Fry’s Food Stores was the star attraction at a gathering of more than 350 business and community leaders at the 2nd Annual Friends of the United Food Bank breakfast Friday.
The grocery chain presented a check for just under $25,000 at the event. United Food Bank’s CEO Robert Evans said this was a huge help in the food bank’s mission to provide 46,000 meals every day of the year to individuals and families that are struggling to put food on their tables.
Shauna Staten, a United Food Bank board member as well as division training & employment manager for Fry’s, then unveiled another check for $5,000, which she said the company would increase to $10,000 if the room full of business and community leaders would match it.
United Food Bank distributes nearly 2 million pounds of food to Chandler Christian Community Center and more than 250 other partner agencies monthly.
Evans pointed out that Arizona is the third worst state in the nation regarding the “food insecurity rate.” The food bank’s website defines this “as limited or uncertain food availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.”
“Everyone in this room may get hungry but they know they will get their next meal. There are many people in this state that are not sure every day where their next meal is going to come from,” Evans said.
Trinity Donovan from Chandler Christian Community Center (CCCC), a United Food Bank partner agency, spoke about the hunger problem in Arizona and how United Food Bank supports her agency’s efforts to feed families that would go hungry without their help.
Donovan, a Chandler city councilwoman, said 1 in 4 children in Arizona and 1 in 7 senior citizens struggle with hunger.
Lisa Goin said the first event last year raised more than $30,000 and that the event Friday would likely raise more than that. A final tally won’t be available until next week.
Tours of the warehouse were offered and the program was aimed at explaining the incredible positive impact the United Food Bank has on communities in Arizona.
Marcie and Mike Hutchinson were the honorary co-chairs of the breakfast and Fry’s was the major sponsor. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith spoke about the importance of the food bank to the community. Other sponsors that made the event possible were Hickman’s Family Farms, Classic Party Rentals, US Airways and APS.
During the program, Evans revealed United Food Bank’s new logo and tagline: “Nourishing Arizona Communities.”