Thanksgiving might be over, but the need for food and other items at local food banks is ongoing. Food banks are seeing new faces and experiencing a growing demand for essentials this holiday season due to the economic effects from COVID-19. Here are a few places to donate locally:

St. Stephen’s Episcopal


“Our core values are to help our neighbors through love, food and a supporting hand. Our mission is to support our neighbors while providing a shining light of hope during any difficult and trying time,” Ashley Doane, parish administrator, said.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church partners with St. Mary’s Food Bank to provide an extra food distribution site. In addition to the items provided by St. Mary’s, the church’s congregation also donates food and monetary funds. According to Doane, the church helps 30 to 50 families each week.

“The donations allow us to provide additional items like fresh produce, meat, bread, eggs and milk when they are available. Our volunteers ensure that each person is greeted with a smile, a conversation, as much food as possible based on family sizes, and assistance loading their vehicle with the food,” Doane said.


Donations are accepted Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the lobby or administrator’s office at 2310 N. 56th St.

Doane notes that the food bank needs non-perishable food items like peanut butter, jams/jellies, instant potatoes, cans of pumpkin, yams, cranberry, and any other food that would be good for a holiday meal. They also accept citrus.


On Wednesday, December 16, starting at 8:30 a.m., the church will be handing out gift cards and 100 hand-knitted hats, along with food.

The food bank is open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesdays. A photo ID and the names and birthdays of everyone in the house are required to receive a St. Mary’s Food Box. However, Doane said that “if someone is unable to provide this information, we are often able to help in a small way.”



“Our vision is to inspire hope and dignity among economically disadvantaged Valley residents by eliminating their insecurities around daily needs. We empower individuals and families to lead healthy lives as self-reliant members of our community, able to meet their own basic needs, regardless of their situation. Our core values are compassion, courtesy and curiosity,” Beth Fiorenza, executive director of NourishPhx, said. “Our mission is to provide the vulnerable population in Maricopa County (the working poor, elderly, families, children, nearly homeless and disabled) emergency assistance with nutrition, clothing and toiletries and help to find employment. We also offer education in nutrition and financial literacy and community resource referrals to help our clients become self-sufficient and avoid homelessness.”


A “community engagement center” that provides food, clothing and toiletries to low-income people. NourishPhx also assists with SNAP and AHCCCS registration and renewals and finding employment.


Fiorenza said holiday food items are always needed. She suggests just picking up a few extra items of what you’re already buying for holiday meals. Anyone can drop off food or clothing donations at 501 S. 9th Ave. on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.


Receiving help at NourishPhx is entirely free. The food pantry is open weekdays from 9-11 a.m. No appointment is needed to visit the food pantry. Appointments are required to receive any other assistance. To schedule an appointment, call 602-775-5744.

Joshua Tree Feeding Program


“Joshua Tree is a social, supportive and welcoming place for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Joshua Tree is a place where you can select from a wide assortment of nutritional foods to take home and where your privacy, cultural, spiritual, and religious values are respected,” said Chairman Joseph A. Gaxiola.


Joshua Tree Feeding Program is a food pantry in Maricopa and Pinal counties. The food bank is set up like a store, so those in need can choose the most essential items. According to Gaxiola, they donated over 173,000 pounds of food in 2019. The organization started in 1988 due to the difficulty of patients affording food and the medical, dental and behavioral health to care for themselves adequately. They also aim to provide a safe environment where people can share experiences and participate in mutual support.


Donations are accepted Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. or by appointment. Gaxiola notes that the program especially needs canned protein, dog and cat food and toiletries.


The free food pantry at 214 E. Willetta St. is open on Wednesdays from

8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

More local food banks

Feed Our Babies USA

Healthy, nutrient-dense foods for children and their families within the community.

The Cultured Cup

An “alternative” foodbank that

provides emergency food boxes,

lunch bags, hygiene kits,

SNAP assistance and more.

Chuck Waggin’ Pet Food Pantry

Pet food assistance for seniors

and low-income families.

Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank

Offers food boxes to those

in need by appointment.

Empty Bowl Pet Food Pantry

Pet food assistance for the homeless

and also aid in disaster relief.