The Community Food Bank’s annual holiday food drive received a powerful boost last week when Tucson Electric Power teamed up with 94.9 MIX-FM for “Thanksgiving on the Mayflower.” Generous Tucsonans contributed three times the food and funds of any previous food drive.
Donors to the Nov. 19th food drive and fundraiser contributed more than 7,200 pounds of food and nearly $60,000 in cash. When combined with TEP’s matching funds, the money will allow the Community Food Bank to provide food enough food to assist our community through the holidays.
TEP had originally committed to match contributions up to $25,000, an amount that was expected to cover all cash contributions to the drive. But with enthusiasm so great and the need for Community Food Bank services so clear, TEP chose to dig deep and match the entire $59,095.60 in cash donations.
“The enthusiasm from people donating food and money during this event was overwhelming. We believe this is the largest amount of money donated to a food bank during a one-day drive in the history of Arizona,” said Bill Carnegie, President and CEO of the Community Food Bank. “We can’t thank residents of this community or TEP enough for their leadership in helping us to provide food to more than 200,000 people a month.”
The event, held in a parking lot at East Broadway Boulevard and North Swan Road, was promoted on MIX-FM throughout the day by Bobby Rich and others who encouraged Tucson residents to drop off canned goods and monetary donations. Volunteers from MIX-FM, TEP and the food bank gathered beneath a Community Food Bank banner that hung from the boom of a TEP bucket truck and collected cans and donations from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Donors streamed in throughout the day with contributions that ranged from a jar of quarters to checks for $5,000. Food servers from a local restaurant donated their tips for the day. Children brought and donated the pennies, nickels and dimes in their piggy banks. Many donors said they were spurred to give more by TEP’s pledge to match cash donations dollar for dollar.
“We’re truly impressed by the generosity of Tucson residents,” said Paul J. Bonavia, Chairman, President and CEO of TEP and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS). “All of us at TEP are proud to play a part in helping the neediest members of our community. The resources raised through this record-setting food drive will go a long way toward easing hunger this holiday season.”
Cash contributions are especially valuable to the Community Food Bank. Thanks to the agency’s buying power and the support of its suppliers, every $1 donation allows the food bank to distribute almost $9 in food – enough for about four meals. More than 97 cents of every dollar donated to the Community Food Bank goes to food and programs.
“We are opening every morning to a line of hundreds of folks, and the agencies we supply are seeing an increase in families needing assistance. Keeping adequate food on hand to have nutritious food boxes is a constant challenge,” said Carnegie. “A donation this big makes an incredible difference. We are so grateful for the support.”
For more information contact Jack Parris at (520) 622-0525 x 215 or by Cell at (520) 444-5412.