Spinato’s Pizza Serves Community for Hunger Action Month

For women, once broken, homeless and addicted, now sit at a upscale pizzeria on 7th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix. As a Spinato's staff member came by to check on the women, and mothers with their children enjoying their meals, Christina a mother of two going through the program at the Phoenix Rescue Mission is holding back tears. "They opened up their doors to us, they sat down and spoke with us, we prayed together." "I will be talking about tonight for a long time."

Spinato's Pizzeria in Phoenix has a community based mindset, and giving back to their community is part of their Mission. "We have such a big family, our staff is family, our restaurant is a place where we can bring in people and make them feel at home as well," family of owner, Nicole explains.

Spinato's closed their restaurant down to serve the 100 women and their children currently residing and transforming their lives at the Phoenix Rescue Mission Changing Lives Center for women and children. "We told our staff, 'take your time, sit down and get to know these men and their stories.'" "They are who we are serving tonight.

"Going out to eat with children is difficult, Christina explains. They [Spinato's] welcomed it, and even gave our children goodie bags to take home on top of this amazing night out. To sit down at a beautiful restaurant and be catered to was so special."

Spinato's gave each woman, as well as their children the opportunity to order "anything and everything," from their specialty pizzas, pastas, calzones and even dessert! Tables were full of delicious food, smiles, and full bellies were seen throughout the restaurant. "This is the best pizza I've ever had, 5-star!"

September is Hunger Action Month, and Spinato's has stepped up in a big way. Thank you to the staff, family, and friends that made this incredible night possible. "It was heaven, a night I won't forget." Christina and the other 100 women and children invited to a closed restaurant just for them, finished dinner, and were given goodie bags to take home.  The women and children from the Phoenix Rescue Mission left Spinato's with a renewed spirit, full bellies, and full hearts. "Tonight reminded me people care," Christina said as she walked out with left over pizza, a goodie bag, and a smile that will impact others for days to come.

Hungry for Change

We’ve all been hungry. But few of us have experienced real hunger – the gnawing, painful, desperate need for something, anything to put in our stomach. It comes when our kitchen is bare, when we don’t know when our next meal will be. The crippling ache inside drowns out anything other than finding a meal. Not many of us know true hunger. But you know who does? Our kids.

In Arizona, 1 in 3 children are experiencing this kind of painful, debilitating hunger. And that has to change.

While it’s true that hunger knows no age, race, or gender, it is fundamentally tied to poverty — and poverty is rampant in Arizona. In fact, Phoenix ranks as having the 3rd highest
poverty rate among the 25 largest metro areas in the U.S. When 30% of your neighbors are working poor, it’s no wonder that a third of our children are going hungry.

We can change that – by removing the need for families to choose between bills and food – and giving them a chance to get back on their feet. The good news is – you are already a part of that change.

Through your support of Phoenix Rescue Mission, you are making a difference – not only in the lives of hungry children, but their families and their communities as a whole. One way you are joining the fight is through Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank in Glendale. It’s an outreach dedicated to addressing both hunger and poverty.

Every day 130 families travel from surrounding areas to find emergency food and more, ready and waiting at Hope for Hunger.

Another way you help is through our Community Market, held every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, where we provide families with access to free clothing, shoes, water, and food bags – all designed to give working poor families a hand up. If you, or anyone you know needs help with any of the above needs, email pmolina@phoenixrescuemission.org.

It’s been one year since opening the Mission Possible Café, where your support provides men and women with real-world experience in food preparation, service and management – building resumés and providing a path to well-paying careers in the restaurant industry that puts food on the table.

But as great as all these things are, none of them are possible without the prayers, volunteer hours and financial support of friends like you. While it’s true that hunger is a huge issue that won’t be solved overnight, allowing a third of our children to go hungry in Arizona isn’t acceptable. The Phoenix Rescue Mission is committed to providing Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness. Together, we can change that sad statistic in so many powerful ways. “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?... And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” - Matthew 25:37 & 40 Thank you for the partnership that continues to reach out to the hungry, not only with food, but with hope, help, and a path to true transformation.

 

 

A Volunteer’s Perspective

There comes a time in our lives when people cross our paths and we are never the same.

Several months ago, at our volunteer event where we feed dinner to our homeless friends at, Thankful Sundays, I heard the most beautiful music coming from the piano. I walked over and sat down on the stage next to the woman and asked about her story. She was homeless and in an abusive relationship and was struggling with staying away from alcohol because it became easier for her to medicate, to numb the physical and emotional bruises. I knew she wasn’t ready for change yet that day but prayed that the day would come when she would be ready to leave. So, I gave her my cell phone number to call me when she was ready.

The day arrived this morning. I received the call from Barbara that she was on the street and was just discharged from the hospital after her boyfriend beat her up pretty badly last night. I scooped her up off the street corner, and with the help of Clifford Danley and Michele from the Phoenix Rescue Mission, Barbara is now safe. Barbara is now among beautiful, positive and inspirational women and staff at Phoenix Rescue Mission's Changing Lives Center for women and children. Tears flowed down my face and I hugged Barbara, saying goodbye to her.

A life was saved today and I believe that Barbara is an Angel among us, that by telling her story, she will change and save the lives of countless women.

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Phoenix Rescue Mission, I will be forever grateful for all that you do for countless men and women like Barbara.

From a Long-Time Volunteer,

Meredith

 

Sponsor a Mother at the Changing Lives Center

Thank you for your support to lift up the mothers at the Changing Lives Center.

Salla, a mother of three at the Changing Lives Center says, "I would have never gone anywhere to get the help I needed if I couldn't have brought my children with me. Not only is the Changing Lives Center a place that I can receive the help and care I need, but a place my children get the best care possible."

Payton and Hudson

"Before coming to the Phoenix Rescue Mission I was addicted, homeless, and in and out of prison. My son saved me. He has taught me so much. I am so grateful to be able to have my son here with me as I go through this program. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else with my son."

"I'm not the only one getting better, my children are too. I drug them through my addiction with me. So they need this support and love as well. With them being here, my hope is that they can help, and be an example to their brothers and sisters who aren't here with us.

Joanna and Nehemiah

Michelle and Kennedy

"I have my nine-year-old daughter with me, and we are very happy where we live, very content, very safe. I have more hope for the future then I've ever had in my life. I've never felt this good about my life, and the future for my daughter. I'm very blessed."

Volunteer Profile – “Grandma Gayle”

 

Gayle, more affectionately known as "Grandma Gayle" by residents and workers at the Phoenix Rescue Mission's Changing Lives Center, has only been volunteering fer time for a few months. But she can already attest to the transformative effect helping others has had in her life. Now, she can think of no finer place to spend her time - planting seeds and storing treasure for all eternity.

"It's the most rewarding thing I've done. The girls are all so nice, and so encouraging. The highlight of my day is when I walk on campus and someone yells. 'Hey, Grandma Gayle!"

Although she was concerned she wouldn't be of much help initially, Grandma Gayle finally made the decision to volunteer after hearing the difference that someone such as herself could make in the lives of those at the center. "I thought, 'If I can even encourage one girl, then it'll be worth my time coming down here."

Grandma Gayle volunteers her time serving the boutique and at the finance office. Her favorite part of each day is when they have time to come in and shop at the boutique, since she "can interact and talk with the gals the most then."

This month is the perfect time to follow Grandma Gayle's example and help us plant some seeds. No matter what life stage you may find yourself in, God is ready and willing to use you and the Phoenix Rescue Mission to transform a life. Your love will make a difference!