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Posts Tagged ‘St. Mary’s Foodbank’

Sometimes it’s hard to take our own medicine but I stood outside our office yesterday and saw how many people were coming to St. Mary’s Food Bank..so much that it required parking lot attendants and directional signs. If you are feeling sorry for yourself, stop by 31st Ave and Thomas and see how other people have it.  So I thought up some things we all should do over the holidays.

1-      Stop whining…everyone has been affected by the economic crisis

2-      Exercise more…lose weight, feel better about yourself and for stress relief.

3-      Take time to listen to what people are saying…think about someone else first

4-      Clean your desk…get rid of post-it-notes and junk, coffee stains, leftover food…you’ll look organized even if you are not.

5-      Be a mentor…see someone that has good intentions but needs a little help… You do it!

Have a good Thanksgiving!

 

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I receive an email from St. Mary’s Foodbank about once per month and the following letter really hits home.  I know they have these type of situations because I drive by their facility almost every day and see the hordes of people waiting for food.  We/you/me could be ‘those people’ tomorrow if circumstances change.  I realize the devastation in Haiti is awful…but are we doing anything for our neighbors here?  Here is the letter..cut out your Starbucks today and send them 5 bucks!

Mike

It is nearly impossible to put into words a picture of the extreme hunger that brings folks to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. However, the day before Thanksgiving, something happened in our parking lot that left a visual image so vivid we will never forget it.

Just as we were closing our Holiday Food Box distribution – a four-day span where over 55,000 people received emergency food and a turkey for the holiday – a van began to pull away from the distribution site. But rather than leaving the parking lot and pulling into traffic, the driver traveled only a few feet stopped in a restricted area.

A St. Mary’s staff member walked over to kindly let the occupants know they needed to move to a safer area, but before arriving he saw the van door slide open an a middle aged woman draining the water from a plastic container of celery that had just been given out with the other food.

The staff member looked inside the window of the vehicle and saw a family of seven – ranging from little children to adults – opening bags and eating the celery, rolls and fruit from the bags they had received. As our worker told me, they were “not just eating, I mean they were chowing down!” It was as if they were starving for something – anything – to eat; even celery and from a plastic bag.

Staff members quickly assembled additional bags of food and hurried toward the van to make sure the family had more to take home in addition to what they had already eaten. There were squeals and gasps from the children and quiet tears from the adults mixed with nods of thanks.

For this family, it was not just food. It was truly Thanksgiving.

It’s easy for me to provide you with statistics. But they do not really tell the story of the human cost on lives. Most of the people we help are families with adults and who formerly were working but suddenly cannot make ends meet due to unexpected job losses or reductions in work hours. Right here in Phoenix, children are eating celery right out of the bag because they are so hungry.

In St. Mary’s 43-year history, requests for emergency food assistance have never been so great. We are facing a huge winter food crisis as families who have no other place to turn come to the Food Bank for help. Just $30 will provide enough food for over 200 emergency meals.

Please help us make sure that no family is turned away – and that there is more than a bag of celery for a hungry family in a van.

On behalf of the hungry of Arizona,

Terry Shannon

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