Phoenix Rescue Mission Launches “Fed Up! Hungry for Change” Holiday Campaign

Three-month effort to help families in poverty and those affected by COVID-19

 PHOENIX (Sept. 29, 2020) – Arizona has the 3rd highest poverty rate among the nation’s 25 largest metro areas, with one in five children suffering from hunger, according to statistics measured prior to the pandemic. In response, Phoenix Rescue Mission is launching its “Fed Up! Hungry for Change” holiday campaign, Thursday, Oct. 1.

The campaign, which runs through Dec. 31, kicks off with a Mobile Food Pantry event on October 1 in Phoenix. The Mobile Food Pantry is open to the public and designed to improve food accessibility across the Valley, especially in impoverished areas where families may not have transportation to travel to get the help they need. Those who stop by the event, located at 4013 W. Maricopa Street, will be provided food assistance and have the opportunity to connect with services designed to lift them out of poverty.

Phoenix Rescue Mission created the Fed Up! campaign as a response to the way in which society has dealt with hunger for too long – primarily by treating the symptoms of hunger without addressing the root causes, which stem from a lack of vocational development, education, counseling, mental health services and other resources.

“This is Phoenix Rescue Mission’s shout to the community that we are not satisfied with the status quo and we’re shedding a light on the root causes of hunger,” Phoenix Rescue Mission CEO Ken Brissa said.

Public support for this effort is needed now more than ever, due to the recent pandemic and its effects on the economy. While the hunger crisis in Phoenix has existed long before COVID-19, the problem has since become more prevalent because of the thousands of families that have lost jobs, been furloughed, or have otherwise seen their income dry up with no warning over the past few months.

The Fed Up! campaign makes it easy for the public to help stop hunger by providing a means in which anyone can help, either through a small donation online or by bringing food and other needed items directly to Phoenix Rescue Mission. The campaign will feature several events, including its Frozen Turkey Saturday on Nov. 14 and Food Box Delivery Day on Nov.  21, aimed not only at feeding those suffering from hunger during the holiday season, but also connecting them with resources to end their cycle of poverty.

“The holidays can be difficult for struggling families, especially as others across the Valley prepare their celebratory feasts and purchase gifts,” Brissa said.

“Imagine being a parent and having to tell your child that there won’t be any gifts this year – now imagine there won’t be any food either. We can do something to prevent that.”

The public is encouraged to get involved with the Fed Up! campaign this holiday season, either by volunteering time, donating food and other items, or make a monetary donation. Donations made to the Fed Up! campaign will support the thousands of families served each month by Phoenix Rescue Mission’s various programs, including its Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Mobile Food Pantries, Hope Coach Street Outreach services, and many others designed to lift families out of hard times and end their cycle of poverty.

“We need the Valley to come together in support of our hurting neighbors this holiday season, while helping us advance long-term solutions for ending hunger once and for all in our communities,” Brissa said.

“This starts with equipping our community members with access to addiction recovery services, vocational development, job opportunities, counseling, case management, and many other programs.”


This year’s public events include:

Thursday, Oct. 1: Mobile Pantry

Created to decrease food insecurity and improve food accessibility across the Valley, Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Mobile Pantry initiative will visit the Murphy neighborhood, southwest of downtown, to connect with disadvantaged families, provide them with nutritious meals, and help them access the resources to end their cycle of poverty. The public is encouraged to stop by the event at Ministerio Un Ejercito Para Cristo (4013 W. Maricopa Street, Phoenix, AZ 85009) from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., or as long as supplies last. Phoenix Rescue Mission will be following CDC guidelines and asks visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Every 3rd Tuesday: Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15: Free Community Markets

This brand-new venture came about in response to the growing need of those who are not only struggling to make ends meet, but also located in regions where support is limited; and they do not have the means to travel for help. Each Free Community Market will provide food and necessities that are donated from sources, including St. Mary’s Food Bank and the community as a whole. Food bags and hygiene items will be given to families while supplies last. The public is encouraged to stop by from 9-11 a.m. at First New Life Church (1902 W. Roeser Road, Phoenix 85041). There is no cost to participate. ID is required.

For questions, please contact Rachel Stacke at (602)-346-3383 or rstacke@phxmission.org

Saturday, Nov. 14: Frozen Turkey Saturday

Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Frozen Turkey Saturday aims to collect more than 2,000 turkeys, which will be delivered directly to families in need during the Mission’s Thanksgiving Meal Distribution Day and at their Hope for Hunger Food Bank. The public is encouraged to stop by the drive-thru event at the Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank (5605 N. 55th Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85301) and bring a frozen turkey, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please contact Catie Hammann at (602) 346-3347 or gikhelp@phxmission.org if you would like to start a non-perishable foods or turkey drive.

Saturday, Nov. 21: Public Thanksgiving Meal Distribution Day

Because Phoenix Rescue Mission cannot delivery Thanksgiving meals directly as in the past, the Mission will fulfill its goal of serving 400 families this year by working with volunteers to operate a drive-thru event at Sullivan Elementary School (2 N 31st Ave., Phoenix 85009) to distribute turkeys and sides, food bags, and hygiene kits. There is no registration required and first come are first served from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or as long as supplies last. To volunteer at this event, please sign up at prm.volunteerhub.com.

Saturday, Dec. 12: Winter Wonderland Community Event (guests by pre-registration only)

The Mission is partnering with local businesses, churches, and individuals to collect new, unwrapped toys, small household items, and personal gifts. The Mission will then provide the gifts to families in need via its annual Winter Wonderland event. This year, Phoenix Rescue Mission hopes to serve as many as 400 children during the event, which will also be conducted in drive-thru fashion. Families will be pre-registered through local schools our Community Market outreach events. Families will also receive food assistance and toiletries to supply them through the Christmas season. To volunteer at this event, please sign up at prm.volunteerhub.com.

Please contact Catie Hammann at (602) 346-3347 or gikhelp@phxmission.org if you would like to hold a gift or food drive.

 

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Phoenix Rescue Mission

Phoenix Rescue Mission is a leading provider of Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma. The nonprofit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to transform lives, including Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Hope Coach Street Outreach, Temporary Shelter Programs, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program, and the Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.

Media Contacts:

Ryan Brown, Phoenix Rescue Mission, cell: (302) 359-6780, rbrown@phxmission.org

Josh Skalniak, Lambert & Co., cell: (480) 352-2050, jskalniak@lambert.com

 

 

 

The Main Thing – Home for the Holidays

As we sit down to dinner this Thanksgiving, surrounded by mouth-watering dishes of every kind, let's remember those who will be going without this year. A staggering 30 percent of our neighbors are considered working poor. In a state with a population of 7 million, that means 2.1 million of us are struggling to put food on the table, not to mention the thousands who call our streets home.

Numbers like these seem insurmountable. But, you know what?

Our God is bigger than hunger and homelessness.

Thanksgiving was central to Old Testament worship. Sacrifice and offerings were to be made not grudgingly, but with thanksgiving. The psalmist valued a song of thanksgiving more than sacrifice. Thankfulness was expressed: for personal and national deliverance; for God’s faithfulness to the covenant; and for forgiveness. All creation joins in offering thanks to God.

The first harvest celebration was held in 1621. It was then William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Indians. It was not until October 3, 1789 that George Washington assigned Thursday, November 26, 1789, to be a day of national thanksgiving.  In his proclamation Washington stated, "...recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer; to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many ... favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness." 

Thanksgiving is a natural element of Christian worship and is to characterize all of Christian life. Early Christians expressed thanks: for Christ’s healing ministry; for Christ’s deliverance of the believer from sin; for God’s indescribable gift of grace in Christ; and for the faith of fellow Christians.

A Thanksgiving Proclamation, spoken by Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863 observed that the last Thursday of November would be a day of "Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

He continued, "It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

Psalm 100 A Psalm For Giving Thanks. 1Shout for joy to the LORD all the earth. 2Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3Know that the LORD is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

This Thanksgiving, because of donors and volunteers, we were able to serve over 1,200 households with a Thanksgiving meal they may have otherwise gone without. It is heartwarming and encouraging to see the impact a community can have when we come together with a common goal.

Through your support of Phoenix Rescue Mission, God transforming lives that in turn impact others. It's a ripple effect that reaches farther and impacts more lives than we can imagine - just like a wind becomes a storm, a flame becomes a wildfire, it's been God's method for change from the very beginning.

So, as we remember those who will go without also remember that you are a part of something big, something that is changing the face of homelessness and hunger in our state.

God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

Having to Choosing Between Paying the Bills and Food on the Table

 

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, your aunt’s famous casserole, the list of options with which to pile on your plate goes on and on at most homes during Thanksgiving. But not so for Sara’s family. Hers was one of hundreds in Phoenix who find Thanksgiving a luxury they can ill afford. When life is hard and you’re forced to choose between keeping the lights on or putting food on the table, the holiday season has a way of making it even harder.

But today, everything has changed for Sara. Her family of five is eating well and even looking forward to a Thanksgiving feast this year. So what made the difference? Hope!

Specifically, Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank.

“A friend told me about it [Hope for Hunger Food Bank],” says Sara. “She saw that we sometimes struggled with the decision to either pay the bills or to buy food. Now once a month we come and receive the food our family needs.” Nearly 30 percent of our Arizona neighbors are considered working poor. These are hard-working men and women who struggle to stretch dollars that barely cover housing expenses. Many times, for families like Sara’s, those dollars don’t quite stretch far enough to put food on the table. Arizona ranks as the 5th worst state when it comes to food security.

But through your support of the Phoenix Rescue Mission – you are making a difference.

“I’m so grateful and thankful to God and to the Mission. What they do is amazing.

They are helping a lot of families like ours. Here, we get good stuff, vegetables, fruit, rice, beans – all the stuff you really need.

 

It’s like when you go to the supermarket, you need eggs, you need cheese, you need vegetables. The way they work things here is amazing.” For many families living paycheck to paycheck, all it takes is one emergency situation – a car breaking down, an unexpected medical bill – to put a family over the edge and onto the street.

The goal of Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank is not only to provide nourishing food to individuals and families who struggle to afford it, but also to temporarily remove the burden of a food bill from the household budget. This allows families to begin to save, to provide themselves with a safety net when the next unexpected bill comes around the corner and, perhaps most importantly, a path out of the cycle of poverty.

Sara, who has been coming to Hope for Hunger for two years is not only close to that goal, she’s begun to give back and provide for others.

 

 

Community Easter Event

Our Community Easter Event to benefit low-income children and families is right around the corner! On March 24th, the Mission is expecting to serve over 1,000 children and over 700 families!

If you would like to participate and/or receive assistance at this event, please contact Volunteer Services at (602)346-3363 or volunteer@phoenixrescuemission.org. Open spaces tend to fill up quickly so inquire about signing up as soon as possible!

Our Greatest Need: This year, our greatest need will be for pre-filled Easter baskets to hand out to the children who will be coming to this event. If you want to help this outreach happen, but can't decide how you like to give, please consider organizing an Easter basket drive or making a few on your own.

Our goal is 1000 filled wrapped Easter baskets and 700 Easter Fill-A-Bag’s for low-income families in need. If you would like to participate in making Easter baskets or Food Boxes, below you will see a suggested list of items to include. If you have questions about getting started and involved, contact Catie at (602)346-3347 or chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org

Filled Easter Baskets - 1,000 Needed

Ideas for filling the baskets include:

  • "Grass"
  • Plastic Eggs (filled with candy)
  • Coloring books with crayons
  • Candy (no chocolate)
  • Children's books/Bible
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Small toys

Filled Food Boxes - 700 Needed

Ideas for filling the food boxes:

  • 1 jar of peanut butter
  • 4 cans of fruit
  • 4 cans of vegetables
  • 2 cans of beans
  • 2 cans of tomatoes
  • 1 box, or bag of cereal
  • 2 packages of instant potatoes
  • 2 cans of tuna or chicken
  • 2 packages of dry gravy mix
  • 2 packages of pasta/rice/beans
  • 1 package of cake mix and can of frosting

How to Sign Up to Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities: As one of our biggest outreach events of the year, we need a lot of volunteers! We could not do this without your help. Ready to get involved? Contact Volunteer services at  volunteer@phoenixrescuemission.org or (602)346-3363. We will send you a confirmation with times, location, etc.

Sponsorship: We could not make the day possible without friends helping sponsor the activities. If you would like to sponsor any of the items below in part or in full, please contact Peter, Mission Sharing Coordinator, at pmolina@phoenixrescuemission.org or (602)346-3383.

  • Bounce House ($300)
  • Bounce House ($200)
  • Bounce House ($200)
  • Cases of Water (100 cases)
  • 2 Popcorn Machines
  • 2 Cotton Candy Machines
  • 2 Snow Cone Machines

Frozen Turkey Drive

In November, the Mission is committed to serving our low-income and needy neighbors have a blessed Thanksgiving. All month the Mission will be collecting frozen turkeys and food boxes to distribute to families in need. Our goal this year is to provide frozen turkeys and food boxes for 1,500 families! We are kicking off November with our first Frozen Turkey Drive in Glendale. Come by Sam's Club in Glendale and drop off your frozen turkeys to donate. We hope to see you there!

 

Frozen Turkey Drive - November 4, 2017

 7am - 4pm

Sam's Club - 18501 N 83rd Ave, Glendale, AZ 8530