All families, regardless of income status, are feeling the effects of inflation. However, price hikes are particularly devastating to lower-income households. Many of those served by Interfaith Social Services struggle to purchase basic necessities. Rising costs of everything from meat and fresh vegetables to gasoline and housing are draining monthly budgets faster than ever.
Interfaith’s budget is also feeling the impact: Our food budget has increased 50% compared to last year, we have hired more therapists to keep up with demand for mental health services, and we increased funding to our HomeSafe program to make sure those who are on the verge of eviction can stay in their homes.
Food Pantry – The USDA has reported that the average cost of groceries has increased almost 10% this year. Our clients shouldn’t have to choose between purchasing meat, milk, or bread because they can no longer buy all three. Interfaith’s food pantry helps fill that gap.
One of the households served by our pantry is a single mom of a 13-year-old son and her disabled grandmother. The mom and her son ride the bus each month to collect food from the pantry. When the mom came in last month, she shared that she had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had just come from her chemo treatment and mentioned that it is really taking a toll on her, but she knew she needed food in the house to feed her son. “No one would want my life right now, but I will be ok…I have to be ok. I am so thankful for your food pantry.”
New Directions Counseling Center – New Directions has been a vital community resource for decades. With the repercussions of the pandemic, we are currently serving record setting numbers of clients. We strive to eliminate all barriers, including financial ones, and get clients into treatment as soon as possible.
One of our therapists shared that she has been seeing a woman who is raising three young children alone after her husband died suddenly. She, as well as the children, are having a difficult time grieving their loss. In addition, the youngest has been acting out in school and is very angry. Our therapists have been helping her through a healthy grieving process and equipping the children with strategies and interventions to navigate their feelings.
HomeSafe – HomeSafe’s goal is to keep families “safe at home.” We accomplish this by providing emergency financial assistance to prevent eviction and utility shut offs. We also help our clients, some of whom are homeless, move into safer, more affordable housing.
HomeSafe recently provided one month’s rent for a young mother with significant health issues. She has several young children, including a newborn. Her mother had been helping to pay her rent but was no longer able. “I want to say thank you very much for all your help. You were able to take some weight off my shoulders and give me some relief. At times it’s hard to find just a little bit of help to get you through and I am very grateful that you were able to give me a hand.”
Please give generously to help us address the challenges that our clients and our organization are facing due to this economy. Help us to ensure we can meet the basic needs of the thousands we serve on the South Shore. Interfaith’s programs are only possible because of the support that we receive from people like you.
On behalf of the thousands of people we serve, THANK YOU.
Executive Director, Interfaith Social Services