When St. Mary’s Food Bank went looking for a partner to represent “Go Orange Day” during 2021 Hunger Action Month, there was only one correct answer.
Thirty U-Haul Team Members in their orange volunteer shirts swiftly packed 1,440 emergency food boxes over two hours on Sept. 17, and the Company presented St. Mary’s with a $15,000 check as the Phoenix-headquartered industry leader in DIY moving and self-storage continued its commitment to helping fight hunger across Arizona.
The 30 volunteers revived the energetic Hunger Action Month event after pandemic restrictions limited numbers at St. Mary’s main distribution warehouse during 2020 volunteer opportunities.
Orange is the Color of Hunger … and U-Haul
“Go Orange Day” is intended to encourage action and bring attention to Arizona’s at-risk hunger population, as orange is the color of hunger. Orange has been the featured color of U-Haul rental equipment since the Company was founded in 1945.
Former U-Haul Volunteer of the Year award recipient Eva Franco earned the St. Mary’s Food Bank Spirit Award of the day. Franco knows the importance of packing emergency food boxes and what it means to wait in line to receive meals.
“I volunteer (because) I know what it is to be without,” said Franco, who works in Corporate Sales. “I know what it is like to have to stand in those lines for those boxes. Growing up with a single mother, we went without a lot of things. I know how happy one gets when they don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner that night. We don’t always see it, but the difference we are making in someone’s life now may have the same ripple effect. And they, in turn, will give to others.”
Food Drive complements Volunteer Day
In addition to its financial support and volunteer work, U-Haul collected 2,991 pounds of food donations at the U-Haul Midtown Campus in Phoenix and the U-Haul Technical Center in Tempe. Between the food and cash donations provided by Team Members during the food drive, St. Mary’s will be able to generate an additional 24,686 meals for local families in need.
“It was very exciting to see how passionate our Team Members were about giving back to the community,” stated Megan McDermott, U-Haul Community Relations specialist. “It truly makes me proud to represent this company and continue to work with St. Mary’s Food Bank.”
U-Haul, which offers more than 23,000 truck- and trailer-sharing locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, enriches the communities in which it does business by assisting charities that address the most basic human needs: food, clothing and shelter. This has long been the scope of the Company’s community outreach because U-Haul views mobility as a basic need for every family, and works to keep costs low to meet that need. Founded by a WWII-era Navy veteran and his wife, U-Haul is also a proud supporter of many military and veteran groups that provide for these basic needs.