Grapefruit, oranges and lemons, oh my!

grapefruitIt’s citrus season and this year the fruit we have received has been amazing! As an Agency, you may accept citrus for distribution at your sites directly from the community that grows it.

As the season winds down, citrus will no longer come through United Food Bank’s warehouse and small donations are fresher when provided directly to the Agency for distribution. There is no longer a county quarantine on citrus–which will now allow you to accept from any location inside Arizona.

Here is our information sheet that will help with any questions you may have in regards to donated citrus. You may refuse citrus that you feel does not meet these guidelines. Thank you for helping provide fresh grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and lemons to your community!

President’s Day Holiday!

Presidentsday    Already?  February is going fast!

This Monday, February 20th, UFB will be closed for the holiday. This means no store pick ups, agency deliveries or agency pick ups on that day by United Food Bank.  If you are an enabled agency and also closed, please remind your stores as well!

Help Yourself – Every Friday!

Especially for those agencies that serve in Mesa, Tempe or Gilbert – did you know that UFB operates every Friday a Help Yourself Co-Op program where meat, produce and dry goods can be purchased for $20.00?   Let your pantry visitors know of this unique service for them!

January 27th’s Menu $20 package includes:

  • Produce 8.5lbs (or more) – Bananas, golden apples, carrots and onions
  • Meat  – Ground beef 1 lb pack, Whole Fryer Chicken, 1lb pack Bologna, and 1lb pack of Hot dogs PLUS
    ground turkey OR ground beef OR bacon (all 1lb packs).
  • Dry Goods: Spaghetti pasta, spaghetti sauce, mixed fruit and canned tuna

You can also purchase extra meat bags for $13.00.

Help Yourself clients can also make selections from a variety of complimentary items like breads and pastries, dairy and deli products.  This week’s walk through items are bell peppers, bread, tomatoes, egg plant, salad mix and potatoes.

The program offers a great opportunity for anyone who’d like to make the most of their food budgets; weekly or monthly. There are no qualifying requirements or limits and is open to the public.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 12 noon at our Javelina Volunteer Annex  at 358 East Javelina, Mesa, AZ.


Musings at the end of week 3…

As someone new to food banking, the past three weeks have been a wonderful immersion for me into a world that our Partner Agencies so amazingly navigate every day!

In a short amount of time, I have had the privilege to see the work at East Valley Resource Center handing out fresh produce (just HOW do you cook an acorn squash?) to the smiles at the Help Yourself Co-Op on Fridays. I have witnessed the talented UFB drivers who move pallet after pallet of food in and out of small spaces and even in a heavy downpour of rain!

From Feeding America, and UFB staff, I am absorbing the processes and requirements so I can help make it easy for new agencies and help streamline the paperwork that you do. Building a more robust Agency Resources website with the resources you need is part of that goal.

I, like you, see numbers that tug at your heart: 20% of the state is living in poverty….1 in 4 of our children struggling with hunger.  Then I see numbers like 26 million pounds of food distributed last year – by YOU – our amazing partners.

I am so excited to have joined this team. If you have questions, I am to here to find the answers for you. Thank you for all that you do!

Pieces of the Puzzle?

2017 Agency Relations Conference

2017 Agency Relations Conference

Today we hosted our annual conference in Mesa with a theme about Puzzle pieces and how foodbanking works in Arizona. Since this was only my 8th day with United Food Bank, it was a great opportunity to meet many of the caring people behind our Agency partners and soak in all the food banking process, forms and information.

We had great questions and energy from over 40 different agencies who attended and we look forward to hosting this conference in Show Low on February 1st.

"Where" our partners are located across AZ.

“Where” our partners are located across AZ.

At the heart of our work (and your passion) is feeding our community.  Your planning, reports and communication are what feeds the funding/delivery processes that make food available.  We’re here to put those pieces together and hopefully solve a few puzzles for you as you care for our community.

I’ll post conference materials and presentations under the Agency Resources section.  If you have forgotten (or need?) the password to Agency Resources, please email me!


A new name…!

Hello!  I’m Diane Gardner, your new Director of Agency Relations and Program Services.  Along with Deb and Twanna, we are here to listen, offer assistance and share tips along the way when possible. I am so excited to join the amazing team at United Food Bank.

My background is in technology, so you “may” see me trying to ensure information is online, easy to find and use  – or seeking ways to automate where possible! But that doesn’t replace the phone call, email or site visit where I can get to know you, your agency and needs. Feel free to email or call 480-398-4480.  Looking forward to partnering with you!

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"You have helped my family not go hungry while we are going through a hard time. Thanks."
— Glenn and family.