food for distribution – and it almost functions as a team-building effort, rather than everyone doing their own thing.”

Food donations from manufacturers and retailers represent the third leg of the food bank’s operations. Some 55 trucks are dispatched to 280 grocery stores daily to pick up what Shannon calls “non-salable but edible” food items, such as a dented can of soup or a package of buns with one that is crushed.

“We’re a food distribution business,” Shannon says, “but we do it with donated and rescued food. Imagine what would happen if we had the food, but no money to put fuel in those 55 trucks (we use to distribute) or if we didn’t have the volunteers.”

In addition to having its employees volunteer at St. Mary’s Food Bank, Wells Fargo announced it is contributing $38,000 to 20 non-profits in recognition of volunteer efforts throughout the community. Twenty Wells Fargo Arizona team members were named Volunteer Service Award winners. Two will have $10,000 given to the charity of their choice and 18 will have $1,000 given to their selected charities.

In 2010, Wells Fargo team members reported nearly 80,000 volunteer hours in Arizona. They served as mentors, board members, project leaders, fund raisers, educators and more. Wells Fargo also donated $5 million in 2010 to nonprofits and schools in Arizona.
Despite the struggles of some corporations and non-profits, Phoenix Suns Charities is cashing in on its community-based reputation. In the past year, the organization distributed a record $1.36 million to 178 charitable organizations. That tops last year’s record of more $1.2 million awarded to 156 recipients, and marks the two best years since Phoenix Suns Charities was formed 23 years ago.

Kathryn Pidgeon, executive director of the NBA team’s charitable arm, has an explanation for the impressive results. “We are connected at the hip to a stellar organization – the Phoenix Suns,” she says. “The community loves the Suns. There is a strong history of giving to the community. Our donors really believe in us, trust us. They know the money is going for the kids.”

The $11.6 million in donations the Phoenix Suns Charities has distributed since 1988 is separate from the free tickets, signed memorabilia and personal appearances by team members, dancers and the mascot, the Gorilla. “My number is all cash,” Pidgeon says.
Grants from Suns Charities start at $1,000. The largest donation of $100,000 went to Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods to build a basketball court in its new facility in downtown Chandler.

Phoenix Sun Charities is one that still relies on a gala to raise money. “We’ve given people a fabulous party,” Pidgeon says. “It’s wildly successful with great entertainment. All the players are there and they’re accessible.”

Pidgeon says the gala, which is partly underwritten by corporate sponsors, netted $1.1 million last March.

There are numerous other ways Phoenix Suns Charities generates money for its donations. The newest venture is an official state of Arizona Phoenix Suns license plate that produced $39,000 the first year and $51,000 the second year.

A new development in fundraising, says Seaton of the Fundraising Professionals group, is the target audience. The most giving demographic has been women in the 55 to 65 age group. “Nonprofits these days are also looking at twenty-somethings,” she says. “They didn’t have money to give. That’s not the case anymore. Young people want to make a difference. They have energy and new ideas. Social media is part of that effort.”

Arizona Corporate Angels

National Kidney Foundation of Arizona

 National Kidney Foundation, Corporate Giving
4203 E. Indian School Rd., Suite 140
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-1644
azkidney.org

Arizona’s Children Association

Arizona Children's Association, Corporate Giving
2833 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004 | (602) 234-3733 | arizonaschildren.org
2700 S. 8th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85713 | (800) 944-7611 | hope3ways.org

United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona

United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona, Corporate Giving
1802 W. Parkside Ln.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
(602) 943-5472
ucpofcentralaz.org

Arizona School of Choice Trust

Arizona School of Trust, Corporate Giving
P.O. Box 1616
Glendale, AZ 85311
(623) 414-3429
asct.org

Phoenix Rescue Mission

 Phoenix Rescue Mission, Corporate Giving
1801 S. 35th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
(602) 233-3000
phoenixrescuemission.org

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For more information about these Arizona Corporate Angels and their respective corporate giving, view the AZ Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2011 digital issue.

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011