St. Mary's Food Bank puts out last call for citrus fruit donations

The pandemic forced St. Mary's Food Bank to change how it runs its citrus donation program, but that didn't keep it from being another successful year.

After several weeks of collecting citrus, the program is expected to wrap up soon - but there's still time for Arizonans to donate.

Every year, homegrown lemons, oranges and grapefruits are used to help the food bank feed those in need.

"We've received upwards of a million pounds of fruit from folks coming in, dropping off their oranges, grapefruits, tangerines," said Jerry Brown, a spokesperson for St. Mary's. "It's been well received and well appreciated by the folks that come to the food bank for help."

In a normal year, volunteers would come to people's homes to collect citrus. Despite the changes they had to make this year, Brown says they were still able to collect plenty of citrus from people dropping off donations.

"We've done everything to give it to our agency partners, our churches, given it to our mobile pantry groups, to our night center," Brown explained. "We've been handing out bags of oranges, and it's a great addition to some of the things we've been handing out this year."

The program is about to wrap up for the year, and people have until April 29 to donate directly to St. Mary's locations in Phoenix and Surprise.

The food bank will be accepting citrus donations again in January 2022.

Find drop-off sites here: https://www.firstfoodbank.org/give/food/

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