During the hotter months, Arizona food banks report that fresh food donations are harder to come by, yet they are crucial to help keep families with children from going hungry, especially when kids are out of school for summer. Bashas’ and Food City joined a campaign to fight hunger so that families with children in need throughout the state can have access to fresh, nutritious apples.
The two local grocery chains recently donated 11,520 pounds of Red Delicious apples, equaling more than eight pallets that were distributed to a dozen different food banks and local nonprofits throughout the state.
Bashas’ and Food City supermarkets recently donated the apples to:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley (Apache Junction, Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Guadalupe, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, and Tempe);
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson;
- Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Vista;
- Boys & Girls Club of the Sun Corridor (Arizona City, Casa Grande, Maricopa);
- Boys & Girls Club of Nogales;
- Boys & Girls Club of Scottsdale;
- United Food Bank (Mesa);
- Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (Tucson);
- Yuma Community Food Bank;
- St. Vincent de Paul (Phoenix);
- The Salvation Army (Phoenix); and
- St. Mary’s Food Bank (Phoenix and Northern Arizona).
“Fresh fruits and vegetables are such an important part of our mission,” said Tom Kertis, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank. “The food donations we receive immediately head to the tables of those in need. We appreciate efforts like these to help provide healthy and nutritious foods to families and children in need.”
The apple donations are all part of an annual Take a Bite Out of Hunger collaboration that Bashas’ and Food City supermarkets have with FirstFruits, which is based in Washington state.
“We all know this has been a tough year, and we feel fortunate to be able to continue making our annual apple donations, now more than ever,” said Joe Vargas, director of marketing for FirstFruits. “We are grateful for the support and partnership we receive from Bashas’ and Food City to donate thousands of pounds of apples every year.”
FirstFruits created its Take a Bite out of Hunger donation program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the U.S. In Arizona, as many as one in seven people struggle with hunger, and the number of hungry children is higher yet. About one in four Arizona children – nearly 435,000 youth – experience hunger or do not have regular access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to share more than 4,000 fresh and delicious apples with the young people and families we serve,” said Karin Malbrough, VP of program operations of Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. “This donation helps to support their confidence and motivation to make healthy choices and maintain healthy habits.”
This is the fourth year that Arizona’s hometown grocer participated in the give-back campaign. Bashas’ and Food City earned the donation based on the number of apples procured for distribution across the state during the first quarter of 2021.
“Bashas’ and Food City have always been a constant and steady force of good for our community,” said Jill Johnson, director of strategic partnerships for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley. “This donation is a great reminder of the power of helping one another. It also reinforces the importance of shopping with and supporting local organizations.”
Since the give-back campaign’s inception in 2010, more than 2 million pounds of fresh apples have been donated to local food banks as part of Take a Bite out of Hunger. Last year alone, more than 263,000 pounds of fresh apples were donated to local food banks in their communities.
“This is the first time we have had so many organizations benefit from the donation, which allowed us to cover all parts of the state,” said Edward “Trey” Basha, president and CEO of Bashas’ Family of Stores. “This apple donation helps to put a sizable quantity of fresh produce into the hands of those who could use it the most.”