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Insurance firm donates 12,000 pounds of food to Phoenix food bank

PHOENIX — A Phoenix insurance company gave a Valley charity a big boost Wednesday.

Employees at Mass Mutual Insurance donated some 12,000 pounds of food, water and other items to St. Mary’s Food Bank.

‘We tried to go for the top most-wanted items,” said Erin Burke, a business consultant for Mass Mutual. “We have a lot of peanut butter and a lot of beans. We also have a great deal of water.”

The items were collected during an employee food drive. Burke said the company expected to collect about 3,000 pounds of food.

The company presented the food to St. Mary’s at Mass Mutual’s corporate offices near Interstate 17 and Peoria Avenue.

Burke said there’s a reason why employees donated so much.

“As we drive in and out of work every day, we see these people (who need the food),” she said. “We’re actually able to put faces to the hunger, and it’s not just a statistic. It’s heartfelt to us. We see it and can relate to it.”

St. Mary’s Food Bank Spokesman Jerry Brown said the donation is unbelievable.

“To have this kind of food drive at any time of the year is amazing,” said Brown. “But to have it in June, when the food banks really need it, and our supplies are so low to fill emergency food boxes, it’s an overwhelming site.”

Brown said said the donation will fill hundreds of emergency food boxes.

But Brown said that the food bank needs more donations. He said that even donating just $1 will help.

“For every $1 donation, we can turn that into seven meals,” Brown said. “For about 14 cents, you can feed someone today.”

You can donate at or by calling (602) 242-3663.