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

 

 

 

Meet the Staff: Nathan Smith, Our CPO

Ever wonder what fuels the fire in the hearts of our staff for the homeless and hurting? Starting this month, we’ll be introducing you to the outstanding men and women who work tirelessly to see lives transformed – to get a peek into what brought them to the Mission and what keeps them going.

Ask anyone on campus and they’ll tell you: Nathan Smith has a huge heart for the homeless. But it didn’t start out that way.

“I wasn’t necessarily callous to helping people with great needs,” Nathan remembers. “I just never paid any attention to that as a kid.” It wasn’t until his first missions trip to India that his life, and his heart, changed forever. Nathan not only found his calling while he was in India, he found his wife – who was serving in the medical clinics of the same missions’ field.

“Years later, I was having trouble getting out to India to continue my mission work because I was building a family here. That’s when I was challenged by my grandmother-in-law to do more work locally. I started working with the homeless, which blossomed into a church ministry. From there, I met Jay Cory (former President and CEO of Phoenix Rescue Mission) who got me started at an entry-level position at the Mission.”

At the Mission, Nathan flourished. In just six short years, he’s risen through the ranks from Project Coordinator to Project Manager to Director of Community Engagement. During that time, he was instrumental in the expansion of the Mission’s reach into regions like Glendale, where he and his team saved the city’s largest food bank from closing for good.

Nathan’s team reopened Hope For Hunger Food Bank and increased the output of the previous ownership by more than 50% – serving more than 160 families per day under his watch. He was also a key player in the formation of Glendale Works, an integrated workforce development program aimed at reducing homelessness in Glendale by providing homeless individuals day-work cleaning city property.

In May, he accepted the position of Chief Program Officer!

God has put me in these different spots to expose me to what it means to be a leader, what it means to work with people who are really, really down and out and it’s prepared me to take that on at a higher administrative level. I couldn’t be more thankful for the path He put me on to get here.

Congratulations on your promotion, Nathan. We can’t wait to see how God uses you next!

A Tote Filled with Hope

 

For many homeless, living on the streets will mean that they must go without – without a roof over their heads, without a place to shower, and during the sweltering summer months in Phoenix, without any real place of respite from the deadly heat. In an effort to keep them safe, the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope Coach travels the streets of Phoenix, offering water, assistance, and Hope Totes to the homeless they meet. Jessica, grateful to have received a tote of her own, discusses with the Hope Coach team the difficulties she’s facing. “Out here, there are so many people waiting to take advantage of you. So seeing a friendly face that welcomes you and is there for you…” Jessica says, as tears roll down her face. “I’m very thankful for Phoenix Rescue Mission and everyone who works with them. You really do help and make a difference.” These totes perform double duty – not only giving hope in a physical way, but also a means to begin a, hopefully, life-transforming discussion.

Inside the one-gallon Ziploc bag, recipients will find basic necessities, such as food, hygiene kits, socks, and other items that can help make the summer months easier to navigate. The tote Jessica received was special – it was one of the 1,455 totes handmade and donated by Palm West Community Church, and made with more than 35,000 items! Jim and Claudia Smith, Palm West’s Hope Tote Coordinators, said, “Our members work on this ministry all year long. We trust the bags will bring hope to those who receive them.” Thank you, Palm West Community Church, for your faithful service to our community! During these harshest parts of the summer, Phoenix Rescue Mission is especially in need of a large supply of these totes.

You can help make a big impact by donating Hope Totes during our Code Red Heat Relief campaign. For instructions on assembling and where to drop them off, please visit phoenixrescuemission.org/you-can-help/volunteer/

Thank you for your continued support in helping make this sweltering summer safe for those with no place to find relief.

Movement Mortgage Making an Impact

Retail home lender Movement Mortgage and its philanthropy arm, Movement Foundation, has donated more than 400,000 bottles of water and a $150,000 matching grant to support Phoenix Rescue Mission’s 5th Annual Code:Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign. The donation, which is one of the largest single contributions to the Code:Red campaign since it began in 2013, was presented to Phoenix Rescue Mission during a press conference at the Mission’s donation warehouse.

“Because of Movement Mortgage’s generous gift, our staff and volunteers can continue their heat relief efforts at a time when it’s needed most,” said Phoenix Rescue Mission spokesperson Nicole Pena. “As we continue to expand our Code:Red campaign and street outreach, we couldn’t ask for a better partner to help us protect our most vulnerable populations during these hot summer months.”

Immediately following the ceremony, Movement Mortgage volunteers joined the Mission’s street outreach team to deliver the water and other heat-relief items directly to those living on the streets.

“At Movement, we believe in a simple idea: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The intense heat in Arizona has left so many of our neighbors in life-threatening circumstances, and I am so proud of our teammates in Arizona and across the Western states that stepped up with such generosity to be difference makers,” Ignacio Metcalf, Movement Mortgage national sales director, said. “We are honored to work with the Phoenix Rescue Mission and the Movement Foundation to ensure these 400,000 bottles of water and the $150,000 matching grant will bring life, light and hope to our neighbors in greatest need.”

In addition to the donated funds and water, Movement Mortgage volunteers also assembled nearly 500 Summer Survival Kits, which included t-shirts, sunblock, granola bars, hats and other heat-relief items to be handed out to the homeless during the city-wide heat-relief campaign.

THANK YOU MOVEMENT MORTGAGE!

Women in recovery honored as first graduating class of culinary arts vocational training program

MEDIA ADVISORY

Humana Foundation to donate $3,000 to program at Phoenix Rescue Mission ceremony

WHO: Phoenix Rescue Mission and Human Foundation.

WHAT: Six residents of Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center for Women & Children, a long-term recovery program for women struggling with addiction and/or abuse, will be honored as the first graduating class of a culinary arts vocational training program funded in part by the Humana Foundation. Humana will present a $3,000 check during the ceremony so the Mission can continue providing the 16-week program. The grant is part of Humana’s commitment to volunteerism.

WHY: The Changing Lives Center serves a targeted group of homeless women and children; many of whom have suffered domestic abuse, substance abuse and addiction. The culinary arts program is just one of the many ways the center helps these mothers transition to a healthy and independent lifestyle so they do not return to the streets.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 29

WHERE: Contact the media contacts below for location information.

VISUALS:      

  • The Humana Foundation and Phoenix Rescue Mission will honor the four women of the first graduating class.
  • Graduating class members may be available to speak on what the program means to them and their future independence.
  • The Humana Foundation will present a $3,000 check to the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
  • Spokespersons from the Humana Foundation and Phoenix Rescue Mission will be available for interviews.

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness. The non-profit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to save lives, including Hope Coach Street Outreach, Homeless Emergency Services, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the new Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.

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Media Contacts:

Josh Skalniak, Fingerpaint, office: (480) 368-7999; cell: (480)352-2050, jskalniak@fingerpaintmarketing.com

Nicole Peña, Phoenix Rescue Mission, office: (602) 346-3342; cell: (602) 516-8576 (Onsite Contact) npena@phoenixrescuemission.org

 

Click here to download the Press Release PDF.