Dave Perry/The Explorer, Volunteer Charley Delve managed sacks of food Saturday at Ken Blanchard's Edward Jones branch office at La Cañada and Lambert in Oro Valley. At mid-morning Saturday, more than 7,000 pounds of food had been donated at that single office.

Edward Jones offices in Oro Valley, Marana and Tucson collected 12,556 pounds of food for needy people in a drive that culminated Saturday.

Eighteen Edward Jones offices participated in the third annual drive, which totaled 2,000 pounds the first year, grew to 4,200 pounds a year ago and this year gathered more than six tons for delivery to the Interfaith Community Services food bank.

Ken Blanchard, an Oro Valley investment adviser for the company, said Immaculate Heart School students held their own food drive at the school, and brought nearly 1,600 pounds of food to his office at La Cañada and Lambert on Friday.

"This was an incredible amount of food donated by the very generous and hard working students of Immaculate Heart," Blanchard said.

On Saturday, Caffe Torino in Oro Valley provided breakfast. MJ Jensen of IdeaMagic provided months of support in organizing and publicizing the event, and helped get KGUN9's Erin Christiansen to the site. Frostings Event Design & Rentals helped with logistics. Oro Valley Police Department volunteers directed people in a busy parking lot.

"At this time of year when many families are facing challenges, this event once again shows just how much the Tucson community cares by giving back," Blanchard said. "We firmly believe that together we can all make a positive difference in the lives of others."

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