Realities that became clear in 2020 and, by all accounts, will prevail for the next few years, have informed how we plan to help our Community in 2021 and beyond. Whether they’re seniors in assisted living, hourly wage-earning families living in multi-generational households, or the newly unemployed confronted with joblessness due to Covid-related layoffs, we’re ready to take our mission to new heights.
It Would Be Unconscionable to “Un-See” What We Saw in 2020
– More than 1 in 14 seniors live in poverty locally
– The working poor, the bulk of our clients, still live on small fixed incomes that in no way cover typical monthly expenses
– When more than 30% of their income is earmarked for housing, nutritional food often becomes unaffordable for local seniors and others who are physically or economically vulnerable
– Food insecurity remains a huge problem in our Community with each passing year, as basic nutritional needs go unmet for children through seniors
– Population subgroups already strained economically are especially susceptible to the negative impact of unexpected events, like this most recent pandemic
– Many in our Community are homebound and have limited transportation options
– Social isolation, loneliness, and depression have spiked in the last 14 months
So What Do We Do NOW?
– Grow our inventory of food and other essentials so that not a single vulnerable, isolated, or senior resident in need of food is turned away — and allow them to shop twice a month.
– Don’t stop offering grocery deliveries to our isolated and most vulnerable clients still impacted by the pandemic.
– Expand and deepen the impact of our senior volunteer effort. We must find a way to get evenmore of the handiworks and custom gifts our senior program volunteers make into the hands and homes of those who need to feel they’ve not been forgotten!
We See Glimmers on the Horizon…
And look forward to the day very soon when our outreach will expand anew: allowing clients and their families safely inside our space to shop for exactly what they want and need, whether it’s in the Grocery and Clothing Store, in the Back-to-School Pop-Up, or in the Holiday Gift Shoppe; reopening our Volunteerism Programs in full and giving the Community the opportunity to be of service; supporting the newly jobless and youth through Job Smart, our employment readiness program; and welcoming the Community back into Gift Shoppe on State Street in search of donated but unique treasures, like clothing, jewelry, home furnishings and more!