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Food bank holds "Shopping Mall Food Haul" to replenish lost donations from canceled drives

St. Mary's Food Banks reportedly lost millions of pounds of food during closures from the pandemic.
Refrigerated trucks save the day at St. Mary's Food Bank. (Photo: Pete Scholz/12 News)

ARIZONA, USA — The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the closure of multiple food and water donation drives for Valley food banks.

In response, St. Mary’s Food Bank is teaming up with a mall developer to hold a huge one-time food drive to replenish donations for Arizonans across the Valley.

The non-profit, who is teaming up with local shopping center owner and developer Macerich, will hold a “Shopping Mall Food Haul” on Saturday at mall locations in Phoenix and Surprise to safely collect food donations from the public, with social distance practices still in effect.

“The Food Bank has lost millions of pounds from postponed and canceled food and water drives,” St. Mary’s said in a statement. “That includes the largest food drive of the year, the annual Lettercarriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. which normally yields more than 400,000 pounds of food donations alone.”

The most needed supplies include peanut butter, canned fruits, canned vegetables, and bottled water, the food bank said. However, the bank will happily accept any donations of non-perishable foods.

The non-profit asked those donating to place food in car trunks, SUV hatchbacks, and truck beds when donating to the following locations:

  • Central Phoenix: St. Mary’s Food Bank (2831 N. 31st Avenue)
  • Glendale: Arrowhead Towne Center, 77th Ave & Bell Road – South Mall Entrance
  • Paradise Valley: Paradise Valley Mall – Off Tatum Blvd between Dillard’s and Macy's, behind Wendy’s
  • West Phoenix: Desert Sky Mall (7611 West Thomas Road – Outside the Food Court near Dillard’s
  • Scottsdale: Scottsdale Fashion Square – Camelback Road & Marshall Way, next to Crate & Barrel
  • Surprise: St. Mary’s Food Bank (13050 W. Elm Street)
  • West Phoenix: Desert Sky Mall (7611 West Thomas Road)

The state has started the reopening process and has loosened restrictions on many businesses. However, the state is still seeing record unemployment numbers, and the food bank says families need these donations more than ever.

“Many families stocked up on food at the beginning of the pandemic and might find themselves with more than they need,” St. Mary’s said. “This is a great time to get the food to families who are really struggling right now.”

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