Tucson, AZ (January 3, 2018) – While the holiday season tends to bring much needed attention to neighbors lacking basic necessities―like food for the family holiday table―it can be easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of a new year that hunger continues for some beyond the season of giving. That’s why the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is teaming up with HSL Properties, KGUN 9 News, and Sun Tran for a Stuff the Bus food drive event on Friday, January 12. A Sun Tran bus will be parked at Canyon Oaks Apartments, 600 N. Pantano Rd. (Pantano Road and 5th Street), from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to accept donations supporting the fight against hunger in the Tucson area. With KGUN 9 broadcasting live during the event, organizers hope to not only match, but to exceed the 30,000 pounds of food collected last year.
The event comes at a critical time after the holidays when the Food Bank pantry needs to be replenished for the year ahead in order to continue its support of food insecure populations throughout the area. The Community Food Bank provides food and food-related services throughout a 23,000 square-mile region of Southern Arizona including Pima, Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, and Santa Cruz counties. Over 63,000 meals a day are distributed by the nonprofit. Some of their vital programs reach those most vulnerable and include Emergency Assistance Food Boxes for families, connecting the hungry with same-day resources for meals, and education aimed at child nutrition and improving access to healthy food.
“The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is deeply grateful for the generosity and support of HSL Properties and generous community members,” said Michael McDonald, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona CEO. “In the first four years of Stuff the Bus, nearly $22,000 and 66,000 pounds of food were raised to help our neighbors-in-need. This year, the need is as great as ever, as working families continue to struggle to make ends meet. Your gift will feed families, kids, and homebound seniors, so let’s really stuff this year’s bus with Tucson’s big, supportive heart for our neighbors-in-need.”
Nonperishable items most needed include proteins, like peanut butter and canned meats such as tuna and chicken; in addition to cereal and granola bars; canned tomato products; canned soups; canned fruits and vegetables; rice; pasta; and beans. Kid-friendly foods with pop tops are also much appreciated, as they can potentially fill backpacks of food for students to take home on weekends through the BackPack Program. This program seeks to ensure children who typically rely on school meals during the day don’t go hungry on weekends away from school. The Food Bank also supports programs to feed children after-school meals and snacks.
“There is a great need to replenish shelves at our Community Food Bank after the holidays and we want to raise community awareness of this critical need. This is the sixth year the HSL team is organizing a food drive and we hope the incredibly generous community response we’ve received in the past will continue for this very important cause,” said Omar Mireles, President of HSL.
Last year, Stuff the Bus set a goal to raise 30,000 pounds of food in twelve hours. Donations exceeded that goal, making 2017 a record-setting year. HSL and the Food Bank are calling out to the Southern Arizona community to help once again. This year marks the fourth year HSL Properties has hosted the Stuff the Bus event, and the sixth year the company has organized a food drive benefitting the Food Bank.
Members of the community are encouraged to visit any of the HSL properties in Tucson to make a donation, if they are not able to make it to Canyon Oaks at 5th Street and Pantano Road. Monetary contributions can also be made online by visiting CommunityFoodBank.org/Donate.
About Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity that relies on 120 employees and hundreds of community volunteers to ensure that the people of Southern Arizona have access to the food and programs they need. The food bank is based in Pima County and also serves Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties. Charity Navigator named the Community Food Bank as one of the “10 Top-Notch Charities” nationwide. Of every dollar donated, 96 percent goes directly to food programs that provide hunger relief.
About HSL Properties
Formed in 1975, HSL Properties currently owns and operates more than 10,000 apartment units in 36 apartment communities, nine hotels including the Hilton El Conquistador Resort and a number of other real estate holdings ranging from office buildings, call centers, and industrial parks. HSL is the largest apartment owner in Southern Arizona and one of the largest in the state. Visit HSLproperties.com for more information.