PHOENIX — As we enter the holiday season, Governor Doug Ducey today announced more than $1.6 million to expand assistance to Arizona food banks, helping them reach more families and seniors in need. The funding will enable food banks around the state to make more food home-deliveries to seniors and make more fresh produce and items available.
Today’s announcement followed the Governor’s visit to St. Mary’s Food Bank, where he helped pack food boxes for clients and spoke with members of the media.
“By partnering with food banks and generous individuals around the state, Arizona is working to make sure that no family goes hungry this holiday season,” said Governor Ducey. “During the pandemic, we’ve worked to stretch and strengthen the social safety net. We’ve seen demand increase at our food banks, and we are stepping up to meet that demand. I’m grateful to our community partners, our National Guard members, and all the selfless volunteers working to make sure there’s food on the table this holiday season.”
Today’s funding includes:
$600,000 for St. Mary’s Food Bank to enhance its home-delivery model to reach 2,000 more seniors in their homes in Maricopa, Coconino, Gila, Mohave, Pinal and Yavapai Counties;
$525,000 for Community Food Bank to enhance its home-delivery model to reach 2,000 more seniors in Pima County and continue delivering fresh produce to residential senior living facilities; and
$500,000 to replenish the Double Up Food Bucks Program, which doubles the value of SNAP/EBT benefits used at farmers markets.
Today’s funding comes from the Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund, established in March through a bipartisan state budget agreement that added $50 million for Arizona’s COVID-19 response.
In March, Governor Ducey dedicated $1.75 million to improve food security in Arizona. This includes $500,000 to expand Arizona’s Double-Up Food Bucks program, which has already served nearly 50,000 SNAP recipients.
In May, the Governor announced a $500,000 grant from the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund for Arizona food banks to help fight hunger. The funding went toward addressing the spike in demand due to COVID-19, including: meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities; acquiring more packaging materials to deliver food; securing additional storage space; implementing further adaptations to promote physical distancing among clients; coordinating convenient drive-through food pick-ups; and more.
At today’s event, the Governor was joined by Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Director Major General Michael T. McGuire, St. Mary’s Food Bank President and CEO Tom Kertis, Arizona National Guard members and community volunteers.