St. Mary's Community Kitchen helps Valley hungry, gives others a new opportunity

PHOENIX - Valley food banks do a lot for their clients, but they also give others a chance to prove themselves.

St. Mary's Food Bank operates a Community Kitchen where the workers get to prepare meals that make a difference for others and also gain experience in a kitchen setting that could help them land a future job.

At the helm of the Community Kitchen operation is Steve Boho, who has been working at the food bank for a little over a year.

Before that, Boho relied on emergency food boxes to get him to the next meal.

"It made a huge difference. I pretty much would use everything in there each night cooking, whether it be macaroni and cheese or something, but that definitely helped put something in my stomach."

Now, gainfully employed, he finds the work here meaningful.

"It's my turn to give back, and going, and seeing the look on the kids' faces, their faces just light up," Boho described. "They're real excited to get it, it's great food and puts something in their stomachs."

With a felony on his record, Boho found it difficult to land a job, but the Community Kitchen gave him a chance.

"All I needed was an opportunity. The Community Kitchen got me involved with some of the other employers in the area. That's what the big picture is, to get you involved with the food industry, and get you self-sufficient again."

Now he helps others get a chance to taste success, while serving up hot meals and helping hungry children.

"It's a huge difference. I can see it on the kids' faces. They're just happy to have someone looking out for them, that someone cares about them."
 

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