Upbeat music pumped through the speakers in the Saint Mary’s Food Bank warehouse as hundreds of volunteers from AT&T assembled food boxes to be delivered to families and children in need.
“I love it. I love it!” Erin Holmes, AT&T senior solutions architect, said. “It’s a really fun atmosphere. We’re having a lot of fun here [and] it really helps us give back.”
Over the next year, AT&T employees will be spending more time volunteering with nonprofit organizations that are working to address hunger and food insecurity in the Greater Phoenix area through its Believe Phoenix initiative.
“This is Believe Phoenix,” Toni Morales Broberg, president of AT&T Arizona, said. “We’re singularly focused on the issue of food insecurity in Phoenix and Maricopa County at large.”
According to Morales Broberg, AT&T challenged each city to focus on one issue that affects their particular community and make efforts to give back.
“Chicago, New York, Houston, they all chose different ones, but we did our research and found that food insecurity and hunger is a huge issue here,” she said.
In Arizona, one in seven people, and one in four children, struggle with hunger, according to AT&T. Through Believe Phoenix, the company will work alongside nonprofits, such as Saint Mary’s Food Bank, and community leaders to address the issue.
According to AT&T, the company invested $275,000 in contributions to local nonprofits including:
- $150,000 to Saint Mary’s Food Bank to assist Children’s Feeding Programs, which provide food items to children in need and their families.
- $50,000 to United Food Bank to provide food delivery to those most vulnerable by helping fund a new distribution truck.
- $25,000 to Saint Vincent de Paul to help the Urban Farm fund permaculture and chemical-free methods to grow and harvest hundreds of pounds of fresh produce every week. These fruits and vegetables are used in their kitchen and added to food boxes for families.
- $25,000 to A New Leaf to assist the Autumn House in providing meals on a consistent basis to their 22-bed domestic violence shelter for women, children and men fleeing abuse.
- $20,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to support the Meals Assistance Program, which provides meals to families in need.
- $5,000 to the Joy Bus Diner, a local charity that delivers chef-crafted meals to cancer patients Valley-wide.
But more than money, the company will be investing time and effort by engaging its employees to create lasting impacts in the community.
“We’re a large company but we’re a company with a soul,” Morales Broberg said. “It is our community and it’s just a great way for people to number one make a difference and number two feel like we’re collectively working towards a goal together.”
For more information about Believe Phoenix, click here.