PHOENIX — Every child matters. Especially during a pandemic, staff members with the non-profit organization Child Crisis Arizona say child abuse does not get better, it gets worse.
The organization serves some of the most vulnerable children in our community. Those at risk for abuse and neglect. The pandemic has made life more stressful for families, many of whom have lost jobs and are having a tough time making ends meet.
Child Crisis Arizona is helping them out with at least one basic need, that is food.
"We service typically up to 270 children a day when we are open. Right now we're serving them breakfast and lunch, curbside of course," said Torrie Taj, CEO of Child Crisis Arizona.
Staff quickly learned many of the families they served had nothing to eat for dinner on some nights.
"The poverty level of the children and families we are serving is 100%-200%," said Taj.
So the organization has partnered up with Arizona businesses to help provide curbside dinners to the families in their network every Thursday night.
"If we can't take care of their parents how are they going to take care of the children?" said Taj.
When the pandemic shut down early education programming and in-home visits with foster children staff at Child Crisis Arizona needed to find another way to serve their community and keep that connection with families. Hundreds of people show up to pick up meals every week. Taj said seeing the tears in some of their eyes and hear them expressing gratitude made her realize what an important service they were providing.
"There is a grandmother that comes, she's responsible for all the children in her family and literally she is in tears and thanking us," said Taj.
COVID-19 has made it difficult for many non-profits to host fundraisers. With donations down, every week Taj says she worries if they have enough to feed their families the next week, and every week someone always comes through for them.
The weekly cost to feed all of their families is about $2,500. If you would like to partner up with the organization or donate, CLICK HERE.