Reasons for Needing Food Assistance
Reasons for needing food assistance vary. Here are the most common:
Some people are working at low paying jobs, going from welfare to work, are involved in job training, or going to school to better themselves and become self-reliant.
Seniors on fixed incomes of $400-600 per month. When they can get $100 worth of groceries each month, they have more money to purchase their medications and pay those higher winter utility bills.
Mentally or physically disabled people living on fixed incomes of $350-600 per month.
Individuals who have suffered a temporary crisis such as illness or injury. Some are unemployed, temporarily unemployed or facing a financial crisis.
Terminally ill people and cancer treatment patients access the food bank. With our help, those suffering from a life-altering illness can concentrate on their quality of life, themselves and their loved ones—not about choosing between paying for their medical prescriptions, living expenses and food.
How Does Food Assistance Work?
We have many people in our community that run into a short term financial crisis and may need food assistance once, normally to bridge the food gap until payday rolls around. Anybody can get one box and just sign for it and we may never see them again. We don't want to make people jump through hoops for one box. It's already humbling enough to ask.
If a household is going to need ongoing help, due to a fixed income, low-income wages, terminal or chronic illness, loss of a job, etc., they come into our office after getting their initial food box. We have a client intake person who sits down with each household and discusses their current situation and what's going on.
Of the 6,450 households we served last fiscal year, about 85% had a monthly income less than half of what the income eligibility guidelines allow. The other 15% were financially settled, but something happened in their lives that knocked them down, hard and quick:
- Reduced work hours
Households who need ongoing help are issued a food box card that allows them to receive a certain amount of boxes. They can take that card to any of the 20 pantries throughout Klamath and Lake Counties. Each time they receive a box, the pantry volunteer punches their card. Each household signs for their food box. Those sign-in sheets come back to the food bank monthly. The client intake person enters those names into a database so we can track how many boxes a household gets and where people are getting a food box. With limited resources, this system allows us to have a decent amount of control over the program. It also helps to keep the quality of a food box intact.
"The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."
El Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos prohíbe la discriminación a clientes, empleados y solicitantes de empleo a causa de su raza, color de piel, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad, sexo, identidad de género, religión, represalia, y cuando sea aplicable, creencias políticas, estado marital, estado familiar o paterno, orientación sexual, o por los ingresos totales o parciales derivados de cualquier programa de asistencia pública, o información genética protegida, para el propósito de empleo o cualquier programa o actividades dirigidas o solventadas por el Departamento. (No todas las causas de discriminación prohibidas son aplicables a todos los programas y/o actividades de empleo).
Individuos con problemas de audición o del habla pueden contactar al departamento USDA mediante el servicio federal de redifusión al teléfono (800) 877-8339; o en Español al (800) 845-6136.
USDA es un proveedor y empleador de oportunidad equitativa.