Nourish Phoenix, a nonprofit fighting poverty in Phoenix since 1984, is helping mothers all over the Valley feel pampered and appreciated on their day.
During the month of April, the organization collected new and unused purses and goods — everything from hair ties and hair products to makeup, nail polish, scarves and other accessories were packed into purses by volunteers to distribute to moms who could use a boost this year.
But the organization does so much more than these types of special programs, and for so many more than just Valley moms. Five days a week, Nourish Phoenix is serving as many as 150 Valley families in need by providing a wealth of services at its downtown Phoenix location.
“We are a full functioning food pantry and clothing pantry,” shared McKenna Kiesling, the volunteer and donations coordinator. “We offer food boxes for our clients full of nutritious vegetables, produce, dry goods, meat and dairy, as well as clothing items, bedding, household things.
“We also give out hygiene kits as we have them available — shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap and cleaning items. And then we provide diapers, as well, for our clients who have diaper age children.”
The small staff of eight also includes Sandra, who is the workforce coordinator and helps clients find employment by assisting with resume writing, searching for jobs online and helping clients prepare for an interview. Another employee helps clients register for programs such as food stamps, EBT and medical insurance through AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System).
“We have a lot of services,” McKenna added, “but those are the main ones.
Of course, serving that many families, five days a week is a huge task, and the nonprofit that gives so many a hand could use some help, too.
“We always need volunteers,” shared executive director Beth Fiorenza.
Fiorenza, who has been in the human services sector for more than 20 years, and with Nourish just over four years, said that during the height of the pandemic, when residents were unable to volunteer, they had the help of the National Guard. But now, the need for services is greater than ever, and so is the need for volunteers.
“[Volunteers] are coming back slowly but surely. We always need people during the week, during the weekday,” she added.
Fiorenza noted that volunteers would do everything from sorting donations to packing food boxes or stocking or assisting in the clothing room.
“Families can come in three times a month for food and once a month to shop for clothing,” she said, adding that everything is provided for free to the clients, which means that donations are always welcomed as well.
“We’re always needing donations of clothes, men’s and children’s especially,” Fiorenza said.
Food donations also are accepted to help stock the pantry, and for those who would like to make a monetary donation, the nonprofit is eligible for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit.
Nourish Phoenix is located at 501 S. 9th Ave. and is open Monday through Friday. Client service hours are 9–11 a.m., and a new Food Box Happy Hour (4–6 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of the month) was launched in April to cater to families who work during the regular food pantry hours.
Donation hours are 8 a.m. to noon (enter at the gated parking lot on 9th Ave.).
To learn more about volunteering, donating or for general information, call 602-254-7450 or visit www.nourishphx.org.