- Associated Press - Monday, December 7, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Two major Phoenix-area food banks say they’re restricting their acceptance of donated citrus because of a quarantine intended to stop the spread of a plant disease.

Phoenix-based St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and Mesa-based United Food Bank said Monday they won’t accept donations from sources other than through approved commercial growers and each food bank’s own gleaning programs.

The food banks cite the state’s quarantine of areas where the presence of the Asian citrus psyllid has been confirmed.

The quarantine currently includes Mohave County and parts of La Paz, Maricopa, Pima, Santa Cruz, Yavapai and Yuma counties.

United Food Bank President Ginny Hildebrand says the restrictions are needed to avoid helping spread the disease.

St. Mary’s and United last year received over 3.5 million pounds of donated citrus last year.

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