When we learned Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman had previously been in the catering business, we worked with Hallman and members of Tempe’s City Council to put on an event that would give back to the community.

On June 9th our employees and their families met at the Community Christian Church to help serve dinner to those in need through IHELP (Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program). Helping to serve the food from the Tempe City Council were Vice Mayor Shana Ellis, Councilmember Corey Woods, Councilmember Joel Navarro and his children, and Assistant City Manager Jeff Kulaga.

While many people leave the Valley of the Sun during summer months, the need for food, water and cool shelter still exists for the area’s less fortunate. The summer climate can be deadly for those who are in need.

Tempe Community Action Agency’s IHELP program provides lodging and comfort for an average of 30 homeless people in the community at different faith-based locations each night. Dinner and overnight shelter is provided seven nights per week.

Our executive chef Lex Heijiligers prepared a barbeque-themed meal, which included St. Louis-style BBQ ribs and chicken, jicama coleslaw, homemade red potato salad with apple cider-bacon dressing, corn cob bites, ranchero beans slow-cooked with Southwest spices and herbs, freshly-baked corn bread and Granny Smith cinnamon-apple cobbler with streusel topping and vanilla ice cream.

The IHELP dinner was a great success! Our employees and their family members were excited to have this opportunity to reach out and help those in need in Tempe. We appreciated the opportunity to volunteer, and we look forward to partnering with IHELP and TCAA again soon.