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What’s New at South County Community Services?

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Larry Forsyth, painter, carpenter, and board member of SCCS, helps to transform the basement level of the Community Center in Vicksburg.

Matter of Balance

Many older adults experience a fear of falling which limits their activities which can result in physical weakness and social isolation. Matter of Balance is a program offered by the Area Agency on Agency which is evidence based and downright fun.

Rexalee Goecker and Aileen Greanya are the well-trained and enthusiastic leaders for this fine program. The next session begins on April 21 with classes running on Monday and Thursday mornings from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The session ends on May 22. Casses take place at the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Call 649-2901 to register.

Simply Giving: A Powerful Tool in the War on Hunger

Meijer launched its SPRING Simply Giving campaign March 30 which will run through May 12.

Thanks to the generosity of Meijer customers and Meier corporate leaders, the past 16 campaigns have raised over $8 million in food donations for more than 200 food pantries in the Midwest. Customers are encouraged to purchase Simply Giving cards at Meijer which are then transformed into food-only gift cards and given to the local food pantry selected by the store.

Fortunately, South County Community Services (SCCS) has been adopted by the Shaver Road store and has received thousands of dollars over the last several years.

These cards are used by agency staff and volunteers to purchase foods not available from donations and our partnership with Loaves and Fishes. SCCS is particularly excited that this program allows the agency, on occasion, to purchase fresh meat for pantry clients.

As an adopted nonprofit, the agency receives 250 cards with its unique bar code to distribute in their communities. This helps them track usage and identify exemplary food pantry partners.

Thanks to amazing community support, SCCS has been considered an exemplary partner in the past and would like to join these ranks once again.

One of the ways SCCS has been so successful is because of the very popular DOUBLE MATCH DAYS at Meijer. On April 11 and April 12, Meijer will match $20 for every card purchased.

For those who would like to help SCCS with money and food, this is an exemplary way to do so. Cards are now available from SCCS for families, church groups and anyone else concerned about providing hungry families with nutritious food. Call 649-2901 for more information or to arrange card delivery.

Other Opportunities to Help

There is enough for all, yet hunger persists is the signature comment that sums up the mission of area churches who support CROP WALK. CROP WALK organizers and participants work hard to address the need around the world and at home.

SCCS is proud to be the local recipient of 25 percent of the funds raised each year. These local monies are designated to support the food pantries in Vicksburg and in Schoolcraft at the Eagles Nest.

This year’s walk is scheduled for April 27. Registration begins at 1 p.m. at Vicksburg United Methodist Church and the walk begins at 2 p.m. The full walking course is about three miles, but shorter options and rocking chairs are also available for participants.

It’s a great way to enjoy spring with friends and family, while supporting an excellent cause. Pledge packets are available from area churches and at SCCS. Call 649-2901 to request a packet.

SCCS also benefits from the local Letter Carriers’ Food Drive on Saturday, May 10. Donations of non-perishable food may be left for pick-up at your mailbox. This drive results in a huge influx of food each year.

Donors are encouraged to check expiration dates because anything received after a use-by date will be dumped due to food pantry safety regulations. Persons unsure about food expiration dating may contact SCCS at 649-2901 for further guidance.

Big excitement on the Lower Level: Please welcome new resource team partners from the Kalamazoo County Department of Human Services (DHS).

Thanks to support from the Vicksburg Foundation and many hard working community volunteers, the lower level of the SCCS building has been transformed to provide offices for the Michigan Department of Human Services, the agency that provides a safety net for low-income individuals and families. Temporary assistance, including cash, food, child care, medical, heat and utilities, energy and weatherization, home repairs, home ownership, relocation and burial are part of the DHS services menu. Visit http://www.michigan.gov/mibridges to check eligibility. The agency’s mission also includes protection and services for vulnerable children and adults.

Two staff members, an eligibility specialist and a case manager, from the Kalamazoo County Department of Human Services office will be available five days a week for full service to South County residents beginning in early April.

This satellite office will have its own entrance at the corner of Prairie and Main. There is also barrier-free access and special parking spaces on Prairie Street.     The goal is to better serve South County residents who face transportation and technology barriers that limit access to assistance.

SCCS is planning to have an open house in May to allow residents to get acquainted with this agency.

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