Bashas’ Family of Stores and First Fruits are funding 42,000 emergency meals for children and families on the Navajo Nation through St. Mary’s Food Bank.
The $6,000 donation supports ongoing relief efforts by St. Mary’s volunteers who safely deliver five to six truckloads of food — the equivalent of 3,000 emergency meals — each week to the northeastern part of the state, according to a release.
“This donation came to us at the perfect time,” Jerry Brown, spokesperson for St. Mary’s Food Bank, said in the release. “With COVID-19 hitting in March, and now the summer months — when we already experience the highest demand because kids are out of school — our resources are strained. So many families, and children, are in need right now, especially on the Navajo Nation. To be able to provide these nutritious meals is just an amazing thing.”
The donation will help deliver meals for about three-and-a-half months for the northeastern part of the state, the release states.
“This support provides a sizable amount of healthy, nutritious food to children and families during already very difficult days,” Edward “Trey” Basha, president and CEO of Bashas’ Family of Stores said in the release. “Our partnership with First Fruits, in support of St. Mary’s, is a wonderful example of communities supporting each other and companies stepping up to take care of children and families in need.”
First Fruits created the Tackle Kids Summer Nutrition program to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the U.S. In Arizona, as many as one in seven people struggle with hunger, and the number of hungry children is higher yet. About one in four Arizona children — nearly 435,000 youth — experience hunger or do not have regular access to safe, affordable, and nutritious foods.
“At First Fruits Marketing, we are very grateful for this partnership we have had with Bashas’,” Tim Corkill, regional marketing manager of First Fruits, said in the release. “This is now Bashas’ fourth year participating in the Tackle Kids Summer Nutrition program. We created this program to help raise community awareness of kid’s families who are food insecure during the summer months when school year food programs are not available, creating a serious food shortage for these families. We are so thankful to Bashas’ for their continued involvement and dedication in seeing that the Tackle Kids Summer Nutrition program gets effectively out to the Arizona communities that so desperately need nutritious food during this time of the year.”