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Phoenix chef wins Pay It Forward Award

He helped create a food program where he and volunteers create meals for seniors in our...
He helped create a food program where he and volunteers create meals for seniors in our community.(Arizona's Family)
Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:30 PM MST
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Sponsored - Pay It Forward is sponsored by America First Credit Union, Ken Garff and Super Star Car Wash.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — We decided to Pay It Forward in Phoenix to Moises Mejia, a volunteer at Esperanza. He helped create a food program where he and volunteers create meals for seniors in our community. “It’s heartwarming to know that there are people out there that are willing to take time from their busy schedule to give to their community and to have someone who understands the population that we serve. By their culture and their background and that sometimes would do for his grandparents he will do this for other grandparents,” Maria Valenzuela said.

Every Monday, Mejia puts together a menu and gathers his team of volunteers to help prepare these meals. “This kitchen wouldn’t function without him. It’s a treat to see the people receive the food, it’s a pleasure to work for him, he knows what he is doing, and he keeps all in line,” volunteer Jerry Burt said.

Because of his hard work, the staff at Esperanza wanted to pay it forward to him. “Hi Moises - How are you? We have a little something for you - Maria is going to give it to you,” said Paul Horton.

“So on behalf of Esperanza and the community they serve, we would like to present you with the Pay It Forward gift for the hours and dedication and everything you put into this. Without you, we wouldn’t be here - thank you,” Valenzuela said.

The mission of Esperanca is to provide health education and recourses for those underserved in our community, and Mejia loves to help. “It’s pretty amazing, it really is. I really do. I personally get a lot of it,” said Mejia. If you would like to nominate someone for our Pay It Forward Award, just fill out the nomination form here.