A New ‘Fridge’ at Genesis Project

Andrews donates a walk-in freezer/refrigerator to help AJ kitchen store ingredients for free meals

Mid Carlozzi, president of Genesis Project in Apache Junction, was excited to show off the kitchen’s new walk-in refrigerator/freezer.

He was even more excited when he spoke of the generosity demonstrated by Andrews Refrigeration of Scottsdale, who, through a series of fortunate events, came to Genesis and installed the equipment free of charge.

“4 or 5 guys from Andrews were here for about 7 days installing the walls, evaporators on the roof and the new equipment,” Carlozzi said.

When Christ’s Church of the Valley got a new walk-in from Andrews, the company saw an opportunity to help Genesis and donate the refrigerator they were taking out.

“It happened a couple weeks before Thanksgiving and really helped us. Last June, it was Andrews who donated labor and materials for our air conditioning in the kitchen and dining areas.”

The Genesis Project is a faith-based 501(c)3 organization located at 564 N. Idaho Rd. #5, in Apache Junction. Genesis is a coalition of local churches that provides free meals to all who come in. They serve the meals five days a week, Monday through Friday,  from noon until 2:00 p.m. Volunteers from other community organizations also plan, cook and serve meals to all who attend.

“We don’t ask for any paperwork or qualifications from our guests—if you show up, you are served.” Carlozzi said that it is unfortunate, but there seems to be a misunderstanding of who Genesis serves; people often believe that only the homeless benefit.

“We actually have many seniors coming to our meals and those at risk of becoming homeless. Sure, we serve the currently homeless, but many people in our community are having a hard time making ends meet. If we can help anyone with our service, then that’s a good thing.”

Since last September, Genesis Project has expanded their community outreach as part of a collaboration of agencies. The city of Apache Junction and United Way of Pinal County now partner with Genesis to offer a Resource Center, open at their suite on Mondays from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Resource Center offers services beyond meals, including mentoring, advocacy and navigation help with AHCCCS, employment, mental health, child support, legal and benefits services.

Carlozzi stressed the importance of Genesis volunteers, “who are amazing,” and encouraged local youth to contribute some time to the project.

“Volunteers are especially needed in the summer months,” he said. “We could also use a grant writer.”

Although January 1st marked the beginning of a new tax season, Arizona residents can still take advantage of 2017 tax credits until April 17, 2018. Donations made to non-profit organizations like Genesis can still be made for 4 more months. It is like getting free money (up to $800), when you can deduct your donation dollar for dollar from your state taxes. Just fill out and include a form, available from https://www.azdor.gov/about/faqs/charitabletaxcredit.aspx. Visit http://www.genesisprojectaz.com/cause/homeless-apache-junction/ to learn about other ways to help Genesis.

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