Based in Chandler, AZ, the Tzu Chi Phoenix Service Center has been providing vegetarian-friendly groceries to local families in need. To help, George Hardwick, a former grocery store employee and current social worker, has made a space dedicated entirely as a food pantry for #TzuChi. He stocks it with finds from local supermarkets, searching for the best deals on groceries to donate through Tzu Chi to neighbors in need.
Andy Cheung, the Deputy Director of Tzu Chi Phoenix, says that “George is a master of packing. He can squeeze in a lot of food in his two-door sedan and all I can say is, it’s a lot of food that can feed many, many families and individuals.”
Despite the cost of George’s donated groceries having gone up from $5,000 last year to $7,00 this year with inflation and sky-rocketing prices, he maintains that, “if you have the ability to give, you should.”
To complement the groceries George donates, another donation comes courtesy of the Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in the form of fresh produce. Grown in their greenhouse, their cultivation involves the participation of the children who stay there, giving them a chance to connect with the natural world. Eve Woolford, Greenhouse Manager says that “honestly, it’s a respite for the kids, it’s a safe place.”
Donating the surplus of what they grow to Tzu Chi, Tzu Chi volunteer Tauna Liu says, “I think it’s just like a circle and we all help each other.”
You can help us #DoMore for families struggling to make ends meet at donate.tzuchi.us/hq.
Plus, see more videos like this, originally aired during the Tzu Chi USA Giving Tuesday 2022 Charity Concert, at video.tzuchi.us/series/givingtuesday-2022-charity-concert.