The Peace, Affirmation & Justice Committee at Guilford First Congregational Church is working with the First Church UCC and Paradise Valley UU Church of Phoenix, AZ to provide meals to asylum-seekers at the Phoenix Welcome Center on Saturdays, when otherwise there would be no meal provided. Because the Welcome Center has no health-board approved facilities for preparing meals, the churches are working with a local El Salvadoran restaurant to prepare meals of chicken pupusas, rice, and beans for 75 people for a cost of $250.00. They are also adding fresh fruit with the meal.
The Phoenix Welcome Center provides humanitarian assistance to asylum-seekers released from federal immigration custody. This humanitarian assistance includes food, shelter, medicine, clothing, legal orientation, and travel assistance. The Welcome Center is primarily operated by the International Rescue Committee with the support of faith-based groups and other community organizations.
Asylum-seekers are following a legal process to seek safety under federal law. They are often families with children, primarily from Latin American countries. Since February 2021, the number of asylum-seekers arriving in the U.S. and in Phoenix has risen significantly, with an average of 50-100 people arriving daily in recent weeks. All asylum-seekers have sponsors, usually family members, in the U.S. In most cases, these sponsors are outside of the Phoenix area, and they leave the Welcome Center to travel to their sponsor’s home in 24-48 hours.
This year, SUUS hopes to use our Share the Plate donations to help stem the effects of racism and discrimination against the marginalized in society who suffer from discrimination and oppression, whether because of race, minority status, economic status, immigration status, and gender identity. By donating 50% of our cash offering each week to a designated organization, we offer our congregation and all who visit SUUS a chance to become aware of the many needs in the area and the opportunity to make a difference in the world.