Agencies do their best to keep food on the table as cutbacks grow

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Lee Ann Sides Garrett
Chris Steinauer thought he would have no problem finding a job after being discharged from the Army in July. But the 24-year-old Iraq war veteran and mechanic has found that is not the case.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” says Steinauer.
Despite his parents’ help with bills, Steinauer’s car was repossessed. His parents are thinking of giving up the farmhouse they rent. They might move into their camper for the summer so they can help Steinauer, his brother and sister.
Steinauer’s brother, a Freightliner employee, will take a cut in pay and lose his supervisory position in the layoffs.
Steinauer and his mother went to the Salvation Army for help, and he received several bags of food.
“This will help a lot,” Steinauer says. “Not having to pay for food will help me in getting my car back. That’s money I can spend where I need it.”
Steinauer is not alone. In the wake of the slumping economy and rising unemployment, agencies like the Salvation Army are assisting more people.
Like Steinauer, thousands of unemployed and laid-off workers are seeking assistance as their funds dwindle.
Major Robin Starr of the Salvation Army says his agency is seeing an increase in people seeking assistance. The organization offers several services: special assistance for laid-off workers, food, financial assistance and clothing. Starr advises people to seek help before things get out of control.
“They need to ask for help as soon as they start getting behind,” says Starr. “Don’t wait until they get several months behind.”
There are many agencies in Rowan County offering help with food, clothing and some financial assistance to laid off and unemployed workers, seniors on fixed incomes as well as those who are struggling. Here is a list of agencies that can help Rowan residents who need food. Many offer other forms of help as well. The list includes the agencies, the services they offer and what applicants need to bring to apply. NC 211
Statewide agency provides information about services across the state. Dial 211 from any regular phone (not cell phones).
Angel Food Ministries
Nationwide network of churches providing low-cost food to struggling people.
Agency offers box of about $65 worth of food for $30. Different menus each month include fresh, frozen and packaged food. No purchase limit for boxes. No applications or qualifications to purchase. Food stamps accepted. Order must be placed with local Angel Food host site. Orders can be placed online. One box generally feeds family of four for one week or single senior citizen for about a month. Orders taken by phone or some sites take Internet orders. 5,000 host sites nationwide.
Rowan County locations:
– Salisbury: Word of Power Church, 1440 N Long St., Salisbury, 704-636-1310
– China Grove: Community Enrichment Charities of the Carolinas, Sloan Lake Community Church, 140 Glory Road, China Grove. 704-857-3311
– Cleveland: Cornerstone Baptist Church, 200 Clearview Road, Cleveland, 704-245-4005,
– Kannapolis: Kannapolis Church of God, 2211 West A St., Kannapolis, 704-932-6582
Rowan Helping Ministries
Location: 226 N. Long St.
Phone: 704-637-6838
– Food Pantry open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and every fourth Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Food assistance given only once every 60 days per family. Laid off workers, elderly over 60, disabled and those on worker’s compensation may qualify for food every 30 days.
Documentation: Social Security card, picture ID for all adults in the household, income verification, check stub, proof of Social Security, disability or unemployment. Those not working must have registered with the Employment Security Commission.
– Soup Kitchen: Noon-1 p.m. every day. No questions asked, no qualifications.
– Financial Assistance: Help for emergency situations with utility bills, rent or medicine. Must have eviction or cutoff notice on current bill.
Rowan Helping Ministries West
Location: 781 Grampion Road, Mount Ulla (Old Mount Ulla Volunteer Fire Station)
Phone: 704-637-6838,
– Food Pantry:Open second Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon for food only.
Open on third Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon for financial assistance and food.
Open fourth Thursday, 3-6p.m., for financial assistance and food.
Salvation Army
Location: 620 Bringle Ferry Road
Phone: 704-636-6491.
– Food Pantry: Open Monday-Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:45-1:45 p.m. Assistance given every 30 days depending on circumstance.
Documentation: Valid local ID, Social Security cards for all household members and proof of income.
– Financial Assistance: For rent, you must bring a landlord statement or eviction notice. For help with utilities, bring cutoff notice on your current bill.
– Clothing: Assistance given once every six months per family. Clothing for job interviews depending on circumstances.
– Kerosene and oil assistance: Need receipt for past delivery or landlord statement that home is heated with kerosene or oil.
Appointments available for working individuals 2-4 p.m. daily.
– Additional funds may be available specifically for laid-off workers. Make sure to let them know you are laid off.
Main Street Mission
Location: 306 S Main St., China Grove
Phone: 704-855-2909
– Food Pantry and Clothing Closet: Open Monday and Friday, 1:30-4 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30-11 a.m.
Documentation: Need photo ID, social security card for each family member, proof of residence and income information.
– Hot Meal : Every Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., no qualifications.
Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church,
Location: 719 S. Caldwell St., Salisbury
– Food Pantry: Open Tuesday and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Blackwelder Park Baptist Church
Location: 2299 N. Main St., Kannapolis
Phone: 704-932-4266
– Food Pantry: Wednesday and Thursday, 8.-11 a.m.
Documentation: Need valid local ID, Social Security cards and proof of residency and income.
Kannapolis Food Pantry
Location: West Point Baptist Church, 1100 Pine St., Kannapolis
Phone: 704-933-2631
For Kannapolis residents only.
– Food Pantry: Saturday, 9-11:30 a.m.
Documentation: Local photo ID, Social Security cards, proof of residence. Non-English-speaking applicants need to bring someone who speaks English.
Rowan County Department of Social Services
Location: 1236 W Innes St.
Phone: 704-633-4921.
Applicants for all DSS services are advised to apply by appointment for services before assuming they don’t qualify.
– Food stamps: Food and Nutrition Services program helps individuals in buying food for their household.
Documentation for food stamps: Verification of identity, household members, residence, income from wages, (past four weeks pay stubs), money received from any source, assets such as bank accounts, receipts for medical expenses when the household contains a member who is age 60 or older or is disabled, Social Security numbers for each household member, verification of shelter and utility expenses.
– Crisis Intervention Program: Help for heating/cooling emergencies.
– WorkFirst Family Assistance: Short term financial/medical assistance while household head gains job skills and seeks employment.
– Emergency assistance for laid off workers: County funds allocated by county commissioners . Must be laid off and unemployed with living expenses that exceed income, resources less than $2,000 per person younger than 60, income less than 150 percent of federal income poverty guidelines and have applied for all other public assistance for which they may qualify. Limited funds. Must be a true emergency. Maximum $600 per family/household. Can pay rent payments if applicant has eviction notice, mortgage payment if applicant has eviction notice, utility payments with disconnect notice, vehicle payments, repairs or auto insurance premiums if applicant is actively seeking employment, medicines, up to two months of health care premiums.
Documentation for Emergency Assistance: Insurance card, verification of emergency, picture ID, Social Security cards for all household members.
Business & Community Center
Location: 1400 W. Bank St., Salisbury
Phone: 704-638-2154
Mortgage assistance for laid-off workers.
Call for appointment, documentation instructions will be given.
Steinauer left the Salvation Army with his food planning to have his taxes done so he could get his car back.
“I’m glad,” he says, “that there are places like this where I can get help.”
In addition to these agencies, many churches in Rowan County provide different types of assistance. Local churches can help fill in the gaps between assistance given by specific agencies. Call any agencies or churches and ask questions. Help is out there.