Need at area food bank near record levels

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St. Mary's Food Bank is rationing non-perishable food items for the first time since the economic downturn in 2008.

Food bank officials said they have 50 percent less non-perishable food items in their three warehouse locations than at this time in 2011.

The need comes at a critical time. St. Mary's removed all peanut butter from its shelves in response to a recent voluntary recall at a time when supplies of replacement non-perishable protein sources were already in short supply.

St. Mary's Food Bank said it has had to decline non-perishable food requests from some of its 300-plus agency partners around the state because supplies of basic core items have reached a critically low level.

Officials are asking the public to help by donating items from its most-needed list. That list includes:

  • Tuna (canned or vacuum packed)
  • Canned soups, stews, chili and pastas
  • All varieties of beans (canned or dried)
  • Retail-sized cans of tomatoes, fruit and vegetables
  • Boxes of cereal, juice (canned, plastic or boxed)
  • Any type of pasta or rice

Donations can be taken to St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance locations in Phoenix, Surprise or Flagstaff. Donation boxes are also located at all Goodwill locations in the Valley.

For information on holding a food drive to support St. Mary's Food Bank, call 602-343-3173.

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