The $100,000 award from the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation will fund the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Family Evening Meal-Grand Slam, which is a program created to provide a hot, nutritious evening meal in a safe, uplifting environment to poor children and their families. Beyond serving meals, staff and volunteers of St. Vincent de Paul are available nightly to provide information and referral services to families that may be experiencing other social or economic difficulties. Family Evening Meal also offers Building Bridges, a program developed to stimulate a love for reading among school-age children from poor families.
“We have had a long relationship with the Arizona Diamondbacks,” said St. Vincent de Paul’s Executive Director Steve Zabilski. “We think of them as champions on and off the field and we cannot thank them enough for all of their help and support. The support we have received from them in the past stretches from the top executives to the entire organization but this time the Grand Slam Award has come at such a critical time for us. We can now expand the hours of our Family Evening Meal-Grand Slam program and help hundreds more families in need.”
With one of the largest industrial kitchens in the Southwest, five charitable dining rooms, and a food bank that serves central and northern Arizona, St. Vincent de Paul is able to provide over six million meals to hungry families and individuals each year. St. Vincent de Paul operates five dining rooms in metropolitan Phoenix and provides hot meals daily to 17 additional non-profit agencies. Dining rooms are strategically located throughout the Valley, from Mesa to El Mirage, so they are easily accessed by those people who need them most.
“We are so proud to have selected St. Vincent de Paul as a Grand Slam recipient. These funds will be used specifically for the family dinners, which provide a safe and comfortable environment for a nutritious meal,” said D-backs’ President & CEO Derrick Hall. “If it were not for St. Vincent de Paul, most of these families would go without eating. As we face our worst economy in years, we have more mouths to feed than ever, and this wonderful community icon allows us to achieve such a challenging, yet vital mission.”