Canned food is being collected by Ahwatukee Foothills Storage to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank through Christmas.

With its goal of collecting 4,000 cans before Christmas Day, according to manager Virginia Valdez, this effort will be the storage facility’s first take at hosting a drive.

“This is our first year doing it, and everyone is excited,” Valdez said.

Ahwatukee Foothills Storage is also a drop site for the Toys 4 Tots Foundation, which provide toys to underprivileged children around the country.

St. Mary’s is especially looking for top needed foods like canned beans, fruits, vegetables, soups, stews, chili and pastas, whole grain and low-sugar cereal, juice, water, peanut butter, rice, ham, and tuna.

Valdez said she’s come across families who cannot store food while they are moving or just using the facilities. Valdez, who had previously opened a nonprofit day care in New Mexico, said she had experience running food and clothing drives.

“Even a lot of the middle class families that don’t get (food) assistance are struggling,” she said. “I figured it would be beneficial to have a drop site here in Ahwatukee.”

Ahwatukee Foothills Storage is located at 1023 E. Frye Road and will accept cans Monday through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Christmas.

For more information on the canned food drive, or to make a direct donation, visit firstfoodbank.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com

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