St. Mary's Food Bank Needs More Volunteers Ahead Of Holiday Season

By Katherine Davis-Young
Published: Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 10:58am
Updated: Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 11:02am

st marys volunteers pack boxes
Annika Cline/KJZZ
Volunteers at St. Mary's Food Bank pack boxes of food in 2016.

St. Mary’s Food Bank says in-person volunteer labor dropped off significantly as a result of the pandemic and has still not recovered.

"We have never gotten back to the point where we were pre-COVID, and it is still giving us a lot of trouble," says St. Mary's spokesperson Jerry Brown.

St. Mary's Food Bank and its agency partners distribute tens of millions of pounds of food annually across nine of Arizona's 15 counties. 

Brown says the food bank typically used to see about 100 volunteers per shift at its main warehouse in Phoenix. Recently, fewer than 50 people per shift have been volunteering.

“We had the Arizona National Guard that was helping us for a long time. They’re ending their tour with us and we really need to have volunteers come and pick up the slack for us, especially with the holiday season only a few months away,” Brown says. 

Brown says the food bank is preparing to feed approximately 12,000 families for the Thanksgiving holiday. Volunteers can help to assemble emergency food boxes. Shifts are available Tuesdays through Saturdays.

→ A Year Into Pandemic, Arizona Nonprofits Have Lost $91 Million