Christmas in July benefits United Food Bank

    Organ Stop Pizza has decked its halls to get patrons in the holiday spirit for the United Food Bank Christmas in July Food Drive Challenge, an annual summer food drive that aims to help stock the local food bank’s shelves. (Jennifer Albaeck/Special to

    It’s hot outside, so why not stay cool with a visit to Mesa’s Organ Stop Pizza and help those in need during this month’s season of giving.

    Organ Stop has decked its halls to get patrons in the holiday spirit for the United Food Bank Christmas in July Food Drive Challenge, an annual summer food drive that aims to help stock the local food bank’s shelves.

    Bring in at least two approved “non-perishable” food items through July 31 and receive 10 percent off your entire bill while enjoying The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ and delicious food.

    “United Food Bank started Christmas in July to bring back that ‘holiday giving feeling’ and
    help us during our slow summer season,” said Melissa Forrester, community outreach specialist for United Food Bank. “Summer is a slower time for us in receiving food donations and at the same time we see an increase in need in our community. Christmas in July brings in much needed food.”

    Forrester said summer is the hardest time of the year for many individuals and families in Arizona because kids are out of school, meaning parents have the added pressure of providing more food. Temperatures rise, making electric bills higher – forcing families to make tough decisions like choosing between paying bills or paying for food.

    “With your help, we will be able to continue to help our neighbors who struggle daily for food this summer. Because of you, meals will be delivered to senior citizens, fewer children will go to bed hungry, and many parents will worry less,” Forrester added.

    Organ Stop will match cash donations up to $5,000 from customers. In addition, Lew Williams’ Christmas CD, “Holiday Pipes,” will be on sale for $13.95. For each copy sold in July, $2 will be donated to the United Food Bank.

    Most needed items are: cash, peanut butter, canned meat, canned fruit and vegetables, cereal (whole grain and low sugar), soup, stews, chili, beans, milk (canned and dried), rice and pasta. No glass jars, baby food or opened food.

    “When you drop off donations for this food drive in July you will be able to step out of the triple-digit temps into the spirit of the holidays,” said Jack Barz, co-owner of Organ Stop Pizza. “We have decked the Mighty Wurlitzer and walls with a Christmas feel. Jingle all the way to Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa and help a worthy cause!”

    Organ Stop has been a Valley favorite for 45 years. Home to the nation’s largest Wurlitzer pipe organ, the unique pizza restaurant is a favorite entertainment destination for all ages. Along with pizza, they offer pasta, appetizers, a salad bar, ice cream, beer/wine and soft drinks. Everything from Bach to rock is played by their professional organists to crowds of up to 700 people every night. They are a cash or check business. No debit or credit cards accepted, but an ATM is available in the lobby.

    Organ Stop Pizza is located at 1149 E. Southern Ave. in Mesa. For more information, call 480-813-5700 or visit

    For more information about United Food Bank, visit or contact Forrester at or 480-398-4464.

    – Kelly Mixer is managing editor of Reach her at

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