Volunteering in Phoenix – St. Mary’s Food Bank

July 23rd, 2009

There are many reasons why people choose not volunteer – not knowing where to locate opportunities or perhaps a lack of time. Fortunately there are a wealth of opportunities right here in Phoenix that have a local impact. Additionally, many of these organizations do not require a significant time commitment for volunteers to make a significant impact.

Take for example St. Mary’s Food Bank, located in West Phoenix. One of the best things about St. Mary’s Food Bank is that it is a fantastic opportunity for groups of any size to get together and volunteer. This is an excellent avenue for businesses to get their employees involved by hosting a group to attend one Saturday for a few hours. The Food Bank accommodates

David & Sam PR staff volunteer on a Saturday - Photo by: Jim Poulin

David & Sam PR staff volunteer on a Saturday - Photo by: Jim Poulin

groups of 5 to 100 Tuesday through Saturday.

St. Mary’s Food bank is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “alleviate hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to sites that serve the hungry”. The bank services 13 out of the 15 counties, providing nearly 300,000 per day.

Groups volunteer to pack boxes with food donations for three to four hour shifts. The experience is very fast-paced, as boxes race down the assembly line. Pairs are assigned to each station to fill the boxes with pasta, canned food, juice and other such items. It is a great team building experience, as groups have to work together to make sure each box has the proper number of items while getting to talk and have a good time. At the end of the shift, the St. Mary’s staff will read off the number of boxes prepare and calculate how many meals the group has provided. You would be surprised at how many lives you can affect in a just a few hours on a Saturday.

All members of the groups must be over the age of 12, with those under the age of 16 requiring an adult chaperone. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothes and must have on closed-toe shoes. Shift sign-ins are from 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. for the morning shift and 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. for the afternoon shift.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email volunteerservices@firstfoodbank.org or call (602) 343-3128.

St. Mary’s Food Bank
2831 N 31st Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85009