Going into its Super Saturday Turkey Drive, St. Mary’s Food Bank still needed 6,500 turkeys to reach its goal of 7,000. 

Every year, the organization hosts a drive on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to collect turkeys to give to those in need. Thirty locations around the Valley were accepting donations Nov. 18 until 2 p.m.

Larry Schumitz, a St. Mary’s Food Bank truck driver, was at a Phoenix Safeway location on McDowell Road on Saturday.

“I think we’re short 6,500 turkeys going into this next week for our distribution on Monday,” Schumitz said. “Every one we get is one less to buy.”

He said that 18 turkeys, about $500 and two boxes of food had been donated to his location by noon.

The money donated goes toward meals. Every $1 pays for seven meals. 

Last year, the organization was able to distribute more than 12,000 holiday food boxes during the three days leading up to Thanksgiving. 

The goal is to include a turkey and other holiday dinner items in the boxes so all Arizona families have the chance to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal. 

In addition to gathering donated turkeys, St. Mary’s was also collecting money and perishable and non-perishable food items. 

Each donor Saturday also had the chance to register to win a $500 American Airlines gift card.

Students from St. Mary’s High School were among the volunteers Saturday asking for and collecting donations. 

Sasha Perez and Annie Gignoux are leaders of their student organization Knights of Mercy. The two heard about the drive and asked members to volunteer. 

“I hope people donate, because they’re short thousands of turkeys,” Perez said. “I know people who could use a Thanksgiving dinner.”

Both wanted to ensure that others are able to celebrate the holiday with a meal. 

“I’ve always had a Thanksgiving,” Gignoux said. “I want to make sure that others are able to, too.”

St. Mary’s also collects donations at its two food bank locations: 2831 N. 31st Ave. in Phoenix and 13050 W. Elm Street in Surprise.


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