Garner Area Ministries programs.

The programs at Garner Area Ministries will not only provide for basic needs such as food or energy bills, but the non-profit will also direct clients to credit counseling as job placement services. The assistance ranges from surplus commodities from USDA Department of Agriculture to emergency funds for housing expenses, such as rent. Also, as noted, all of this aid in Wake County zip codes of 27529, 27603 and 27610 is combined with case management.

Garner Area Ministries food and nutrition programs are widely used by people of all ages that live in the zip codes. They can help prevent hunger through emergency assistance. There are partnerships with the USDA to feed the working poor as well as several pantries that help families in need.

Volunteers and staff help clients by providing nutrition information, a free bag of groceries, shopping tips and ways to reduce the risk of an emergency. The staff will also help parents apply for public aid, such as SNAP food stamps in North Carolina. By people turning to the pantry run by Garner Area Ministries, it will help many avoid running out of food from month to month.

The contents of each bag of groceries will vary. This is mostly driven by donation levels. However, food is usually provided for at least a five day period, but the pantry will try to offer more when possible. The contents may include vegetables, dairy, fruits, pasta products, cereals, baby formula, peanut butter, dry milk and more. These commodities and donations are available in Wake County to help many individuals from running out of food from month to month.

Garner Area Ministries will also work to address the underlying cause of what may have lead to hunger. So to this end, Nutrition Education is combined with budgeting tips. This is offered by well trained staff in both one to one counseling as well as group workshops. The goal is to help people meet their nutritional needs by spending their income more carefully.

A thrift store is also open 6 days per week at 562 Village Court in Garner. This will have a variety of items for sale. The ministries may have clothing for men, women, or children. There can be cribs for newborns, low cost school supplies, and much more.




Housing, energy bill, and homeless assistance deal with the many factors that can lead to a financial crisis. As part of this assessment, there will be an analysis of the household's income as well as expenses, including their lease and mortgage. This will help break the cycle of poverty in the region.

Solutions to an eviction or foreclosure offered by Garner Area Ministries include mediation to solve disputes with property owners and counseling for domestic violence. Case managers from the agency counsel households on options, including grants for paying rent or mortgage modifications. They will also educate renters on their rights and responsibilities and coordinate with other providers in the community to help individuals and families obtain or maintain housing.

When it comes to financial aid, for either utility bills or rent, there are programs in Wake County such as Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Another option will be government grants or other funding for rental expenses. These, when offered among with Budget Counseling, Tenant / landlord advocacy, and tenant education, can go a long way to stopping homelessness.

Self-sufficiency and educational support in Garner

Incorporated in the educational services above is information on Individual Development Account (IDA) as well as general Financial Literacy. These are intended to help people both earn money and save money as well.

IDA is a matched savings program for low income residents of the Garner region. It will allow clients to deposit money each month into a special savings account. The money needs to be used to buy a home, post secondary education, or a small business. The program will also involve staff offer advice on maximizing their savings. It is a toll used for combating poverty in eastern Wake County that focuses on meeting the most immediate needs of low income families.





The Financial Literacy is available as a form of counseling. Participants will receive tips on developing a spending plan. This involves basic budgeting as well as discovering a money personality. Garner Area Ministries clients will learn how to track income and expenses as well as developing goals.

Garner Area Ministries also stresses employment as a key to gaining financial independence. With a still challenging job market in many parts of the country, clients need to have the appropriate skills, so training can be arranged. After all, a higher income can go a long way towards leading to independence.

The programs from Garner Area Ministries will offer other support as well. There can be help with permanent housing, applications to weatherization for saving on utility bills, loan programs, and more. For details, families need 558 Village Court, Garner, North Carolina 27529. Call (919) 772-9100.




By Jon McNamara

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