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St. Mary’s Food Bank hands out thousands of Thanksgiving meals

(Twitter Photo/@StMarysFoodBank)

PHOENIX – The St. Mary’s Food Bank this week supplied tens of thousands of Arizonans in need with Thanksgiving meals — turkeys and all.

The Phoenix nonprofit said it distributed holiday food boxes to more than 12,000 families Monday through Wednesday.

Each box contained fresh fruit and produce with a frozen turkey.

“If you add in five to six people using each one of those meals, that equates to 70-or-80 thousand Arizonans that will enjoy Thanksgiving meals through St. Mary’s this year,” Jerry Brown, a spokesman for the food bank, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

St. Mary’s aimed to collect 12,000-plus turkeys this month for the Thanksgiving boxes. After a slow start, the food bank took in 8,000 donations in the last week to reach its goal.

“We got over 3,000 turkeys this weekend at our Super Saturday Turkey Drive, another 3,000 came in yesterday,” Brown said.

“It was late in the year, and it was a little slow starting, but, boy, people really came through.”

The food bank’s two locations will be closed through Friday. They will then set their sights on the next batch of holiday meal handouts.

“We do have a real short turnaround to Christmas this year. Once the gates close today for Thanksgiving, our focus will shift to the next holiday,” Brown said.

Non-perishable staple items such as peanut butter and canned fruits and vegetables can be dropped off at either St. Mary’s location — 3131 W. Thomas Road in Phoenix or 13050 W. Elm St. in Surprise — or at Goodwill stores across the Valley.

The food back also accepts cash donations through its website.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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