St. Mary’s Food Bank gobbles up turkey donations, but needs more to meet demand

Nov 20, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 10:18 am

turkey bag donation...

A volunteer prepares a box of turkeys to be given out during holiday turkey distribution (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — St. Mary’s Food Bank was about 7,000 turkeys short of reaching its Thanksgiving goal last week, but the gap was closed significantly during an active weekend push.

Jerry Brown, director of public relations for St. Mary’s Food Bank, said Saturday’s 18th annual Mobile Mini Super Saturday Turkey Drive netted about 1,800 turkeys.

Combined with a turkey-for-turkey match of 500 donations from Albertsons and Safeway, which participated in Saturday’s event, the food bank was about 3,700 turkeys short of its goal heading into three days of holiday meal distribution, starting Monday.

The Arizona Diamondbacks cut further into the shortfall by donating 1,000 turkeys on Monday morning. Pitcher Kevin Ginkel also provided a signed postseason jersey for a fundraising raffle. Anybody who donates at least $20 before 9 a.m. Wednesday will be entered for a chance to win the jersey.

Donors can still drop off frozen turkeys and other food items Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at either St. Mary’s distribution location, on 31st Avenue just south of Thomas Road in Phoenix and at 13050 W. Elm Street in Surprise, near Bell and Dysart roads.

Monetary donations — $20 puts a turkey on a family’s table — can also help the Valley’s largest food bank meet its goal. To donate, visit one of the distribution locations or the St. Mary’s website.

Brown said many people who pick up holiday food boxes this week will be doing so for the first time.

“Inflation has really hit families hard, especially our seniors and people on fixed incomes,” he said.

KTAR’s Susan Monday contributed to this report.

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St. Mary’s Food Bank gobbles up turkey donations, but needs more to meet demand