Phoenix, Arizona - Governor Doug Ducey Tuesday joined St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix to lend a helping hand with their turkey distribution. He also announced Arizona's new Friends of the Farm program, an initiative that will get more fresh food to food banks across the state.

Through a $250,000 investment, the innovative “farm to food bank” program is a partnership between the Association of Arizona Food Banks and Arizona’s agriculture industry that will bring more fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein to food banks as well as create a reliable new market for Arizona farmers.

Arizona over the past two years has provided $2 million in grant funding for food banks to purchase refrigerator and freezer units, allowing them to provide more fresh and healthy food to families in need.

St. Mary’s Food Bank was founded in 1967 and is one of the largest food banks in the world. To date, St. Mary’s has provided more than 1 billion meals. It is expected to distribute more than 12,000 Holiday Food Boxes this year, which will feed roughly 70,000 people. St. Mary’s is still in need of 1,800 turkeys during their turkey distribution this week and is currently accepting donations.