PHOENIX, AZ, June 10, 2008 — University of Phoenix and its parent company, Apollo Education Group, Inc., are kicking off their first-ever national Summer Food Drive at an employee event for all Phoenix-based employees on Saturday, June 14, from 1 to 4 p.m., at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

According to Terry Shannon, president and CEO of St. Mary's Food Bank, summer is traditionally a time when food banks have lower-than-average donations, so the need is the greatest. In fact, statistics reveal more than 800,000 Arizonans live at or below the federal poverty level and more than half a million residents consider their food source as insecure. Nationally, over 35.5 million people – including 12.6 million children – live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger.

The food drive will include University of Phoenix campuses in 39 states. When the food drive concludes on June 27, items collected will be donated to local food banks nationwide. Here in Phoenix, the partner organization is St. Mary's Food Bank.

"Our employees are tremendously giving of their time and money when it comes to helping others in need," said Nancy Hennigan, Director of Community Relations, Apollo Education Group. "In fact, the company also is in the middle of a matching donation program to aid earthquake victims in China. We hope to collectively donate over $100,000 to the International Red Cross by mid-June."�

"The employee event at University of Phoenix Stadium provides the perfect opportunity to say thanks to our employees for their hard work and kick off the national drive here in our hometown," Hennigan added. "We are asking each employee who attends the event to bring along five canned or non-perishable food items."�

Several thousand employees are invited to the event, which could mean a substantial donation for St. Mary's Food Bank's summer programs.


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of August 31, 2008, 362,100 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.

About St. Mary's Food Bank

St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, the world's first food bank, is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to 675 sites that serve the hungry. Serving 13 of Arizona's 15 counties, the organization is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships, and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. During Fiscal Year 2006-07, the food bank distributed 51.5 million pounds of food to families and individuals, provided enough food for 200,000 meals every day, and garnered more than 230,000 volunteer service hours. Visit the Website at


Keri Ruiz
(602) 417-0695