Food network

Arizona Food Bank Network partners with Waymo to fight food insecurity

According to Feeding America’s latest report, one in nine Arizonans face food insecurity, one-third of whom are children. Map the meal gap report.

Despite being the third largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the nation, hundreds of thousands of Arizonans struggle to access healthy meals.

“Many in Arizona are just a job loss or a medical crisis away from food insecurity,” says Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of the Arizona Food Bank Network. “But some of us — especially children, the elderly, and people in rural Arizona — are at higher risk.”

Too many Arizonans struggle to get a consistent and appropriate amount of nutrition each day. The Arizona Food Bank Network, a coalition of five regional food banks and nearly 1,000 food pantries and food agencies, works with elected officials, school districts and many community organizations to raise awareness and work towards eliminating food hunger in the state.

“Together, our network powers nearly one million people each year across Arizona’s 15 counties,” Rodgers says. “We amplify the good work of these food banks by raising awareness of hunger, coordinating large food donations between food banks, and providing resources and education.”

However, with new challenges, such as driver shortages and inflation in gas and food prices, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distribute food to food banks and families who need it the most. need. Starting in June, the Arizona Food Bank Network partnered with Waymo to help move food to two regions in Arizona.

Once a month, Waymo, via its delivery business unit, Via Waymodonates its delivery capabilities to bring thousands of pounds of bread from St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix for Southern Arizona Community Food Bank in Tuson. In the first four months of this partnership, Waymo Via transported 22,800 pounds of bread, a staple for many families.

Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, with advanced planning and safety at the forefront, provides a reliable trucking solution to support food banks and partner agencies across Southern Arizona.

Waymo semi-trailers are operated by The World’s Most Experienced Driver™, a powerful AI that has driven over 20 million miles on public roads and over 20 billion miles in simulation over the past decade. Waymo Via has the potential to improve freight transport efficiency and road safety. However, when it comes to food banks in Arizona, they need more than transportation assistance.

“Food banks are always in need of food donations, monetary donations and volunteers,” says Rodgers. “Summers are always difficult because demand tends to increase, children are out of school and volunteer registrations drop. So volunteering is something we always encourage, but especially during the summer months, especially this year.

Waymo will fit all donations to AzFBN dollar for dollar, starting August 12, up to $10,000.

Learn more about Waymo at waymo.com.