Phoenix, AZ (KTVK) — A donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank that apparently came from convicted killer Jodi Arias has caused nothing but problems for the well-known Valley charity, according to the organization’s CEO.
“I feel like we’ve been victimized,” said Beverly Damore, president and CEO of the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
The food bank received the donation on Wednesday morning.
“We got an online donation from a gentleman that lives out of state. It was in the amount of $980,” said Damore.
It could have been made anonymously but a thank you letter from St. Mary’s for that donation is posted on a Jodi Arias website.
The website claims the money was raised by auctioning off the eyeglasses Arias wore during her murder trial.
“We have no choice at this point but to treat it like we would any other donation,” explained Damore.
But this donation has been a huge distraction for the charity.
“I think I speak for all of us that are at the food bank is honestly it’s been a really frustrating day because we’ve been talking about glasses and not doing our jobs,” Damore said.
Because the donation was made online the organization has no way of knowing if it really came from Arias.
“At this point it was a man who lived out of state that gave us $980 that generated a whole lot of media attention today,” said Damore.
The possibility that St. Mary’s Food Bank took money from a murderer, even if the money helps the needy, did not sit well with some people.
Damore said she feels like Arias is using St. Mary’s Food Bank to improve her image in the public’s eye.
“Jury selection is going on, media access is limited and now we’ve been nothing but in the media all day long talking about this,” said Damore.
Damore said the food bank would be better off without this kind of publicity.
“I’m extremely frustrated. I got nothing done today except talking about this and we are very protective of our name at St. Mary’s because we work really hard to do exactly what we say we do – which is feed hungry people.”
The donation turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.
“At the end of the day, probably time away, what didn’t get done today, is much more costly to the organization than the amount of the donation that was made by whomever for whatever reason,” said Damore.