Christmas parade funds presented to local food bank

From left to right, Lisa Fink, Hometown Christmas Parade board member; committee member and Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers; Jeff Berggren, Hometown Christmas Parade board member; Jay Cory, Hope for Hunger/Phoenix Rescue Mission president and CEO; Chris Kelly, Hometown Christmas Parade cochairman and board member; and Candy Sheperd, Hometown Christmas Parade Food Drive chairwoman.

The sixth annual Hometown Christmas Parade was held December 8 in downtown Glendale to celebrate the true star of Christmas and to support the Hope for Hunger Food Bank.

Because of the community’s support and sponsors the parade was able to raise $11,200 in support of Hope for Hunger. So, the parade committee recently presented the organization with the proceeds.

In addition to the cash donation, the Hometown Christmas parade worked with numerous local businesses and parade spectators to collect more than 38,000 lbs. of nonperishable food donations.

Sponsors who helped raise these valuable funds include: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, American Furniture Warehouse, Glencroft Center for Modern Aging, Outfront Media, the city of Glendale, Joshua Imitative, Standard Constructions, Sanderson Ford, Glendale Fire Union, McCarthy Construction, Sands Chevrolet, SimonMed, Grand Canyon University, Councilman Ian Hugh, Bechtel, Arrowhead Cadillac, Arrowhead Hospital, Banner Thunderbird, Community Loans, Desert Rose, El Dorado Holdings Inc., the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Glendale Civic Pride, Huntington University, IDEAL Insurance, JF Long, Family Life Radio, The Glendale Star, Founation, Mrs. Klein’s Kosher Pickles, S&K Oils SRP, Wells Fargo and Papa Ed’s.

The Hope For Hunger Food Bank is critical for Glendale, as 23% of the city’s residents live beneath the poverty line. In 2017, Hope for Hunger was in danger of closing, which would have eliminated a vital resource for more than 5,000 underserved families living in the area. Understanding the harsh impact it would have on the community, Phoenix Rescue Mission and the city of Glendale came together and found a way to keep the food bank’s doors open.

With the help of the community and an all-volunteer staff, the food bank continues to provide nutritional assistance with dignity and respect to those in need throughout Glendale and some parts of Phoenix and Peoria.

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness. The nonprofit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to save lives, including Hope Coach Street Outreach, Homeless Emergency Services, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the new Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.

The Hometown Christmas Parade is an annual event to celebrate the true star of Christmas. It is produced by a group of citizens who make up the Hometown Christmas Parade Committee. Each year the parade invites attendees, sponsors and participants support Hope for Hunger as part of its mission to give back.

The Hometown Christmas Parade will again be held on December 14.