NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

December 23, 2009

Amesbury Center in need of pantry food

To the editor:

We wish to extend our deepest appreciation to all who've supported Community Action Inc.'s Amesbury Center during a particularly difficult 2009. Donations of food, clothing and cash have allowed our staff to keep pace with the growing needs among local families coping with a very stubborn economy, rising housing costs and joblessness. Unemployment across the region has doubled over the same period last year, forcing many moderate-income families to turn to us for help for the very first time. Without individual giving, foundation support, corporate donations and the support of local parishes and civic groups, we would be unable to meet every need.

Community Action, Inc. has maintained a presence in Amesbury for more than 25 years providing our seacoast neighbors with direct relief in the form of rent, mortgage and utility assistance, homeless aid, help with utilities, food and clothing — in short, we are there to help families with basic needs, maintain a safe, warm home and put food on their tables. In 2009, we were able to provide more than $50,000 in emergency rent or utility assistance, prevent 10 local families from becoming homeless, assist one family displaced by fire and relocate seven families living in unsafe, unhealthy environments. Our pantry provided 500 families each month with food, and we connected hundreds of residents to heating assistance, WIC and SNAP benefits.

This kind of support would not be possible without community giving, and we are truly heartened by the spirit, kindness and generosity of our donors year-round. Right now, our Amesbury Center has an urgent need for pantry food — cereal, soups and vegetables along with cash donations to rebuild our homeless aid fund so that we may continue helping local families facing homelessness. Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Community Action, Inc., 11 School St., Amesbury, MA 01913. The Amesbury Center is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and appointments may be scheduled by calling 978-388-2570.

Best wishes to all for a peaceful holiday season.

Elaine M. Miller

Community Services director

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