Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Need remains high; resources decrease

Attendance at the Friendship Center Food Pantry went “through the roof” in October (see graph). 

While this September was just a 26-household increase from September in 2012, this October we had our highest monthly attendance ever: 782 families in five weeks. This is compared to last October, when we had 640 households in five weeks. 

That's 142 households more -- like an extra Wednesday of visiting families!

Now, SNAP (food stamp) benefits, are being cut back. What will we see in November, and what can we do about it? Come to the November meeting of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative to see what’s going on. More below.

Interfaith Action meeting to discuss decrease in SNAP benefits

The Friday, Nov. 15, meeting of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative (NBIAI) will focus on SNAP (food stamp) benefits, including the decrease in monthly benefit amounts in November.
A funding boost passed by Congress in 2009 expired at the end of October. Households will see benefit cuts ranging from $11 to $36 per month.
Our presenter will be Michael Morelli, benefits paralegal with Community Legal Aid in Pittsfield. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in the Eagle Street room at the First Baptist Church of North Adams. All are welcome to attend.
In addition to the decrease in benefits, Mr. Morelli will also provide information about applying for SNAP, general rules about these benefits such as income eligibility and household units, and the rights that SNAP applicants and recipients have, such as appealing denials, reductions and terminations.
For more information about this meeting and recent NBIAI events, visit http://northernberkshireinterfaith.blogspot.com

October meeting a learning experience

Bear McHugh (pictured above), of Berkshire AHEC, gave us a very helpful presentation about suicide prevention at our October Interfaith Action meeting. Bear is a great guy and we learned much from him. He was a particularly good sport as he came to our July meeting at which the heat was incredible and only three people were present. So we rescheduled to October, and are very glad we did.

I have much more to write about, but no time (or energy) now. God Bless You All,


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