Gaydos and Chad beat personal record in third year of Food Bank Fridays event

Jul 7, 2023, 8:00 PM

PHOENIX — This year’s Food Bank Fridays campaign concluded with a $28,400 check to St. Mary’s Food Bank, which will provide around 142 thousand free meals to Arizonans in need.

“That’s a win right there, baby,” Chad Benson said during the celebratory episode of KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show on Friday.

“Chad and I have said this for a long time: ‘We have a massive platform, and if we don’t use it, shame on us.’ So we try to use it for good,” Larry Gaydos said during the segment.

Each year, the duo sets a charity goal: Encourage donations from May to June on behalf of St. Mary’s Food Bank so hungry families can eat. From May 29 to June 30, they promoted the event and asked listeners to text “FOOD” to 411923 or donate online through KTAR’s website.

This is the most they’ve made in the three years since they started the Food Bank Fridays campaign in 2021.

This year, the duo set a campaign goal of $20,000. Generous donations from readers and listeners rose their total to $8,400 more than they initially asked for.

How KTAR’s Food Bank Fridays campaign helps families

St. Mary’s Food Bank Director of Media Relations Jerry Brown joined the show to celebrate. “If you donated a dollar, every dollar you donated was five meals,” he said. “So if you remember back to, ‘Hey, maybe I donated 20 bucks. If I donated $20, that’s 100 meals!'”

He recalled a story he previously told Gaydos and Chad about one happy boy who got a birthday cake through the food bank.

While Brown was working, a nearby car rolled down its backseat window and a young boy called out, “It’s my birthday tomorrow!”

Brown said, “Well, that means birthday cake tomorrow!”

But the birthday boy’s family had already told him they couldn’t afford a cake this year.

Brown took it upon himself to get one. He sprinted into a nearby grocery store, face red from exertion, and came out with a birthday cake. Then, he loaded the cake into the car along with the rest of the family’s free food.

“Our audience heard that and went crazy,” Gaydos said. “They said, ‘Now this is why you guys do what you do and I want to be a part of it.'”

Brown thanked KTAR News 92.3 FM listeners for their generous donations.

“The only way we can say yes to every family is if the Valley supports us, and they always do and KTAR does as well.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Gaydos and Chad beat personal record in third year of Food Bank Fridays event