Voices of Arizona: The ladies in the kitchen at Beth El Synagogue in Phoenix

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Monday, May 1, 2023 - 9:20am
Updated: Monday, May 1, 2023 - 9:42am

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KJZZ brings you news from throughout the state. The most important stories impact everyday Arizonans. Voices of Arizona bring you the real people behind the headlines. 

Mary Beth Glassman
Kathy Ritchie/KJZZ
Mary Beth Glassman has been involved with this group of ladies for several years. She helps coordinate volunteers so they can prepare food for incoming migrants who are passing through the International Rescue Committee Welcome Center in Phoenix.

Volunteers in the kitchen at the Beth El Synagogue in central Phoenix are mixing, blending and stirring what will eventually be a hearty meal for migrants passing through as they make their way to their sponsor. 

"Sometimes it's the first meal they've had in a really really long time. At the border, they might get a sandwich," said Mary Beth Glassman. She helps coordinate the volunteers.

"So, we've got lentil soup. We've got black bean macaroni salad, which is a vegetarian version with protein. We have cinnamon raisin muffins and we have corn muffins," Glassman said.

Once everything is ready, they’ll drive down to the International Rescue Committee Welcome Center.

"And when we deliver the food, the people and I can't speak the languages there. But the people are just so grateful."

Glassman has been doing this since those early days when immigrant families were dropped off at churches during the Trump years.

"As we greeted them, they would cry because they were so touched that finally they were at a place where they were cared for and welcomed," said Glassman.

Though things have quieted a bit, Title 42 is set to expire on May 11. Glassman and her volunteers will  be in the kitchen, no matter what happens next."

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