Two years ago, (Ruth Collins) started the non-profit Arizona Brainfood, whose volunteers partner with Bashas’ grocery stores and Mesa Public Schools during the school year.
The volunteers spend Fridays stuffing hundreds of backpacks with food so disadvantaged children in Mesa schools can have something to eat over the weekend.
They started feeding 200 elementary-school children at two schools. Last school year, they helped some 600 at 17 Mesa Public Schools.
And they hope to feed even more in the coming school year, which begins Aug. 10.
Bob Evans, director of Mesa United Way food bank, said there now is the greatest demand for food since he took the helm 15 years ago.
“I’m just so grateful there’s help out there,” Alvarez said.