With one in four children experiencing hunger in Arizona, Arizona Federal Credit Union announced the Kicks for Kids campaign in partnership with Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW) and Phoenix Rising to help fight food insecurity during the 2021 season and beyond.

Looking to build off an already great four-year partnership with Rising, the official and exclusive credit union partner will donate one (1) WeekEnd Hunger Pantry Pack to Valley of the Sun United Way for every goal scored by the Rising this season. Created by VSUW to end hunger and food insecurity for children in Maricopa County, the Pantry Pack program provides families a set menu of ‘shelf-stable pantry items’ that help stretch their food dollars.

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“We are so grateful to have Arizona Federal Credit Union and Phoenix Rising as our partners for Kicks for Kids,” said Jayson Matthews, vice president of Community Development at Valley of the Sun United Way. “Their generous support of our Pantry Packs program helps us to provide weekend food staples for the families of 1,500 kids across Maricopa County who get their meals at school during the week. They are truly making a difference in our community.”

In addition to the per-goal donation, Arizona Federal is challenging Rising fans join in and help end hunger. Throughout the season, fans can donate a pantry pack for just $8 by texting SCORE to 5155 and Arizona Federal will match donations up to $5,000.

“With our existing partnership with Phoenix Rising and current focus on youth initiatives, this campaign with Valley of the Sun United Way was a perfect fit,” says Jason Paprocki, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Arizona Federal Credit Union. “Our hope is that the already passionate and loyal Rising fans will join us in this mission to provide children of our community the simple food items they need so they don’t go to bed hungry.”

United Way partners with local schools to identify families with the highest need, servicing schools and families in South and Southwest Phoenix, Maryvale, Guadalupe and more. Over 1,500 Pantry Packs are provided to students every month during the current school year.

“We have set a lofty goal, to become the first club in American soccer history to score 100 goals this season,” said Rising head coach Rick Schantz. “We’ll do our best to reach that goal. With Arizona Federal’s backing and our fans chipping in every time we score, we’ll be able to make a huge difference for this great cause.”

For more information on the Kicks for Kids campaign or to donate, please visit donate.vsuw.org/kicksforkids.