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April 2024
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Fiesta Bowl Charities Donates $1 Million In State-Wide Emergency Relief Funding to Arizona Communities
By Lisa Padilla - Wednesday Apr 01, 2020
With the severe demands in Arizona due to the COVID-19
pandemic, Fiesta Bowl Charities is helping communities across the state meet their incredible needs. The Fiesta Bowl is providing $1 million to fill gaps for food services and youth programming that are nonprofits' biggest

Fiesta Bowl Charities is extending direct funding to 18 nonprofit organizations on the front lines struggling to match the emergent needs. These organizations serve throughout the state – in the Phoenix metro, plus Tucson, Nogales, southern Arizona, Casa Grande, Prescott, Flagstaff, Navajo Nation.

"When we started thinking about how we could best help, we picked up the phones and asked charities what their most urgent needs are," said Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors Chair Patrick Barkley. "Overwhelmingly, they said the biggest impact would be made in providing the increasing numbers they are now serving with enough food to eat and helping them manage the larger amounts of emergency programming for children and single-parent families."

The $1 million will be utilized by those in food services (A New Leaf, Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels, Children's Cancer Network, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Desert Mission Food Bank, Maggie's Place, Matthew's Crossing, Homeward Bound, St. Mary's Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul and UMOM) and youth programming (Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott and Tucson; Child Crisis Arizona and YMCA Valley of the Sun).

"Every day, these selfless organizations deliver essential services on the front lines and we're in a position to offer an assist and directly impact today's incremental needs," said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy. "I'm proud that our Board of Directors were quick to want to help in a big way and proud of our organization for our commitment to provide financial resources that will give a boost for those who need it most.

Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl, Cheez-It® Bowl, Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade, presented by Cheez-It®, corporate partnerships and numerous community events throughout the year, Fiesta Bowl Charities has granted $10 million in charitable giving the last four years alone and $15.5 million to the Arizona community in the last nine years.

This is how the 18 nonprofits across Arizona will use their emergency funding:

A NEW LEAF (Mesa): Emergency relief food gift cards for 400 families

AMANDA HOPE RAINBOW ANGELS (Phoenix): Amanda Hope's financial assistance requests from families have doubled. All kids are now at home, so there are more mouths to feed all day, and more families have been laid off and can't work. Meals of Hope will now be able to provide families with groceries for the next four months.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF THE VALLEY (Phoenix Valley-wide): Serving as many as 1,115 kids per day with extended hours at 12 sites across the Valley, the goal is to extend to additional sites as needed. Clubs operate from 8 am – 6 pm, rather than budgeted after-school schedule, and children receive two meals and a snack per day. Normally, it operates at a 1-to-20 ratio of staff-to-child, but current compliance is a 1-to-9 ratio. Operating expenses more than tripled overnight between staffing costs and extended hours.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF CASA GRANDE (Casa Grande): One branch is operating specifically for health care professionals and essential workers, serving 60 kids. There are approximately 25 percent of families attending completely free of charge and been at a hardship since school closures began. The donation will allow the branch to provide the necessary programming for nearly three months.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF FLAGSTAFF (Flagstaff): Of the five locations, one will be open to severely impacted families and essential workers. In addition to the new needs across the branches, the need for additional staff and cleaners for the new programming will be served for up to six weeks to allow this site to be open.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF PRESCOTT (Prescott): New public health protocols require a 1-to-9 ratio of staff-to-child. The additional funding will keep this club open for six weeks to with the ability to serve 64 kids a day with the staff necessary to operate.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF TUCSON (Tucson): One site is fully open with hopes to open additional sites before April 6. BGC Tucson has the goal of opening two sites from 1-5 pm for children who don't have access to online tools to help with academic programming. The funds will serve over-and-above costs for up to two months.

CHILD CRISIS ARIZONA (Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix): With a large increase in early education families that are claiming food and wellness boxes, inventory is at an all-time low. These funds will provide food for children and their families during this critical time. All families served are at or below federal poverty level.

CHILDREN'S CANCER NETWORK (Chandler): Due to cancer and required treatments, these young cancer warriors face a higher risk of developing more serious complications from contagious illnesses such as COVID-19. Funds will allow cafeteria meal vouchers for families with a hospitalized child and grocery gift cards for families going through treatment in need of emergency relief.

COMMUNITY FOOD BANK OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA (Pima, Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties): Last week, the Tucson warehouse food cooling system's compressor went out, so the warehouse will get the new equipment immediately. Numbers served have more than doubled, despite reduction in staffing and volunteer hours, and donation will go directly to incremental food costs for families in April and May.

DESERT MISSION FOOD BANK (Phoenix): Emergency funding will satisfy approximately 50 percent of expected food in April and May for our numerous food packages (emergency boxes, senior's bags, weekend "snack pacs" for school children, baby bags and supplemental bags) for families in the North Phoenix/Sunnyslope community.

HOMEWARD BOUND (Phoenix): Emergency pantries shelves are quickly depleting, and the closure of schools means more mouths to feed. With most of our clients being single female households, they cannot send their partners to the stores, do not own reliable transportation and are missing paychecks. Emergency pantries will be replenished for four months.

MAGGIE'S PLACE (Phoenix): With no donations coming in for diapers and wipes, the current stock is almost entirely exhausted. These costs are not budgeted because they are generally donated. Food is typically provided through in-kind donations, volunteers and food drives but not happening now. The costs of emergency food boxes, food for the homes/shelters, diapers, and wipes will now be subsidized over the next several months.

MATTHEW'S CROSSING FOOD BANK (Chandler): With greatly increased demand we are seeing as result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Meals to Grow program will be able to support the 2,500 students for four weeks of meals.

ST. MARY'S FOOD BANK (Phoenix, Navajo Nation): We don't rely on donations, all of the food is purchased. Backpacks are full-sized with nutritious food. Donations will provide nearly 15,000 backpacks for food to last every weekend for a month. We would split this up for children in Maricopa County and Navajo Nation in Apache County, which is one of the most food insecure counties in the entire country.

ST. VINCENT de PAUL (Phoenix): Normal days see a 90-plus percent volunteer workforce, but, based on today's environment, it's virtually a no-volunteer workforce. Through this, there is a vastly increased community need in many areas. These unprecedented conditions have resulted in 5,000 meals per day, which will be supplemented by these emergency funds.

UMOM (Phoenix): Shifting from residential dining halls to to-go meals means we are no longer eligible to receive federal program funds. These funds will allow us to provide additional meals for the school-aged children that we serve across our shelter programs.

YMCA VALLEY OF THE SUN (Valley-wide): YMCA Valley of the Sun is operating emergency programming across nine sites throughout the state, providing breakfast, lunch and a take-home dinner for participants. These funds will help these children have meals. Branches are operating at a 1-to-9 staff-to-child ratio.

Quick facts about Fiesta Bowl Charities:

$3 million in charitable giving for 2019-20 season *

$10 million in charitable giving over last four years

$15.5 million in charitable giving over last nine years

$3.2 million granted through Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers in four years

Fiesta Bowl gives more in charitable giving than any college bowl organization

Core pillars are youth, sports and education

Nearly 1 million people served in 2019-20 *

Over 600,000 youth served in 2019-20 *

283,480 meals served in 2019-20 *
* before this emergency funding

Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans during and outside of college football bowl season. As a nonprofit organization, it is driven by its vision for the importance of community outreach and service. Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl, Cheez-It® Bowl, Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Cheez-It®, corporate partnerships and numerous community events throughout the year, the organization provides charitable giving to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that serve communities through youth, sports and education.

On the Web:
Social Media: @Fiesta_Bowl, @CheezItBowl

By Fiesta Bowl Charities