Opinion

Fiorenza: NourishPHX annual fundraiser supports mission to end poverty, hunger in Phoenix

Posted 11/2/21

Nourish Phoenix has a long history of serving the working poor in south central Phoenix. Each year, NourishPHX serves more than 20,000 families by providing food boxes and clothing from our pantry, and educational courses and job resources in our classroom to underserved populations in our communities.

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Opinion

Fiorenza: NourishPHX annual fundraiser supports mission to end poverty, hunger in Phoenix

Posted

Nourish Phoenix has a long history of serving the working poor in south central Phoenix. Each year, NourishPHX serves more than 20,000 families by providing food boxes and clothing from our pantry, and educational courses and job resources in our classroom to underserved populations in our communities.

In October, stakeholders, volunteers and members of the community came together to review the successful efforts and new initiatives NourishPHX implemented over the past year at our second annual Beyond the Pantry event.

NourishPHX was able to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and, though a great accomplishment, today we are in need of more support than ever. The pandemic had a significant impact on Arizona’s economy, particularly on unemployment, and although employment rates continue to recover, many Arizonans still need help.

The goal of the event was to raise $50,000 to support the programs that benefit low-income families across the Valley and help us continue to serve our communities in this time of need. As of today, we have exceeded $100,000 in funds raised.

It has been our goal, since opening in 1983, to not only provide food to those who need it but to provide nutrition: fresh produce, high quality protein and the supplies to feed a family of four for up to five days. These are not food boxes with cans of soup and Top Ramen. These are packs filled with fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients to make a satisfying meal.

Jeff Kraus, Food Network-featured chef, owner of the Crepe Bar in Tempe and friend of NourishPHX, demonstrated the bounty of NourishPHX’s food pantry boxes as he cooked a meal using only the ingredients inside. Kraus made a nutritious and tasty Mexican cuisine using only supplies found in the food box. He believes that food has the power to bring people together, and his love for his craft was evident in his demonstration. 

Nearly 40% of the families we serve have children. It is vital to provide these growing children nutrient-dense meals to help them grow during this time of rapid development and activity. We want to be there to support the families that come to us and need our services in every way possible.

Now that volunteers can return to the pantry safely, we are looking forward to offering more classes and creating a bigger pantry space. In the future we aim to offer a shopping experience in our food pantry, which will help give back autonomy and dignity to the people we serve.

We are volunteers. We are working moms and dads, teens and retirees, we are people who believe in caring for others during their tough times and lending a helping hand up in the face of poverty. The generosity of our supporters does not go unnoticed, and we are so grateful to have a community willing to help.

Anyone who is interested in supporting NourishPHX’s mission can look online for donation and volunteer opportunities.

Learn more about NourishPHX and watch the live-streamed Beyond the Pantry event: nourishphx.org.

Editor's note: Beth Fiorenza is executive director of NourishPHX, a US 501 (c)(3) public charity. Visit nourishphx.org.

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