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Brighten a Child’s Life While Visiting ZooLights
PHOENIX (November 18, 2020) – The Phoenix Zoo is proudly teaming up with Valley of the Sun United Way to support their Pantry Pack program at ZooLights. On select ZooLights evenings, the Zoo will be holding a Pantry Pack drive for designated, individually packaged items. Drop off boxes will be conveniently located upon entry to the Phoenix Zoo.
The collaboration will kick of this coming weekend, Friday & Saturday, November 20 & 21, with a request for a donation of snack size Animal Crackers! “What a fitting way to usher in the holiday season of giving at the Zoo with the cherished animal cracker,” says Bert Castro, President and CEO of the Phoenix Zoo. “There are more than 300,000 children struggling with hunger in Arizona, and we are honored to collaborate with Valley of the Sun United Way in teaming up to fight hunger this holiday season. We are encouraging our ZooLights guests to donate specific food items on select nights of ZooLights.”
Food items in need are outlined on the Zoo’s website and listed below.
ZOOLIGHTS DATES & ITEMS
November 20 & 21 – Animal Crackers (snack size)
December 4 & 5 – Granola/Cereal Bars
December 18 & 19 – Instant Mac and Cheese Cups
January 1 – 2 – Peanut Butter Crackers (snack size)
January 15 – 16 – Squeezy Fruit Packs
January 29 – 30 – Canned Chicken
“Right now, many families don’t know how they will put their next meal on the table. And, as the health and economic pressures of COVID-19 grow, so does food insecurity for Valley children and their families,” says Carla Vargas Jasa, President and CEO of the Valley of the Sun United Way. “That’s why I’m incredibly grateful to the Phoenix Zoo for joining us in providing Pantry Packs filled with food staples so impacted families can build healthy meals.”
United Way supplies the packs and partners with local schools, which help to identify families that have the highest need. Participating schools are located in South and Southwest Phoenix, Maryvale and Guadalupe and have Free and Reduced Lunch eligibility rates of 81% to 99%. The program will provide 1,500 Pantry Packs to students, every month, during the current school year.
ZooLights runs every night through January 31, 2020 from 5:30 – 10:30 p.m. Details can be found at https://www.phoenixzoo.org/events/zoolights/.
MEDIA MATERIAL: Photos are available via this Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/buu...
Credit: Valley of the Sun United Way for photos of children and Pantry Packs
Credit: Phoenix Zoo for photos of ZooLights
About the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation
The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC) operates the Phoenix Zoo. The ACNC advances the stewardship and conservation of animals and their habitats while providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world.
The Phoenix Zoo is the only zoo in the Valley accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is one of the largest non-profit zoological parks in the country. The Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, many of which are endangered and threatened species. For information on exhibits, upcoming onsite and virtual programs, events and other offerings visit www.phoenixzoo.org.
About Valley of the Sun United Way
United Way is celebrating 95 years of meeting the most pressing needs of Maricopa County. Valley of the Sun United Way unifies diverse partners, donors, business supporters, nonprofits, government and faith-based communities to build a stronger Valley for us all. United Way and its 90,000 donors, 400 business supporters and 5,000 volunteers come together to ensure children and youth succeed, end hunger and homelessness, and increase the financial stability of families. Visit vsuw.org.