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The Finer Properties of the Valley of the Sun

The Finer Properties of the Valley of the Sun

Bashas’ delivers 20,000 apples to local food banks across Valley of the Sun

Bashas’ continues tradition of service at Take a Bite Out of Hunger initiative
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Officials at the Bashas’ grocer brand is reporting as SNAP benefits have ended for those impacted by COVID-19, more people are turning to their local food banks to help make ends meet.

Bashas’, which operates grocery stores in Arizona and New Mexico, was again selected by FirstFruits to participate in this year’s Take a Bite Out of Hunger initiative. The grocery chain is one of only three chosen to participate in the give-back collaboration this year, according to a press release. Earlier this month, Bashas’ supermarkets donated 20,902 pounds of apples to St. Mary’s Food Bank and United Food Bank to help families in need throughout central and northern Arizona.

“Fruits and vegetables are important and irreplaceable items for food banks to provide nutritious menus for so many families in need,” said CEO Tom Kertis, president of St. Mary’s Food Bank, which received a 13-pallet donation of apples on April 4. “This donation from our friends at FirstFruits and Bashas’ is much needed and appreciated, especially now when inflation has hit so many families hard. We thank them for their generosity.”

The mission of the annual Take a Bite Out of Hunger collaboration is simple: to feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States.

Bashas’ supermarkets earned the donation for the communities it serves based on the number of apples the retailer sold in stores in January and February. Thanks to shoppers purchasing 24% more apples during this timeframe in 2023, as compared to last year, this year’s donation will be 24% greater, as well.

“Supporting local food banks is a natural way for us to ensure that families in need in the communities we serve have access to fresh, nutritious foods,” said Ashley Shick, director of communications & public affairs for Bashas’ Family of Stores. “Teaming up with organizations like FirstFruits allows us to extend our giving even further.”

In Arizona, as many as one in nine people struggle with hunger, and the number of hungry children is higher yet. About one in six Arizona children – nearly 270,000 youth – experience hunger or do not have regular access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods.

Since Take a Bite Out of Hunger’s inception in 2010, more than 2.8 million pounds of fresh apples have been donated in participating retailers’ names to local food banks in their communities, the release states.

“Everyone should have access to fresh, nutritious produce as a part of a well-balanced diet, especially in this inflationary period, when growers, retailers, and everyday consumers are facing challenges,” said Aimee Peters, business development manager of FirstFruits. “Thanks to the continued partnerships with Bashas’ and the food banks, we’re making apples accessible to those who need them the most.”

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