As the holiday season rapidly approaches, businesses and food banks are seeking donations to make sure everyone has enough to eat.
“Most of the people we’re working with are not necessarily homeless, they are the working poor,” said Donna Rodgers of the Mesa-based United Food Bank. “It allows them to get their car fixed and eat, too. Sometimes they have to choose between the two.”
The food bank, which collects and provides food for area agencies to give to the needy, has a year-round need for donations, not just during the holidays, Rodgers said.
And that need increases every year, she said.
Over the last fiscal year, United Food Bank provided enough food for nearly 10 million meals, Rodgers said. Donations to United Food Bank help residents in the East Valley, Gila and Pinal counties, and southern Navajo and Apache counties.
Besides regular holiday fare, donations of protein items are always needed, such as tuna, canned meat products such as chili or stew, and peanut butter, Rodgers said.
Here are some places accepting donations for the holiday season:
• The United Food Bank is collecting turkeys and fi xings for Thanksgiving dinner 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday at 358 E. Javelina Ave., Mesa. The food bank is always collecting food and money to provide nutritionally balanced food boxes. Information: (480) 926-4897 or www.unitedfoodbank.org.
• Curves Ahwatukee is supporting Phoenix Rescue Mission this holiday season. Boxes are available until Dec. 2 to decorate and fi ll for the “Fill A Box, Feed a Family Program” at 4221 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix. Informa- tion: (480) 759-4340 or www.phoenixrescuemission.org.
• Henry’s Farmers Market has $1, $3 and $5 donation coupons customers can add to their grocery bill. Money raised at the Gilbert Henry’s will be donated to the United Food Bank. Grab ‘n’ give grocery bags filled with nonperishable staple food items in $10 to $30 increments also are available to buy at the Gilbert stores until the stores close in mid-December at 1422 N. Cooper Road, and 874 E. Warner Road. Information: (480) 633-2932 or (480) 214-1220.
• Kimberly Calvetti of Elliott’s Diamonds & Design, and Ginny Clarke of Clarke & Clarke Asian Antiques and Tribal Art, both at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Marshall Way in Scottsdale, are collecting nonperishable foods and grocery store gift cards through Tuesday for the Vista del Camino Food Bank in Scottsdale. Information: (480) 946-7776 or (480) 947-9934.
• St. Vincent de Paul is collecting donations 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 420 W. Watkins St., Phoenix. Information: (602) 254-3338.
• The Salvation Army is collecting donations 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 1927 N. Gilbert Road, Mesa, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 2324 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe. Information: (480) 834-4027 and (480) 945-4758.
• Vista del Camino Food Bank is collecting donations 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 7375 E. Second St., Building 3, Scottsdale. Information: (480) 312-2323.
• Chandler Christian Community Center is collecting donations 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 345 S. California St. Information: (480) 963-1423.
• Bring nonperishable food for the St. Mary’s Food Bank and attend a shopping event 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday at Toys R Us at Interstate 10 and Ray Road. There will be raffles and a grand prize of an iPod Shuffle. RSVP: (480) 699-5275.