Mesa Welfare Complex: One church’s program to help the needy

Mesa Leadership toured the Mesa Welfare Complex on March 24. The complex, located at 235 S. El Dorado in Mesa, includes the Bishops’ Storehouse, Mesa Arizona Employment Resources Center, Cannery and Home Storage Center—to help individuals and families in our community find assistance and temporary relief in times of need.

At the Bishops’ Storehouse, church-service missionaries and volunteers from 70 Arizona stakes help distribute commodities to the poor and needy as requested by bishops. The provident living website explains:  www.providentliving.org

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This area has bulk items for sale to anyone to provide “rainy day” food storage.

Home storage center items 2016

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This warehouse has food items grown locally or on other church-owned property throughout the United States.

As bishops for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints care for the poor and needy they should: Seek out the poor; promote personal responsibility; sustain life, not lifestyle; provide commodities before cash; give work opportunities (from the website).

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Those needing assistance bring an order form to this “grocery store” where they receive the items at no cost. An order should give enough food for two weeks.

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Here fully stocked shelves contain everything from canned goods, to meat, produce, personal hygiene products, laundry detergent, pancake mix, pasta, sugar, flour and other items.

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Other areas of the Welfare Complex include the Employment Resource Center, which is open to anyone. There are a variety of free workshops offered in the center, from professional career workshops to resume writing and even self-employment workshops, to help individuals at whatever level they may be.

The key services and resources that employment resource centers offer are:

  • Extensive career planning assistance and job search coaching for individuals.
  • The Career Workshop, which teaches proven job search skills for people of all vocational and professional backgrounds.
  • The Self-Employment Workshop, which teaches small business planning, marketing, and development skills.
  • The church’s employment resource services website, www.ldsjobs.org, which provides tools to connect job seekers with employers and job openings, job search and interviewing tips.

Another area is the Mesa Cannery, which is one of six canneries in the country that produce about 90 percent of the items distributed at Bishops’ Storehouses nationwide.

Church welfare canneries and food processing plants produce quality food such as the following for bishops’ storehouses:

  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meats
  • Canned soups and chili
  • Bottled jams, fruits, and sauces
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Milk and other dairy products

When not producing food for bishops’ storehouses, canneries offer opportunities to individuals and families to come and process a selection of products for their own family home storage.

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The grain silos store thousands of bushels of wheat for emergency use.

I didn’t get a group photo this time but those attending the tour were: Julie Bigler, Michael Book, John Gilliam and Jill Adair.

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