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foodbank

Buck Truck Adds Substance to Food Drives

Tempe, nonprofit, crowd-funding, grocery stores, farmers, donate perishable food items, Buck Truck, Tempe Leadership, United Food Bank, Mesa, Ed Baker, Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Pino, Arizona

A Tempe-based nonprofit is utilizing the power of crowd-funding to enable grocery stores and farmers to donate perishable food items.

Buck Truck, a project of this year’s Tempe Leadership team, is accepting donations for refrigerated delivery trucks to the United Food Bank in Mesa.

The United Food Bank currently relies on donations from canned-food drives and retailers.  The donations from retailers are limited, however, as the United Food Bank lacks the ability to transport food that requires refrigeration for freshness.

“You want to provide the best food to those you’re trying to help,” said Ed Baker, a member of this year’s Tempe Leadership team. “The best foods for people to live a healthy life are fresh, perishable foods.”

The Tempe Leadership Program, a product of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, has been around since 1985 and each year puts together a team of community-centric individuals for nine months to engage in a project that can cover a range of community services.

“When we sat down to decide what our project would be, it was brought up that United Food Bank has a difficult time accepting fresh food,” Baker said. “We thought, ‘If only we could get 10 or 15 people to donate for a refrigerated truck.’”

The final decision was the concept of Buck Truck, to which contributors are encouraged to donate $1, $10 or $15.

The goal is to raise $41,000 for trucks that can “deliver fresh vegetables and meats from local farmers, ranchers, suppliers and grocery stores” as opposed to non-perishable items typically collected by charities in canned-food drives.

The Buck Truck website states that the refrigerated food truck will allow 24,000 pounds of what previously would have been wasted food to be distributed monthly, which it notes equates to 20,000 fresh meals.

“Buck Truck is very important because it will allow us to provide fresh produce and lean protein to our 200 partners,” said Lisa Pino, president and CEO of United Food Bank. “It’s the food you need for a healthy, adequate diet.”

The importance of Buck Truck is not only to increase the quality of food being served to those in need, but also the quantity, as Arizona is currently scarce in resources to serve what she explained is one of the hungriest states in the country, said Pino.

“The Buck Truck is nimble and responsive to Arizona’s hunger needs,” she said.

Arizona is tied as the worst state for childhood hunger, and is fifth worst in food insecurity (limited access to adequate food sources), according to statistics cited on the United Food Bank website.

As well as helping absolve statewide hunger, Pino noted a collateral benefit of Buck Truck is also contributing to helping reduce food waste.

“A theme of sustainability is key for us,” Pino said. “We want to eliminate food waste and engage more young people on the issue.”

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Organ Stop Pizza Begins Christmas in July Food Drive

‘Tis the season to be giving! Join Organ Stop Pizza and United Food Bank in the 7th Annual Christmas in July Food Drive Challenge.

Bring in two approved “non-perishable” food items between July 1 and 31 and receive 10% off your entire food bill that evening.

Christmas in July is an annual food drive in the summer that aims to help stock United Food Bank’s shelves. Summer is the hardest time of the year for many individuals and families in Arizona. Kids are out of school, so parents have the added pressure of providing more food. Temperatures rise, making electric bills higher, forcing families to make tough decisions like choosing between paying bills or paying for food. With your help, we will be able to continue to help our neighbors who struggle daily for food this summer. Because of you, meals will be delivered to senior citizens and fewer children will go to bed hungry.

Organ Stop Pizza co-owner, Jack Barz said, “When you drop off donations for this food drive in July you will be able to step out of the triple digit temps into the spirit of the holidays. We’ll deck the Mighty Wurlitzer, staff and walls with a Christmas feel. Jingle all the way to OSP and help a worthy cause!”

Organ Stop Pizza will match cash donations up to $5000 from customers. In addition, Lew Williams’ Christmas album will be on sale for $14. For each copy that is sold in July, $2 will be donated to United Food Bank.

Most needed items are:

  • Cash Donations
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Meat
  • Canned Fruit & Vegetables
  • Cereal-Whole Grain, Low Sugar
  • Soup, Stews, Chili, Beans
  • Milk-Canned/Dried
  • Rice and Pasta

Please, no glass jars, baby food, or opened food.

Organ Stop Pizza has been a Valley favorite for more than 40 years. Home to the nation’s largest Wurlitzer pipe organ, the unique pizza restaurant is a favorite entertainment destination for all ages. Along with pizza, they offer pasta, appetizers, a salad bar, ice cream and beer/wine and soft drinks. Everything from Bach to rock is played by their professional organists to crowds of up to 700 people every night. They are a cash or check business. No debit or credit cards accepted but an ATM is available in the lobby. Organ Stop Pizza is located at 1149 East Southern Avenue in Mesa, AZ 85204 (SW corner of Southern/Stapley). For more information, call 480.813.5700 or visit  www.organstoppizza.com

Arizona Bankers Association, Bankers Give Back - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Ryan Suchala, Bank of Arizona, Arizona Bankers AssociationBank of Arizona President Ryan Suchala recognizes the importance of community.

“This is where we live, work and play and in many cases the city where we are shaping our families,” Suchala says. “As a father of three I give my time to better our community because this is where my boys will become men. Last year, Bank of Arizona employees spent close to 450 hours working in our community and I personally became a board member at Arizona Women Education and Employment.”

To show the Arizona banking industry’s impact on its communities, the Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA) produced a brochure titled “Arizona Banks Give Back.” The report provides a picture of the economic and charitable support the banking industry gives back to the communities it serves, and shows the influence banks have on Arizona’s economy.

Arizona Bankers Association is an organization with more than 70 members that works to create a unified voice and engage members in issues that affect the banking industry.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass“It’s clear the banking industry has been under a microscope the last few years,” says Lynne Herndon, city president of BBVA Compass. “We wanted to pull our information and be treated collectively as an industry to say we are looking to work with companies to help them with their financial needs.”

Arizona Bankers Association created the “Arizona Banks Give Back” survey in November 2010 to collect a variety of data from Arizona banks. The results were released in February 2011. The 12-page brochure includes statistical data that shows how banks provide financial and social stability in Arizona.

The banks that chose to participate in the survey felt that it provided a good opportunity to change the way people currently view banks. The biggest surprise to Paul Hickman, president and CEO of Arizona Bankers Association, was how high bank lending was in Arizona in 2010.

According to the survey results, Arizona banks lent $5.9 billion in new and renewed commercial loans, and more than $11 billion in new and renewed consumer loans in 2010.

“A lot of the feedback we’ve been getting is ‘Wow, I didn’t realize the volume of lending was that great in this economy,’” Hickman says.

The number is likely higher as only 35 AzBA-member institutions responded to the survey, which only represents 63 percent of the organization’s membership, and does not include information from non-member banks.

In today’s economy, banks are more cautious about lending, but the data proves that Arizona banks are continuing to lend to commercial businesses and consumers.

“We keep hearing banks won’t lend,” Hickman says. “But banks don’t make money if they don’t lend.”

Banks want to lend so they can pump money into Arizona’s economy.

Arizona banks provide direct loans to help the state government finance public improvements by improving water, sewer and public health facilities and by helping build schools.

Banks pay income tax to help support local communities as opposed to credit unions, which don’t pay federal income tax.

Arizona banks are also putting money into the economy by being a leading employer of local residents. Banks bring high-wage jobs to the local community, and employ more than 42,000 Arizonans.

Wells Fargo Bank was the fifth largest employer of Arizonans in 2010, and the average salary for an employee working at a bank was around $66,625 in 2010.

By providing jobs, banks provide a ripple effect in the community, because employees pay state taxes and are also consumers that put money back into local businesses.

Arizona banks are also doing more than just putting money into the economy. Members of Arizona banks are striving to aid their community through service.

According to the results from the Arizona Banks Give Back survey, bank employees donated 211,615 volunteer hours to community service in 2010, and donated $15.5 million to charitable and cultural organizations.

“Actions speak louder than words,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We get out and are active in making a difference in our communities. It’s better than just handing money out.”

To show their commitment to the communities they serve, Comerica employees work with nonprofits like Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Homeward Bound, Junior Achievement, Sojourner Women’s Shelter, United Food Bank, Central AZ Shelter Services and many others.

An effort from Suchala and the Bank of Arizona helped improve literacy across the Valley.

“Last year, we hosted our annual Caring for Kids Book Drive and collected over 14,000 books for children and adults in our community,” Suchala says. “We educate with multiple employees teaching Junior Achievement programs and with educational programs to local school children. Our employees have worked together this past year sorting school supplies at the annual Salvation Army Pack to School Drive, serving food alongside Alice Cooper for the Cooperstown Christmas for Kids event and pounded nails at two Habitat for Humanity events.”

“These are good members of the community,” Hickman says. “These are people that are donating their money and time at philanthropies around the state and they’re trying hard to impart their discipline.”

Arizona banks participate in programs such as neighborhood revitalization, financial education and assistance for the underprivileged.

In 2008, Mohave State Bank created a program called “Junior Bankers.” Three years later, Mohave State bankers are still training children at Jamaica Elementary School in Lake Havasu about balancing accounts, taking deposits and bank rules. Volunteers meet each week with students before school. The program has expanded to three other elementary schools.

In 2010, the National Bank of Arizona donated one of its foreclosed homes in Glendale to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. The bank partnered with the organization to help renovate the property, and 118 people worked to build walls, paint and landscape the property.

Arizona banks are committed to helping the community both financially and through service, Hickman says.
“This industry is like the cardiovascular system of our economy and it needs to be robust and healthy,” Hickman says. “We don’t grow or recover without this industry.”

For more information about the Arizona Bankers Association, visit azbankers.org.

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Arizona Gives Back: By the Numbers

  • More than $5.9 billion distributed in commercial loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than $11 billion distributed in consumer loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than 1,300 banking center locations in Arizona
  • More than 42,000 people work for Arizona banks
  • $66,625 is the average bank employee salary

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

United Food Bank, Annual Holiday Season Food Drive

United Food Bank In Need Of Food Donations For Holiday Season

United Food Bank in need of food donations for holiday season

United Food Bank holds an annual holiday season food drive to help feed tens of thousands of people in need. However, United Food Bank was not able to supply enough turkeys and other holiday food last year.

“We did not come close to meeting the demand we had last year,” says Bob Evans, CEO and president of United Food Bank.

In order to further donations, United Food Bank is extending its hours at its Mesa facility. Preferred donations include frozen turkeys, traditional holiday food such as canned vegetables, boxed stuffing and mashed potatoes or cash donations.

Donations will also be accepted at the Dana Park Village Square shopping center on Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A refrigerated truck will be on site to collect perishable donations.

“We’re hoping to improve…this year and we’re stepping up our efforts to make it easier for people to make a donation,” Evans says.

Offices, school groups, clubs and retail locations are also encouraged to participate in the food drive. They are able to do so by hosting their own food drive to collect money and non-perishable food items.

To encourage the groups, United Food Bank published a list of ideas on unitedfoodbank.org that details ideas for contests and “gobble grams” to give to those who make a donation.

United Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that provides hunger relief and food assistance throughout Maricopa County and Eastern Arizona.

Donations can be made at:
United Food Bank’s Mesa facility
245 S. Nina Dr.
Nov. 12, 8 a.m. to noon
Nov. 14, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nov. 19, 8 a.m. to noon
Nov. 23, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

[stextbox id="grey"]Information about organizing food drives can be found on United Food Bank’s website, www.unitedfoodbank.org.[/stextbox]

 

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