US Airways has partnered with St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance to raise awareness and urge people to help in the fight against childhood hunger over the summer.
The airline and food bank are sponsoring the 2012 Send Childhood Hunger Packing campaign, which starts Monday, June 11, with St. Mary's Kids Cafe providing the fist of two daily meals to children at Phoenix Youth Risk.
Kids Cafe, a program run by St. Mary's Food Bank, has 24 new sites around the Valley, bringing the total number of sites to 47. This is also the first time the program has offered a breakfast meal.
Arizona has more children suffering from food insecurity than any other state, according to the food bank. More than 466,000 children suffer from food insecurity in Arizona and more than half are in Maricopa County, said Jerry Brown of St. Mary's Food Banks.
Summer usually brings a drop-off in donations while the demand for services spikes, Brown said. The demand comes from children no longer receiving free or reduced-lunch meals offered through schools.
The US Airways director of community relations and St. Mary's president and CEO will speak before the 9:30 a.m. breakfast meal. The kickoff event will include a paper airplane contest and an appearance by US Airways mascots.
Last year's Send Childhood Hunger Packing challenge raised $1.9 million, 200,000 pounds of food and more than 61,000 volunteer hours. This year, the supplies at the food bank are 30 percent lower than last year making the program more important than ever, Brown said.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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