Oregano's kicks off 'Bottle for Babies' formula drive

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Oregano's Pizza Bistro is known for its tasty pizza and “pizza cookie” desserts.

But now, the restaurant chain will be focusing on another effort as well: the first-ever “Bottles For Babies.” It's a baby formula drive at at the company's 15 restaurants across Arizona that begins Monday, May 4, and continues until Sunday, May 10.

“Bottles for Babies” – in partnership with St. Mary's Food Bank and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona – will allow Oregano's guests to donate cash in person, donate online at Oreganos.com or bring powdered baby formula in sealed boxes to its restaurants all week long.

Oregano's hopes to raise up to $25,000 in donations.

The idea for the drive originated with Oregano's founder and CEO Mark S. Russell, who recently became a first-time father. Mr. Russell said the birth of his son, River, showed him how much infants depend on adults for each meal and how expensive baby formula can be.

“Babies have no choice but to rely on everyone around them,” said Russell. “They're at the mercy of everyone. That's why we're doing ‘Bottles for Babies.' No one else is doing it and it's a great start. We think it's a great way to give back to the community across Arizona and to continue to do what we've done for so many years now – feed families and make sure everyone's taken care of and satisfied.”

Founded in 1993, today Oregano's has a dozen Valley locations, two restaurants in Tucson, one location in Flagstaff and one under construction in Queen Creek.

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