Thousands of children receive reduced price breakfast and lunch at school but often go hungry on weekends. These children are from families that live more than 185% below the poverty level, thus qualifying for food assistance through federally funded programs in schools. Frankly, when school ends, so do their meals!
- Arizona is the SECOND poorest state in the nation (2011)
- Food and clothing are ranked among the highest needs of the impoverished
- 20.2% of AZ children under 18 don’t get enough to eat
What causes this hunger?
- Parents are under-employed or cannot get work due to the economy.
- Parent has an illness or disability that limits consistent employment.
- Parent is employed, but has to work while children are home on weekends.
- Children are too young to cook for themselves.
- Children are being raised by grandparents that are on a fixed income.
- The chains of addiction bind a parent’s ability to provide.
Arizona Brain Food
Arizona Brain Food is a non-profit organization that discreetly provides a backpack of food to feed hungry school children on the weekends. We hope that each child will return to school every Monday mentally aware and physically able to concentrate. Arizona Brainfood currently serves over 3,600 students in 115 participating schools.
$5 feeds a child for a weekend. $20 feeds a child for a month.
Desert Mission Food Bank
The link between hunger and poor health is undeniable. Desert Mission is combatting hunger across the income spectrum by helping to bridge nutrition gaps that negatively affect the health and well-being of community residents and HonorHealth patients alike.
Desert Mission offers several free and reduced cost food programs, nutrition education, and resource and referral services. Whether using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/food stamp benefits to buy food or receiving a free federal emergency food box, countless clients rely on the food bank.
Desert Mission's Food bank programs include emergency food boxes, senior food boxes, infant emergency food boxes, bargain basket program (which helps families stretch their food budget by providing groceries at significant discounts), as well as nutrition education.
Kitchen on the Street
Kitchen on the Street is a faith based community partner purposing to eliminate local hunger by offering food assistance programs in Phoenix Arizona.
We invite you to come alongside Kitchen on the Street as we serve the hungry and hurting of the community. Many hungry kids report feeling “unwanted” and “unloved” as a result of hunger... the act of giving food transcends the physical and reaches into a child’s soul; it has lasting implications on who that child will grow up to be and how they will show love.Kitchen on the Street programs include:
- Bags of Hope are backpacks that include individually portioned, shelf-stable meals and snacks for in-home weekend consumption. Bags of Hope are distributed at school on Friday afternoon, so children receive food and nutrition outside of school. Each Bag contains 50 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber, needs no refrigeration, is easily transported home and provides consistent nourishment to a child in need.
- Partnerships with local growers, community gardens and food banks allow Kitchen on the Street to distribute FREE fresh food to families in need via Produce Distributions. Collaborations with schools, churches and community centers allow for regular events wherein low income families receive FREE fresh produce high in nutrients and vitamins.
- Emergency food boxes - The generosity of volunteers and community partners in providing non-perishable food donations allows Kitchen on the Street to distribute emergency food boxes to families in crises. While Kitchen on the Street cannot meet the entire food needs of the community, utilizing the donations given allows impoverished families a hand up in very discouraging circumstances.
St. Mary’s Food Bank
Founded in 1967, St. Mary’s is the world’s first food bank. Now more than 50 years old, St. Mary’s is one of the largest food banks in the country. With public support, they offer an array of programs designed to relieve hunger in Arizona. They distribute food to nearly 500 nonprofit partners in 13 Arizona counties, including food pantries, dining halls, homeless shelters and more. The Kids Café, School Pantry and Backpack programs help ensure that children have the food they need to grow up healthy. The Community Kitchen is a hands on training program that teaches adults with barriers to employment to be successful in the food service industry.
The WakWay Foundation
The WakWay Foundation is committed to education, nutrition and repurposing resources into communities to change the face of child hunger forever.
Led by Don Wakamatsu (former major league baseball player, scout and manager, and current coach), the WakWay Foundation has taken its passion for baseball off the field and partnered with youth programs located in the heart of inner cities. Effort is put on families, food insecurity, and education. Successful change must consider all three. The WakWay Foundation is providing calorie dense nutritious meals to children and families participating in the program. The WakWay farm has also partnered with other farms to rescue fresh fruits and vegetables and bring them into the inner-city. Each semi helps service over 1,000 families with fresh produce.
The produce stand program helps provide fresh fruit and vegetables to families in need, while the breakfast and snack programs provide nutritious meals and snacks in a discreet manner.
United Food Bank
United Food Bank collaborates with a network of more than 200 organizations to distribute food to hungry people the greater East Valley and Eastern Arizona. These programs include pantries, after-school youth programs, residential facilities, community kitchens, community centers, municipalities and others providing direct-service to those in need. Plus, the Help Yourself Purchase Co-op is a weekly food purchase cooperative for those in our communities on a fixed income and limited resources. The co-op program allows clients to purchase pre-assembled food bags containing 15 to 20 pounds of different meat and produce for $20. As available, Help Yourself clients can also make selections from a variety of complimentary items like breads and pastries, dairy and deli products.
St. Vincent DePaul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in Phoenix in 1946. The nonprofit works to feed, clothe, house and heal individuals and working poor families who have nowhere else to turn for help. Programs and services include dining rooms, food boxes, a medical and dental clinic, a transitional shelter, thrift stores and support services for families and people experiencing homelessness.