• March 3Graduation on 24 May 2018

Feeding the Homeless in Downtown Phenonix

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Feeding the Homeless in Downtown Phenonix

Photo via Renee Sadler

Photo via Renee Sadler

Photo via Renee Sadler

Photo via Renee Sadler

Renee Sadler, Life and Times Writer

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Imagine it’s a cold winter morning in Downtown Phoenix. Along one gate are several stations: one with water, a coffee station, and a table of donuts. A makeshift clothes shop is set up with old shoes and jackets. Down the center is a food line packaging fruit, snacks, and meals into plastic bags or boxes. Yellow lines divide the food line from a setup of chairs and tables. Groups of people set up the boxes of food and drinks as music plays. Outside the entrance to the lot are scores and scores of homeless men and women waiting for the lot to open and to receive the meals the volunteers are preparing.

Every Sunday, Foothills Community Service – The Bridge meets in a parking lot in Downtown Phoenix to feed and clothe the homeless living in Arizona. Between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. they feed 600-900 people, with a staff of 20-30 volunteers. Most of their volunteers are regulars who have been working with FCS for years.

It all started 14 years ago with Christine Ellis, co-founder of FCS, passing out peanut butter sandwiches to those in need. As the event grew, the police told Christine she couldn’t keep operating there, due to the amount of people showing up, and she was moved to an available lot. They have been operating out of their current lot for eight years.

FCS works together with the nearby shelter and food banks who provide them with resources to do as much as they can for the less fortunate. Kat Pollard, the board’s secretary, is proud to say, “Nothing goes to waste.” All leftovers are brought to the Justa Center for the homeless seniors there.

As a nonprofit organization, FCS is always looking for new volunteers and donations. People can volunteer by joining the group on Sundays and asking what they can do to help. Volunteer jobs include packaging the food, handing out water, taking coffee orders and making it, running the clothing station, and many others. If you want to help, make sure to get there early. FCS is a faith based operation but they are not affiliated with a specific church.

If you can’t go yourself, you can donate items listed on their website. They also take monetary donations and are hoping to raise enough money for a refrigerated truck to help get food to the homeless and deliver furniture and other household needs to those coming out of homelessness.

You can find out more about FCS and how you can help by visiting their website: https://www.thebridgefcs.org/

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