Volunteering, donating food, giving blood, stuffing a bus with toys — Arizonans are always looking for ways to help one another and give back to our communities. This dedication to lend a hand is as strong as ever during the holiday season.
Here are a few ways those interested can help their community:
St. Mary’s Food Bank, located in Surprise and Phoenix, is accepting food donations and distributing turkeys this week as part of its annual Holiday Food Distribution. It is accepting turkeys, food and cash donations at its warehouse today until 3 p.m. with the goal of distributing meals to 12,000 families. St. Mary’s Food Bank accepts general food donations Monday through Friday year-round and welcomes volunteers to help get food to Arizonans in need. Arizonans can pick up Thanksgiving meals until 11 a.m. today.
The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona has volunteer opportunities for those who want to help out as an individual and in groups. It is distributing food at its Country Club Rd location today until 12 p.m.
The Flagstaff Family Food Center welcomes Arizonans who are interested in volunteering individually or with teams to pack produce, distribute food boxes and more.
United Food Bank in Mesa accepts food donations at any time at its Volunteer Center, and a list of its most needed items can be found on its website. Arizonans can sign up to volunteer to help sort and box food donations, build emergency food bags, serve families and more.
Vitalant AZ is accepting blood, platelet and plasma donations regardless of vaccination status. It is providing gift cards to those who give blood through Sunday, December 5.
Arizonans interested in donating blood can also schedule an appointment with American Red Cross - AZ.
Charitable Giving Deductions
In 2019, Governor Ducey and the state Legislature partnered to establish a charitable contribution deduction for taxpayers. Under the law, taxpayers can subtract 25 percent of their charitable contribution from their taxable income. In other words, if a taxpayer contributes $100 to charity, they can deduct $25 from their taxable income.
This year, the Governor and Legislature amended the law to ensure that 25 percent subtraction can be increased by the rate of inflation every year. For example, if inflation rises by six percent this year, the deduction will increase from 25 percent to 31 percent. This has proven to be a prescient decision, as inflation is skyrocketing under the Biden administration.
On November 23, St. Mary’s Food Bank named the Arizona National Guard a Hunger Hero for its crucial work to help the bank feed those in need, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On November 22, Governor Ducey joined HeroZona, Sons of the American Legion and volunteers for the 18th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, benefitting approximately 1,000 Arizona families this holiday season.
In March 2020, Governor Ducey activated the Arizona National Guard to assist grocery stores and food banks to ensure Arizonans had access to food and shelves were stocked. In May 2020, the Governor announced $500,000 for food banks to continue to meet the needs of Arizona families.