2015 OLGA charity event summary

Vice President Anne Annis presents check for $2,655 to Jaxston “Jax” Kyle of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance on January 20, 2015.

Vice President Anne Annis presents check for $2,655 to Jaxston “Jax” Kyle of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance on January 20, 2015.

Anne Annis, Charity Event Chair

The Charity selected for this year’s event was St. Mary’s Food Bank.

We had a full field for golf with 18 teams. We played the Sonoran/Lakes course and the game was a team game of Criss Cross using two low net balls from the team on each hole and selecting the best team score from the front or back (one or 10, two or 11, three or 12, etc.). Doris Swanson had a hole-in-one on Hole No. 6. There were 66 people who joined us for lunch and 75 people who made donations totaling $2,655. This translates to 18,725 meals that St. Mary’s Food Bank can provide to the hungry in our community.

Jaxston “Jax” Kyle from St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance attended our gathering and gave us some information on the Food Bank.

It was started in 1967 by John van Hengel, a retired advertising executive from Chicago who moved to Phoenix and volunteered at St. Vincent De Paul feeding the needy. As he volunteered, he noticed a repeat visitor – a woman who came with her children. He started a conversation with her and learned that her husband was incarcerated and this was the one place she and her children could come for a hot meal. He asked what they did when they weren’t getting a meal there and she told him they went dumpster diving the rest of the time to find food thrown out from restaurants, leftovers, etc. and said that it wasn’t all that bad if they cleaned it up. This gave him an idea to see about finding a coordinated way to collect the extra food from restaurants and other places to create a food bank that could provide food to the needy.

He was a member of St. Mary’s Basilica and talked to the priest about his idea and if the church would be willing to help. The priest agreed and gave him $3,000 and a building to start this venture which was started in 1967 and became the world’s first food bank. In the first year, the food bank provided 250,000 meals to the needy and today they provide this number each day!

She also shared the statistics that two in 10 adults and one in three children in Arizona will go to bed hungry tonight. This figure is astounding. St. Mary’s Food Bank does their best to help eliminate this problem. They provide seven meals for every dollar donated with operational costs less than 4 percent. How do they do this? With the help of many volunteers who provide 330,000 volunteer hours annually packing emergency food boxes. If you are interested in volunteering, there is a volunteer portal on the website at www.firstfoodbank.org where you can find information about volunteer opportunities.

The food bank is located at 2831 N. 31st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85009 which is at the corner of 31st and Thomas.

In addition to volunteering, you can help by making donations. Donations to this organization are eligible for the working poor tax credit which means you can take a dollar for dollar tax credit for any donations you make to the Food Bank on your Arizona state income taxes (to a maximum of $200 if filing single and a maximum of $400 if filing jointly). You will need to complete Form 321 to take this credit.

Thanks to all who participated!