As you may be aware by now, Community Assistance Council is celebrating 40 years of service in the south Kansas City area. We are planning a big celebration in September and we want you and your friends to come! So mark your calendars for:
Thursday, September 29, 2016
We are so excited to be celebrating this with all our supporters! Joel Nichols, from Kansas City Live! will be emcee’ing the event, and Kansas City, Missouri Police Chief Darryl Forté is our guest speaker.
To make sure you get an invitation, please let us know your address. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
State Street Comes Through
We were surprised last month when a call from State Street Inc., was received. They had heard of our agency through summer interns and decided to do a summer drive for toilet paper to donate to us. They were just calling to see when they would be able to drop off 2,400 rolls! Thanks so much to all the employees of State Street and their help in stocking this much needed pantry item!
Food Equality Initiative and Community Assistance Council Open Missouri’s First Allergy and Gluten Free Pantry
Food Equality Initiative (FEI) and Community Assistance Council (CAC) are pleased to announce a partnership allowing families with food allergies and Celiac Disease more access to the foods needed to maintain their health. Beginning Friday, July 22, 2016, pantry services will begin for diagnosed families living in Missouri.
Emily Brown, Chief Executive Office of FEI, says, “After opening our first location in Overland Park, Kansas, we quickly realized the transportation barrier for families in Missouri to reach our pantry. Common interests connected us with CAC, and talks began, resulting in a partnership to establish CAC-SAFE.”
CAC-SAFE is the designation for those allergy-friendly and gluten-free foods that will be distributed through CAC. “A separate pantry name was needed, to help our staff and volunteers become cognizant of dietary requirements. SAFE stands for ‘Suitable Allergy Friendly Edibles’, and is a quick reference to those families using these services,” Carol Bird Owsley, Executive Director of CAC explained.
Pantry services begin July 22, 2016, and appointments will be required. All families are screened through FEI. Eligibility requirements include income guidelines, a doctor’s diagnosis, and a physician’s signed diet order. At this time, services are only available to families diagnosed with food allergies or Celiac Disease.
“Families experiencing these chronic allergies and Celiac Disease learn firsthand how expensive required foods are to purchase. Providing pantry options for them to shop for these foods takes away barriers that keep them from living healthy lives,” Ms. Brown states. “For families first diagnosed, there is a huge learning curve regarding what is good for their family member, and what is bad. The stress can be overwhelming.”
Ms. Owsley agreed, “Any way we can help a family—such as offering services closer to their homes, enable them to better deal with the other concerns in their lives. We love this partnership, where we can use FEI’s expertise and knowledge, while helping Missouri families.”
CAC offers a variety of services to area residents, including a food pantry, clothes closet, rent/utility assistance and a host of seasonal programs. As the only social service agency physically located in south Kansas City, Missouri, they will be celebrating 40 years of service in September.
A formal ribbon cutting ceremony with the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is planned for Tuesday, August 2, 2016, for the formal opening of the pantry. A presentation of the need and impact to the community will be made with tours available.
Fiscal Year Results – For those of you that like numbers, here’s a breakdown of what CAC accomplished in our last fiscal year (June 1, 2015-May 31, 2016).
We provided $376,463.13 in services to 923 households with 2,469 individuals.
30% ($123,854) of our services were for food assistance
50% of individuals served were either children or seniors
There is still an unmet need for rent/utility assistance of over $175,000.
Meals on Wheels - We still have openings for Meals on Wheels drivers. Our drivers are all volunteer, to help keep the cost of the program manageable. The funds not used for transportation can be allocated to food to serve more homebound senior citizens. This volunteer opportunity gives back in so many ways.
Shirley, one of our clients living in a senior living community, says it well, "I live with people my own age, I socialize with people my own age. Seeing my friends (drivers) with my meal helps me remember there are other views to this world. It keeps me connected. I love hearing their thoughts about daily events. Without them, my world is so much smaller."
Can you help? Contact our office for more info on this fantastic opportunity to help others.
School Supply Distribution to Start in August – School supplies for families in our service area will begin August 1st. Last year, we provided 190 children with a backpack, school supplies and personal hygiene products. We can still use numerous items of school supplies:
Wide-ruled paper, pencils, red pencils, colored (washable) markers, black markers, highlighters, post-it notes, erasers, composition notebooks, spiral notebooks, construction paper, crayons (24 count), glue sticks, glue bottles, folders (with and without prongs), scissors, school boxes, pencil sharpeners, pencil pouches, index cards (5x7 and 4x6), and rulers.
In addition, we are also trying to provide Kleenex, baggies (gallon and quart sizes), hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes. We DO NOT need backpacks at this time. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Volunteer Focus – Let’s give a shout out to Shirley and Jerry Snell. Shirley and Jerry have been volunteering for CAC for over 20 years. Jerry started out this family effort and drives a Meals on Wheels route two times each week, and when Shirley retired, she began helping us in the food pantry once a week. Both of them are dedicated to CAC, and help us out in numerous ways with seasonal programs as well, such as the Holiday Store, school supply distribution and special projects. We can’t say enough about these two (except perhaps-they could slow down enough for us to get a picture!)
Interested in volunteering? Contact Pam Meek, 816-763-3277, x108.
All our volunteers go through an interview process, to make sure that the opportunities available match their passion. We want to make these tasks rewarding to all.
Meals on Wheels Drivers – We are currently in need of drivers to deliver meals to 10-15 homebound seniors once a week. This is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community for only 1-2 hours of time. Must have a valid driver’s license and car insurance and a background check is completed.
Food Pantry Volunteer – We have an opening in our pantry for a volunteer to pack food for clients on Thursdays. This takes about 3 hours of time, and you must be able to lift 20 pounds.
Donation Pick Up Drivers – We have certain organizations that donate to us on a regular basis, where pick up is needed monthly. Do you have about 2-3 hours of time once a month to help us bring food and clothing to our office? Must have a valid driver’s license and car insurance.
Other Ways You Can Help –
Financial Donations - Your financial contribution allows us to assist area families in many ways. From rent or utility assistance, needed transportation, home maintenance issues and help with unexpected needs, your donations help your community. You can send us a check or donate through our website, www.cackc.org, or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cackc
Food Pantry – We are in need of green beans and corn. These canned vegetables provide the basis for many of our clients’ food choices. If you can take up a neighborhood collection or bring some yourself, any food donations are appreciated. Thank you!
We have refrigerator and freezer space available for meat, cheese,and other products you may want to donate.