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Valley food bank kicks off annual citrus drive

PHOENIX -- A Valley food bank is kicking off its annual citrus drive this weekend.

St. Mary's Food Bank will be accepting donations of citrus at various places around the Valley as part of its Super Citrus Saturday program.

"There's a lot of citrus out there on backyard trees -- grapefruits, oranges, lemons -- and we can really use that fruit at the food banks," said Jerry Brown with the food bank.

While he hopes to get plenty of donations, Brown said none of them will go to waste.

"Not only can we take that citrus and hand it straight to folks to eat as fruit, but we do have a company in Tempe that juices a lot of the fruit for us and can turn it into orange juice and grapefruit juice that we can distribute well into the summer," he said.

Drop-offs will be accepted Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:

• North Phoenix Baptist Church (5757 N. Central Ave., Phoenix)
• Shepherd of the Hills United Church of Christ (5524 E. Lafayette Blvd., Phoenix)
• St. Mary's Food Bank, Surprise Location (13050 W. Elm St., Surprise)
• McDowell Mountain Plaza (10111 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale)

Last year, the food bank received about two million pounds of fruit.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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