St. Mary's in need of donated turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Days before Thanksgiving, the line stretched around St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix for a little holiday help. 

"I work part time, so it’s hard to be able to make ends meet for both of my children. The priority is rent," said Isabel Valencia, one of more than 1,100 who showed up to St. Mary’s on Monday.

"We were maybe going to have chicken soup, but now I can actually have a Thanksgiving," Valencia said.

Beverly Damore, president and CEO of St. Mary’s, said she expects to hand out about 18,000 by Thursday.  However, to meet that goal, the food bank is currently short a few thousand donated turkeys. 

"Our demand hasn't decreased at all," Damore said.

"Most of our clients are working, most of them are just not working enough," she said, speaking of the continued problem of not only unemployment, but underemployment.

"People think that because it's a food bank, that we're all homeless, we don't work, but a lot of us are just struggling to make ends meet with the way the economy is," Valenica said.

Valencia said she's grateful for help from the food bank, so her children can have a holiday.

"It means a lot not necessarily for me, because I'm an adult, but more for my kids," she said.

St. Mary’s is accepting donations and turkeys at its food bank sites. For more information go to