In Phoenix, Arizona, summer temperatures often exceed 100° Fahrenheit, but this doesn’t stop Tzu Chi volunteers from serving the low income population here. In 1997, they began running a food pantry program that serves over 1,000 households per week. For the last decade, every week Tzu Chi volunteers fill boxes full with food, then distribute them to those in need.
Tzu Chi opens its doors every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 am—12 pm to give everyone a chance to come.
Still, not everyone can come to the food pantry on their own. For these families, volunteers will personally deliver boxes of food to their home.
Where Does the Food Come From?
Tzu Chi collaborates with the United Food Bank and collects surplus food from local bakeries and supermarkets.
The volunteers often take as many as 4 hours out of their Sundays to make the deliveries.
Food Pantry in New Jersey
Tzu Chi also runs a similar program in the suburb of Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
Every Wednesday since 2010, Tzu Chi volunteers have been going to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to pick up food.
Once Tzu Chi’s food pantry is stocked, specially developed software takes inventory of what’s on the shelf. Volunteers use it to help incoming families tailor their orders to what’s available that meets their needs.
Every week, Tzu Chi volunteers fill the boxes of food with love, and recipients spread love in their own way as well.
Tzu Chi’s volunteers are diverse. Programs like New Jersey’s food pantry are an opportunity for people to connect, interact with others, and boost their people skills.
THOUGH THE TZU CHI FOUNDATION RUNS THESE TWO FOOD PANTRIES HERE, IT ALSO WORKS WITH OVER 10 STATE-RUN FOOD BANKS ACROSS THE US TO FEED EVEN MORE FAMILIES IN NEED. FILL A FEW EMPTY STOMACHS