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.

Spreading Holiday Cheer with Food Box Deliveries

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The holidays are fast approaching, and volunteers with the Phoenix Rescue Mission is spreading a bit of holiday cheer, by delivering hundreds of food boxes with a turkey, to ensure everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving.

Over the weekend, Taylor Roberts and her family made the rounds, delivering the boxes to those around town who might go without a Thanksgiving.

"They smile, and they look happy, and it makes me feel really warm inside," said Roberts.


Spreading holiday cheers with food box deliveries

Volunteers are making sure that people in need across the Valley will have a Thanksgiving meal this year. FOX 10's Ty Brennan reports.

Roberts' family is just one of hundreds of volunteers that put together the boxes, and then delivered them to people across the valley. The Phoenix Rescue Mission has been delivering these boxes, during every Thanksgiving season, for the past two decades.

"We want to make sure that every family is able to have a wonderful turkey dinner, and enjoy the family opportunity like the rest of us do," said Gail Engstrom with the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

For the Roberts family, they hope this delivery will become a tradition for them, in the years to come.

"It really -- you can't put a price on the experiences you get," said Roberts.


Program Men Pay It Forward at Momma Jo’s in Downtown Phoenix

The concept of “Paying it Forward” is not lost on those who complete Phoenix Rescue Mission’s recovery program. Not long ago many of our graduates were desperate, strung out, and lost -- barely able to stand in line for a meal. It is a hopelessness that is hard to understand unless you have experienced it firsthand.

Watch as men from our recovery program volunteer at Mama Jo’s Saturday Outreach at Andre House in downtown Phoenix. Not only do they share their testimonies of overcoming the grip of drugs and alcohol, but they serve those waiting for a meal. See them give back and inspire others to make radical changes in their lives.

Bill joined the men's recovery program at the Mission, but relapsed and spent several months on the blistering streets of Phoenix in the summer before overcoming his pride and returning to finish the program. He is now employed, excited about his future, and is one of the men who regularly goes down to Momma Jo's to tell his story. You can read (and watch!) his story by clicking here.

When was the last time a meal changed your life?

It seems unlikely that something as simple as a plate of food could have such a huge impact. But here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, we see God use our cafeteria to transform lives every day, which inspired us to start our new “Feeding Phoenix” initiative. Just ask Alfredo, a recent graduate of our Foundations Recovery program.

A free meal was all it took for God to turn his life around.

Months ago Alfredo had lost his job. He was living alone in Phoenix without any outside support to fall back on; he soon lost his car and eventually his home. Broke, starving and losing weight, Alfredo had gone a week and a half since his last real meal when he first heard of the Phoenix Rescue Mission. A concerned friend told him there was a place that gave out three free meals a day. That was all Alfredo needed to hear. He made a beeline to 35th Avenue and Buckeye and arrived at the Mission just in time for dinner.

But what he found was more than just a meal.

“As soon as I stepped through the gates I could tell this place was different,” Alfredo recalls. “People actually came up to me and wanted to know who I was and how they could help. There was no judgment, none of that. I could feel already that this was a good place.”

After cleaning his plate and feeling full for the first time in a long time, Alfredo started talking to the staff. He was surprised to learn that the Mission was more than just free meals, we also offered other things he desperately needed like counseling, support classes and job search assistance. He couldn’t believe it. A simple trip to fill his stomach had turned into more than he could have hoped for.

Alfredo signed up for our Foundations Recovery program, and now 60 days later he’s back to a healthy weight, and has found a promising new position working in an assisted living community.

“If I had never come looking for a meal, I’d still be stuck,” he said. “Now I have friends and brothers in Christ. God really does work all things for good!”
Alfredo is a perfect example of what our new “Feeding Phoenix” initiative is all about. It’s spreading the word about the hope and transformation we offer by serving hot meals to more souls than we ever have before.

It means prisoners who have been released from Durango Jail not only find their first meal here, but they also find a chance at a new future. It means families who can’t afford school lunches for their children find nourishment and the support they need. It means that our elderly who are shut in get the nutrition they desperately need. And, of course, it means that more men and women like Alfredo find a hot plate and a second chance at life.

Alfredo received his second chance at life in large part because of your prayers and financial support. But, there are still hundreds of other Alfredos here in Phoenix who need our help.
You can help by giving today.

Kurt Warner, friend of the Mission

This is what Kurt Warner had to say about serving meals at Phoenix Rescue Mission:

"My family and I have had the pleasure of serving meals at Phoenix Rescue Mission and meeting those assisted by this tremendous organization. The Mission does more than provide food and shelter; they take time with each individual, focusing on the whole person to truly transform lives and give people the hope that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to volunteer and join the Mission in this life-changing work."

– Kurt Warner, Retired Arizona Cardinals Quarterback and current NFL Network Analyst