Thunderbirds Charities Grant Helps United Food Bank and Waste Not Combat Hunger During COVID
Mesa, Ariz. (Nov. 4, 2020) – Thunderbirds Charities has awarded United Food Bank (UFB) and affiliate Waste Not, a combined $200,000 grant to help combat hunger during the COVID pandemic. This year, United Food Bank will distribute an additional five million pounds of food through food distribution events and its 220+ partner agencies to address increase need due to the pandemic. Waste Not has responded quickly throughout the pandemic, rescuing suddenly-available perishable foods from restaurants and event venues that closed abruptly and matching it directly with people in need – a 70% increase in the month of March alone!
“We value our partnership with United Food Bank and Waste Not and the support they provide for those in need in our community,” said Tim Woods, Thunderbirds Charities President. “At Thunderbirds Charities, we know the deep and long-lasting impact that food insecurity has on families.”
The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented spike in hunger; affecting family’s right here in Arizona with 1 in 8 people struggling with hunger. Thunderbird Charities awarding United Food Bank and Waste Not this grant comes at a vital time for the food banks to meet this demand.
“This grant is an example of the wonderful ways in which Thunderbirds Charities continues to provide vital funds to meet our community’s most pressing food needs,” said Dave Richins, United Food Bank president and CEO. “Responding to increased food assistance needs brought on by the economic impact of the pandemic has required significant added transportation resources – from refrigerated trucks and trailers to drivers — that this grant will greatly support.”
“The generosity of Thunderbirds Charities is something we at Waste Not are so thankful for. These funds will be used to provide food to over 60 nonprofits in the Valley that serve countless children and families impacted by this pandemic,” stated Kate Thoene, Executive Director Waste Not.
About United Food Bank: United Food has been providing hunger relief to people in need in the East Valley and eastern Arizona for more than 35 years. As a Feeding America member food bank, we collect, acquire, store and distribute food and related commodities to more than 220 partner agencies, serving over 228,000 people in five counties. In 2019, United Food Bank distributed almost 24 million pounds of food providing nearly 19.5 million meals to our neighbors in need. In response to the economic impact of COVID-19, the food bank projects it will distribute nearly 29 million pounds of food (24 million meals) this year. Visit us at UnitedFoodBank.org. Follow us on Twitter @unitedfoodbank.
Waste Not, an affiliate of United Food Bank, is an Arizona nonprofit dedicated to creating sustainable food systems that help people and the planet flourish. For over 30 years, Waste Not has been reimagining and reinventing the food rescue process in Arizona. Each year, 40% of food is thrown away, and at the same time, nearly 1 million people in Arizona are struggling with food insecurity. We’re transforming this broken system by connecting tens of thousands of Arizonans with quality food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Our team of professional drivers and food rescue volunteers collect fresh food from local food businesses such as catering companies, resorts and event venues, and deliver that food same day to nonprofits who provide critical community services, such as housing and employment assistance. Last year, Waste Not rescued nearly 2 million pounds of food. By reimagining what’s possible for food rescue, we’re making our community and our planet healthier. Visit us at wastenotaz.org. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @WasteNotAZ.
About Thunderbird Charities: The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 285 “life” members. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on the Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.