As a component of our holistic approach to poverty we offer two hunger relief programs. One provides immediate nutrition to families facing crisis; food is provided at no cost directly to those in need through our Emergency Food Pantries. The other is a food subsidy model that is sustainable and fills the gap for families between food pantry assistance and being able to afford going to a traditional grocery store. The Member Share Grocery program makes it possible for families who qualify by income to regularly obtain food and hygiene-related items by subsidizing their grocery budget by approximately 70%.
The Member Share Grocery Program serves families who fall at 200% of the federal poverty level or below. Clients receive a membership card (free of charge) which allows them to utilize this program. Currently 50% of the food available is purchased and 50% is donated by our Champions of Compassion Partners. Clients make a contribution towards the cost of the food which offsets the cost of fuel and handling and helps to fund the life skill classes, educational opportunities and crisis care programs outlined below.
These programs result in families breaking the cycle of poverty, reducing dependence on welfare and making a lasting difference in the lives of our clients
This program is for clients facing crisis situations assisting them in stabilizing their lives in a crisis situation, helping them to assess their emotional, financial and educational needs. Eligible clients meet with Crisis Center staff who evaluate and address their immediate needs, provide them access to our Emergency Food Pantries, assistance programs, referral and casework services.
In partnership with State Agencies we host computer labs, open to the general public, with staff (both in house and state employees). Clients may apply for and check the status of their Food Stamp, Medicaid and Temporary Cash Assistance cases. By offering access to these programs, we can stabilize families, preparing them to tackle core issues. This is also a gateway program which provides the opportunity to move clients into our long term transitional programs.
All of our classes and groups are offered to the general public, free of charge. Topics include: Money Management, Nutrition, Employment Skills, Computer Literacy and Healthy Relationships. Classes are facilitated by staff, local agencies and volunteers with specific expertise. Passport to Prosperity is our long term educational program for adults. In combination with On the Job Training, Passport is offered on a full time basis to those participating in the state’s Welfare Transition Program. These classes are designed to address the root causes of poverty and food insecurity with the goal of breaking the cycle, reducing dependence on welfare programs.
Our job training program combines classroom training, on-the-job training, employment assistance and ongoing job coaching with the goal of moving the participants from poverty to self-sufficiency. The program prepares participants for current job opportunities and vocational training in careers that provide the greatest opportunities for employment.