While serving dinner to those in need as a volunteer at his local soup kitchen in 1967, John Van Hengel met the woman who would spark the idea for the nation's first food bank. She fed her 10 children using soup kitchens and the cast-offs she found in grocery-store dumpsters, according to the Washington Post, but she suggested that a place where people could "deposit" and "withdraw" food—like a bank—would be ideal. With help from St. Mary's Basilica, Van Hengel created St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, which accepted donations from individuals and companies with surplus food. A centralized food bank was able to serve a larger number of people by distributing donated food to member food pantries, soup kitchens, and other charities, and the concept spread across the country and the world.
Today, St. Mary’s annually distributes nearly 70 million pounds of food to its partner agencies across an 81,000-square-mile service area. These meals go to people of all ages, ranging from homebound seniors to children in more than 80 after-school programs. In addition to its food network, St. Mary’s also prepares emergency food boxes to keep families fed during a temporary crisis and, through its Community Kitchen program, trains people to succeed at jobs in the culinary industry while providing meals to hungry individuals.
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A plug-and-play wine-tasting service, Raising Glasses LLC helps local nonprofit organizations, sports teams, and individuals navigate the choppy waters of today's economy with professional wine-tasting fundraisers. The Raising Glasses staff handles all aspects of each event, including securing a venue, providing the wines, and developing a marketing campaign to get the word out. In addition to its fundraisers, the company draws from a deep barrel of knowledge to pour wine education into open ears at in-home tastings and informative series. Customers can also use Raising Glasses for party-planning assistance, during which an expert will help chefs pair wines with meal courses and explain regional differences in tastes so hosts know what language to speak when asking a bottle to attend the party.
Packages From Home drafts a list of items requested by individual military members, ranging from necessities such as body wash, eye drops, and razors to comfort and entertainment items including popcorn, granola bars, and DVDs. Volunteers bundle the items at "packing parties," then ship each custom box to its corresponding serviceperson. Care packages are available to every soldier who requests one, and since 2004, the organization has shipped more than 130,000 boxes overseas. During 2011, Packages From Home is aiming to mail 1,000 care packages each month, which will require more than $100,000 in shipping costs alone.
Every year, more than 100 amateur and professional cooks prepare fresh salsas for My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge. Proceeds from the daylong salsa competition and festival benefit the Arizona Hemophilia Association, which aims to enhance the life of sufferers and advocate for bleeding disorders. Now in its 30th year, the fest brings in more than 20,000 people annually. In addition to the salsa challenge, the Patron Margarita Mix-Off, which takes place from 12:30?3:30 p.m., challenges local bartenders to compete for the title of Best Margarita and a $500 cash prize. Outside of competitions, margaritas and cold beers wash down unlimited chips and salsa, and the rhythms of live bands keep crowds chewing in unison. Parents can accompany their children into a fun zone with multiple bounce houses, interactive games, and a bungee run.
Though there is a team of specialists at Phoenix Natural Medicine, that's not who most patrons will be working with at first. For many patients, their experience will begin with a comprehensive interview with a physician, who will learn about their diet, past illnesses, lifestyle, and more. One member of the team, Dr. Cho Long Kim has experience in everything from naturopathy and pharmacology to nutrition and surgery. The background she gets from patients allows the entire team to provide more useful treatment.
Those treatments may work to improve metabolism, fix digestive issues, and ward off a range of illnesses. Those goals are met with the clinic's wide range of equipment, which include infrared saunas, acupuncture needles, and more. There are also shelves lined with everything from beet-derived vitamin C to helpful digestive bacteria.
The CoffeePledge Against Cancer's CoffeeWeek, running September 5–11, pours out coffee for inspiration and fuel during a week of anticancer fundraising. Social media spurs coffee pledgers along on their journey, coordinating tweets, pics, check-ins, and donations on interactive digital displays manned by the many-tentacled CoffeeWeek HQ. Portions of all Phoenix proceeds during the week fly directly to cancer treatments at the Phoenix Children's Hospital, powering the struggle against the disease.