Hunger Action Month

“Missing a meal” is not the latest diet craze, but the definition of “food Insecurity.” Right here in Arizona one in 7 families are considered food insecure like Andrea, who needed her car to get to her job.

“This month my car broke and the only way to pay for it was to take the money from my food budget. I would skip dinner to make sure my kids had something at night,” said Andrea. “Knowing there was a week until my next paycheck was when I found the food bank and was provided a cart full of groceries.”

“I was so thankful to find so many people who care. It meant a lot to my family.”

You can help neighbors like Andrea put nutritious food on her table this month.

Here are some ideas for YOU to take action this month!

September is Hunger Action Month. Here are a few ways YOU can take action, and make an impact in your community!

Hold a Canned Food Drive

Hold a canned food drive at your church, office or in your neighborhood. Contact Catie to arrange your drive, and find out our greatest needs at or 602-346-3347


Use the #ShareYourPlate hashtag on social media to let your friends and family know how you are helping food insecure families this month. Don't forget to check Phoenix Rescue Mission on Facebook and @phxmission on Twitter and Instagram to see our video highlights of those you are helping.

Feed a Family

Feed a family in our care. Hope begins with a meal, just a $1.92 provides a nutritious meal in our dining hall. Click HERE to donate.

Volunteer at Hope for Hunger Food Bank

Volunteer to pack food boxes at Hope for Hunger Food Bank. Sign up as a volunteer on VolunteerHub or click HERE to see the available shifts.

Become a Fill-A-Bag Partner

Join the Mission and help us support low-income families in our neighborhoods with bags of groceries and basic goods. To learn more about the Fill-A-Bag Program, click HERE.

Buy Cookies

You heard right. Buy  cookies. Support the Mission's Cookie Enterprise Vocational Program, where all proceeds go back into the program to support the very women baking up delicious cookies, made from scratch, just for you! Learn more at

Volunteer Serving in our Kitchen

Serve at our Community Market

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, the Mission serves our low-income families. We open our campus and provide food bags, a chance to "shop" for clothes, shoes and basic household items, provide counseling and prayer, and plenty of water to get them by. See what happens at our market below.

Thank you for taking action to end hunger in our community!

Cookies for a Cause

Time is running out to order your Mission Possible Cookies before the holiday rush!

Mission Possible Cookies are a gift - a great gift for giving to friends, family and business associates - and an amazing gift for the women we serve at the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

See, everyday beautifully wrapped gift boxes you purchase support the Phoenix Rescue Mission's work force development programs. Women like Shannon, who earned her high school diploma while living at the Changing lives Center. Or Michelle, who completed our Kitchen Manager certification course and will begin a new career as a restaurant manager.

Mission Possible Cookies are baked fresh daily in our A-graded commercial kitchen and shipped to your door. Not only are the cookies delicious, they are Changing Lives on Cookie at a Time.


Place your orders and learn more at

Spinato’s Closes Restaurant to Serve Community

Four men, 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 men and their food, Chris a now Servant Leader 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 the rest of my life."

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 105 men currently residing and transforming their lives at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. "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." Efren, has been at the Mission for seven months now and said, "We usually wait in line to get our food everyday. To sit down at a beautiful restaurant and be catered to was so special."

Spinato's gave each men 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!"

Efren is a part of the staff opening Mission Possible Cafe that will serve the community, and expand the Food Service Vocational training at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, and said, "this event has brought to life the idea of the Cafe." "We will be serving and welcoming our community and serving them, just like Spinato's has opened up our doors to us."

September is Hunger Action Month, and Spinato's has stepped up in a big way, but just like the Mission, Spinato's focuses on food 12 months out of the year. Thank you to the staff, family, and friends that made this incredible night possible. "It was heaven, a night I won't forget." Chris and the other 104 men finished dinner, and were given a hygiene pack to go. Filled with shaving cream, razors, a water tumbler, and other goodies to leave the restaurant with. The men of the Phoenix Rescue Mission left Spinato's with a renewed spirit, full bellies, and full hearts. "Tonight reminded me people care," Efron said as he walked out with left over pizza, a goodie bag, and a smile that will impact others for days to come.

Mission Possible Café

Mission Possible Café, located at 1516 West Van Buren Street, is the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s latest project—and it’s opening October 2nd!

The new café will offer southwestern-inspired cuisine with emphasis on Mexican grilled items. It will focus on strong customer service, as well as quality food at affordable prices. One of the key factors that will set this new restaurant apart is its story.

The Phoenix Rescue mission provides new beginning for men, women and children in the community who are struggling with homelessness, addiction and trauma. Many people who enter Phoenix Rescue Mission have little to no job experience. For this reason, the organization now takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Rather than solely focusing on the sobriety of the clients, it also assists with job training through the vocational development program. The Phoenix Rescue Mission's goal is to help the men and women in our programs get back on their feet through service.

“Adding Mission Possible Café to Mission Cookies and Mission Catering as a training ground for our already successful Food Service Manager’s Training program, will allow us to continue to serve our clients and help them advance,” said Jay A. Cory, President and CEO, Phoenix Rescue Mission.

All Mission Possible Café employees will be part of the vocational development program, an eight-month course designed to get participants back on their feet. The program begins with four months of classes, where men and women learn about food service and gain other practical skills. It concludes with four months of practical application, when participants can work at Mission Possible Café. Its ultimate goals are to prepare people for the workforce, and to give them the ability to give back using service.

“Clients will learn food service operations, development leadership skills, and be prepared for successful placement in management level positions in the food service industry. We hope the community will join us for a great meal and help transform lives in the process,” said Cory.

The Mission Possible Cafe will share space with the Mission's Cookie Enterprise and the Mission's catering business that is currently talking residence in the building. For years there has been room, and a vision to share this space with our community. Our community has been so supportive, individuals are stepping up to make this restaurant possible (no pun intended). The below video highlights one of the main walls in the cafe designed and painted by a local Arizona State University student studying graphic design. Katie and her team made this empty space come to life, and is the first stages of paint and decorations before tables, chairs, accents go up. Thank you Katie for sharing your gifts with the Mission and our community! Mission Possible Cafe opens October 2nd, so come stop by and give us a try!

Envying the Dead | September 2015 Newsletter


“I didn’t want to live anymore,” says Rita. ”I would cry out to God ‘Why? Why do you take people every day who have responsibilities, who have kids and families who depend on them? Why do you take them and not me?’”

In 2005, Rita was 37 years old. She had been married for 14 years, had three beautiful children and owned a nice house in Arrowhead. She ran a successful child care business with a staff of 20 employees and every Sunday you could find Rita and her family attending service at Christ’s Church of the Valley.

To the outside observer, it seemed like she had it all figured out.

But inside, Rita was dying.

The previous year, she discovered her husband had had an affair. For months she held the pain inside, burying it with work and alcohol. But when a minor surgery also gave her access to prescription pain pills, the tight weave of Rita’s life began to unravel.

“I was a mess,” admits Rita. “I was not functional, my life was chaos. I went from having… what I thought was everything, everything I needed to complete my life, everything I ever wanted, to living in a box on the street.”

I went from having...

Rita had a nervous breakdown. Her husband moved out with the kids, she lost her business and her home, and tried to commit suicide. The attempt landed her in a mental institution for a month. When she left, Rita turned to drugs for help.

“I didn’t care anymore,” Rita says. “I let everything go. Over the next 10 years, I was in and out of jail and prison for unpaid child support. I spent the last three with a dope dealer who was abusive. He would shave off my hair, pistol whip me, sometimes beat me to within an inch of my life. But I didn’t leave because, deep down, that’s what I thought I deserved.”

In between trips to prison, Rita was sent to recovery program after recovery program.

She tells us, “I would go into recovery expecting that once I was sober, all the things that I had lost; my family, my home, my life, would come back. When it didn’t happen I would use that as an excuse to drink and soon I was right back where I started.”

Need help?

Then Rita found real hope when the judge sent her to the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center.

“None of the other programs had a spiritual aspect. Here I discovered that without God in my life, there was no way I was going to change… it was an incomplete recovery. Now for the first time in so long, I want to live. I wake up every morning and thank God for another beautiful day,” says Rita with a smile.

Thanks to the grace of God, the work of our counselors and staff and the support of friends like you, Rita is no longer wishing for death. Instead she’s sober, living a redeemed life, and looking forward to helping others find that same hope.

Rita profile photo

“This place gave me all the love and support I needed when I needed it most. It saved me,” says Rita. “I had given up on life, but this place gave me hope… it gave me – me. And I’m going to pass that on. If I’m flipping cheeseburgers for the rest of my life, that’s ok, because every spare moment I have I’m going to give back and I’m going to do His work. If I can touch one person the way this place touched me, it will all be worth it.”

See Rita in our new Mission video by going to "The Mission" page.

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Paying It Forward

Richard at desk

You may remember Richard. Just 16 months ago Richard was homeless, addicted to alcohol and sleeping in the bushes behind a church. He had lost ties to his family, his own daughter considered him dead… his life was in total shambles.

Then one day in a search to find food, Richard heard about the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
We reported that thanks to the hard work of our team of counselors, chaplains and support staff, Richard found sobriety, reconnected with God, he got his own place, a truck and even rekindled his relationship with his daughters.

But Richard’s story didn’t end there. Since we reported on his recovery he’s been using the second chance you helped give him to Pay it Forward.

Richard in his nurse uniform

Today he’s working as a Behavioral Health Intern at Banner Heart Hospital, helping men and women attain sobriety and find their way back to wholeness. In his spare time, he volunteers at the Mission, signing up families who come for help. He’s even become a financial partner to the Mission, supporting the work that changed his life and allowing others the same opportunity to find transformation.

Richard tells us, “I believe in giving back to my community because of all the help that’s been given to me. It’s not something I have to do; it’s something I want to do.”

But the best thing about Richard’s story is that it’s not unique. The truth is, the life change God produces in the men and women here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission doesn’t end at the door. Each new life is another opportunity to touch and transform countless others. Scores of graduates like Richard have gone on to make it their life’s work to do just that.

One meal represented a turning point, not just for one man, but ultimately for many. Because someone cared enough to Pay it Forward and purchase a meal for Richard, today he is a changed man. But more than that, he is a man who is giving back. Through him, countless other lives will also be changed…. some of them forever.

Visit us on social media @phxmission and share with us the ways you are Paying it Forward. Use the hashtag #payitforwardphx to join the conversation.

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Phoenix is Rising!

Contained in the pages of this newsletter are stories of lives burnt to the ground by addiction, loss, illness, and misfortune. Their beginnings reflect the heartache and desperation we find behind the eyes of so many who walk through our gates. But thanks to your prayers, countless volunteer hours, and your financial support, these adversities only represent the beginning of each story.

Here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, the weary and the downtrodden find rest, nourishment and healing, but most of all, they find hope. Like the namesake of our city, every man and woman who pass through our doors discover the chance to rise anew from the ashes, transformed, confident, walking in faith, and better than they were before. We love to share these stories with you every month through our newsletter.

To better reflect the amazing transformation we see in lives every day here at the Mission, we’ve changed the name of our monthly newsletter. We chose this new title, Rising!, because it’s the perfect summary of what effect your support has on the lives of those we serve, what happens to each of these lives, and what effect all of it has on our city as a whole. Since Phoenix Rescue Mission updated its look we thought that should extend to our newsletter.

We hope you enjoy reading Rising!

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