St. Vincent de Paul asking Arizonans to donate food, water, other high-need items

St. Vincent de Paul is launching a ‘100 Days of Summer’ campaign to raise support and awareness as a tough season approaches.

The nonprofit has five dining rooms across the Valley that each serve 100 people daily.

The initiative focuses on water, food and shelter, and is asking for the community to help from Memorial Day through Labor Day - the charity's toughest season when need increases and donations decrease.

"We have a different focus each month," said Marisol Saldivar with St. Vincent de Paul. "June is water, July is food, August is shelter. When the rest of us are going out on vacation and or escaping indoors, not everyone can do that. 

"These three items: water, food and shelter…would help people who are on the street or maybe can’t afford their higher utility bills right now," Saldivar said.

Maricopa County recorded more than 300 heat-related deaths of the nearly 500 deaths statewide. It's a concerning number, especially when families can be forced onto the streets mid-summer when the heat is life-threatening.

"People can check out during the summer, and everyone is so…holiday season focused," Saldivar said. "We really need people to stay engaged this season. Usually summer donations drop and we’re hoping our community…can reverse that and keep that going beyond pandemic times into this summer.

"We cannot do it without the community's help," Saldivar said. "Every bottle of water counts, every meal counts, every bed in one of our shelters counts."

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