Our Foundation & Mission

HART Pantry, an all-volunteer non-profit organization established in 2013 in Peoria, Arizona, originally began as a church mission within the First Presbyterian Church of Peoria. Over the years, it has evolved into an independent 501(c)3 corporation, steered by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors comprising the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Executive Director. HART Pantry beats with the dedication of over 50 volunteers, who collectively contributed over 8,000 volunteer hours in 2021. Committed to keeping administrative costs to a minimum, no salaries are disbursed within our organization.

HART Pantry's mission is to provide support and encourage At-Risk teens to finish high school and increase self-esteem.

Our Purpose

At HART Pantry, our primary goal is to extend a helping hand to local At-Risk teens in the West Valley who struggle with food insecurity. We collaborate closely with school and community counselors, aiming to deliver essential care to eligible At-Risk teens in need.

A group of people standing around bags on the floor.
A group of people in yellow shirts and masks.

A Holistic Support System

HART Pantry's efforts focus on providing comprehensive aid to At-Risk teens in the West Valley of Maricopa County in Arizona. We distribute weekend food bags containing 18 shelf-stable, single-serve, high-protein items within:

  • Peoria Unified School District
  • Ombudsman Schools in Peoria and Glendale
  • Dysart Unified School District
  • Glendale Union HS District
  • Dysart Community Center
  • Peoria Community Center
  • Eve's Place (Through Teen Counselors)

Additionally, we offer nutritious supper bags with 5 items for At-Risk teens seeking food after school during the week. Apart from weekly food provisions, we also offer essential items such as basic clothing, reclaimed bikes, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, blankets, special gifts during Christmas, graduations.

Identifying At-Risk Teens

An At-Risk teen may be homeless or facing a crisis at home, lacking regular access to food. Designations are typically made by school guidance counselors, nurses, or resource officers based on the McKinney-Vento Arizona statute. HART Pantry collaborates closely with school staff for student outreach and support, ensuring a responsive and respectful approach to the needs of these teens. Through discussions and agreements with school personnel, we set up delivery schedules, methods of communication, and emergency response protocols. Our operations revolve around providing timely support, packing and delivering bags to designated locations, and remaining available for any urgent needs that may arise.

A person holding onto some food in their hands
A woman in yellow is holding some candy

Evolution & Community Support

The rich history of HART Pantry traces back to its roots in the Peoria Presbyterian Church, where the Langford family's humble effort to aid homeless teenagers laid the groundwork for this initiative. Over the years, the organization expanded its reach, becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2014 and moving to larger quarters in Sun City, donated by Eve's Place. The continuous growth led to our current location, rented from the Lion's Foundation, facilitating a larger storage capacity for pallets of food.

Today, HART Pantry covers a network of 8 high schools in PUSD, 6 high schools in the Dysart school district, and additional schools, community centers, and organizations. Our growth and operations are possible due to the generous support of local corporations, churches, city officials, service organizations, and the wider community. Through fundraising, grants, and donations, we sustain our vital work, ensuring that all supplies—whether donated or purchased—are available to fulfill the needs of the at-risk teens we serve.

At HART Pantry, our commitment remains resolute: to provide consistent, comprehensive support to at-risk teens, enabling them to navigate their challenges and flourish in their education and personal growth.

To keep expenses low no salaries or volunteers expenses are paid.