Arizona’s gaming tribes contribute a percentage of their gaming revenue to the Arizona Benefits Fund. Of the twenty-two tribes in Arizona, there are currently sixteen operating twenty-five casinos. Another five tribes, too remote to operate casinos of their own, lease out their allotted gaming machines to partner tribes closer to viable markets. These “transfer agreements” create much-needed revenue streams for remote tribes, while also increasing overall contributions into the Benefits Fund, which are shared with Arizonans statewide through a collection of protected recipients including Trauma Care, Education programs, Tourism, and Conservation. Another way that Tribes share their revenues is to through partnerships and contributions directly to cities and towns with revenues known as “12% monies.” These funds, while also generated through gaming revenues, aren’t processed through the Benefits Fund but given directly to local groups, charities, organizations or foundations in partnership with their corresponding local government. One such organization is the United Food Bank, which provides people in need with nutritious food at little to no cost.
United Food Bank Gives
Everyday, the United Food Bank nourishes Arizona communities, providing 51,100 meals to those members of our community suffering from hunger or unable to afford healthy, nutritious food. As one young mother visiting the United Food Bank gratefully expressed, “Without your generosity and the good people here at the Center, we’d go hungry night after night.” In addition to meals, the United Food Bank provides several programs, including education and training, to help those struggling with hunger in the community. A few of these programs include: the Kids Café, the Help Yourself Program, and the Helping Hands program. The Kids Café provides nutritionally balanced snacks and meals for children in at-risk families. Children are also able to get the nourishment they need at various Boys and Girls Clubs, affiliated churches, and public afterschool programs. In addition to providing food, the Kids Café program gives kids a safe, fun, and educational place to be while under the care of a qualified and compassionate staff. The Help Yourself Program provides a facility that empowers families to stretch their grocery money and purchase enough food for 5 healthy meals at the cost of only $17. Anyone, no matter his or her situation, can take advantage of the Help Yourself Program. When “First Responders” come across a family in need of food, they can contact the Helping Hands program at the United Food Bank to receive food for the family that very same day. The Helping Hands program gives these struggling families a box with non-perishable food that will sustain them for three to four days. Through these programs and many others, the United Food Bank is able to help alleviate hunger in the community.
Arizona Benefits Fund Contributions
As part of their ongoing commitment to the community and the State of Arizona, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community has partnered with the United Food Bank since 2008. Since that time, the Community has contributed over $1 Million to the food bank via their “12%” program. These contributions have helped the United Food Bank build a new facility and provide much needed funding for the many programs they maintain. This year alone, the funds received from the Community will provide over 750,000 meals for Arizona families. Empowered by their partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the United Food Bank has helped – and will continue to help – the individuals and families who need their help and support in Arizona.