Wells Fargo Bank is holding a statewide food drive from June 1 through 15 to benefit local food banks.
Food collected at the Payson branch of Wells Fargo by employees and their customers will benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Payson Food Bank (SVPFB).
Community food drives are the "frosting on the cake" because they supplement the goods SVPFB gets from United Food Bank and St. Mary's, according to food bank manager Wayne Parent.
"Local people donate anything you can imagine," he said.
Generally, food bank donations taper off in early spring, and do not increase until the holiday spirit strikes again in November.
"The idea for off-season food drives came about when we continually saw demand for food boxes increase during the summer months," said Ginny Hildebrand, executive director of Association of Arizona Food Banks.
"When we asked for companies to help with summer food drives, Wells Fargo stepped up and offered to take the lead role on this new project," Hildebrand said.
"All of us at Wells Fargo are excited to help the association with this food drive," said Gerrit van Huisstede, regional president of Wells Fargo in Arizona. "The statistics about need in our state are sobering. One in seven Arizona adults, one in 12 seniors and one in five children live in poverty and every fourth person in line at a soup kitchen is a child. We know that for our company to prosper, the communities we serve must also prosper and we are committed to doing all we can to make that happen."
SVPFB received 7,000 pounds of food earlier in May from the Postal Carriers Food Drive.
"That helps us, of course, and we are thankful, but if the food bank received nothing else, it would be out of food by mid-June because donations get lighter and lighter until November," Parent said.
The food bank would especially appreciate donations of canned tuna fish, peanut butter in plastic jars, canned vegetables and fruit. No glass containers, please.
"We want to encourage everyone to donate," said Tinah Kromoff, manager of the Payson Wells Fargo Bank.