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St. Mary's Food Bank sees need in northern Arizona grow in wake of crisis

St. Mary's Food Bank sees need in northern Arizona grow in wake of crisis

From the A collection of the Daily Sun's coronavirus coverage series
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St. Mary's food bank

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance has been bolstering its operations in northern Arizona, said Director of Public Relations Jerry Brown.

In addition to supplying nonprofits in Flagstaff such as Flagstaff Family Food Center, Brown said they are also opening monthly mobile pantries in more rural areas.

Brown said on Wednesday, a mobile pantry in Winslow provided food boxes to 350 families and plans are in the works to bring a similar mobile pantry to Valle. While food pantries in Tuba City and Chinle are closed at the moment, they are sending food to Kayenta.

The increased need comes as businesses across the state are closing to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The food bank just outside Grand Canyon National Park in Tusayan also requested additional supplies which they are also sending, Brown said.

Lastly, Brown said next week they are providing food stuffs which will be brought to Supai by helicopter.

But just as they are seeing an increase in need, they are also seeing fewer supplies coming their way. About 20% of their food came from grocery stores that would donate any food that wasn’t sold.

“That [source] is down to a trickle,” Brown said. In addition, he said food drives that would normally supported them have been canceled as an effort to promote social distancing.

For those who are looking to help, Brown said monetary donations are the most useful to them.

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