St. Mary’s Food Bank still needs thousands of turkeys to help families enjoy Thanksgiving

Nov 17, 2022, 12:15 PM
(Twitter Photo/St. Mary's Food Bank)...
(Twitter Photo/St. Mary's Food Bank)
(Twitter Photo/St. Mary's Food Bank)

PHOENIX – St. Mary’s Food Bank needs a lot of gobblers to help 18,000 Arizona families enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner next week.

The Phoenix-based nonprofit is about 8,000 big birds short of the goal as of Thursday. Staff is hoping to make up the difference during its annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive.

The 17th annual event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the the food bank sites in Phoenix (31st Avenue and Thomas Road) and Surprise (Dysart and Bell roads).

“We had 1,508 families come through [Monday]. We keep waiting for the peak to get here, but it has not gotten here yet,” food bank spokesman Jerry Brown told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show early this week.

Donations will also be accepted at select Albertson’s and Safeway grocery stores and the Phoenix Police Department’s Desert Horizon Precinct at 56th Street and Greenway Road.

Families can begin picking up their turkey and fixings next Monday through Wednesday.

“Every person who gets these turkeys … will go home with an emergency food box, they’ll go home with a produce bag,” Brown said.

The hourslong turkey drive has never topped more than 2,000 turkeys, according to the food bank. That concerns Brown.

Although collecting birds is the focus of the drive, people can help other ways, too, he said: They can donate online to St. Mary’s Food Bank or volunteer.

“The easiest way [to help] would be to donate $20,” he said. “That will help us put a turkey on the table.”

Or they can sign for a shift packing the food boxes and working on the distribution end, handing out the boxes to families.

“So you can come over here if you like seeing the families, the people that come through, you can do that. And if you’re more of a worker bee and want to pack boxes, you can do it that way,” Brown said.

Packing shifts are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday, with shifts at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Each shift lasts from 90 minutes up to two hours.

Distribution shifts are set for Monday through Friday with shifts from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Our production team, they are fantastic in both the way they make it fun and they get the most out of folks in that one hour and a half. You’re not standing around, you’re not wondering what to do next. You know exactly what your job is.


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St. Mary’s Food Bank still needs thousands of turkeys to help families enjoy Thanksgiving