Imperial County Catholic Charities assistance programs.
A leading social service charity in the greater Imperial County area is the Catholic Charities. The non-profit has been serving the less fortunate for a number of years. While many programs are available, a priority is on satisfying basic needs.
When it comes to addressing a crisis, this is when items such as free food may be issued. Or families facing a disconnection of their utilities can apply for government grants from LIHEAP for heating or energy bills. Other crisis programs include eviction prevention, discounted prescription medications, as well as care arranged for seniors.
Both groceries and other items, such as personal hygiene, may be distributed from the Community Food Pantry. Catholic Charities of El Centro provides a bag of free food those who do not currently have the financial means to meet their nutritional needs on their own.
The contents will vary based on donations or even the season. There may be fruits, vegetables, milk, or similar goods. The food at the center is collected by area churches, fund raisers, service organizations, schools, numerous businesses, and individuals.
During the holiday, Christmas food baskets may also be available at the pantry, and more details are below. Anyone in need of assistance or that is facing hunger and that resides in the service area is eligible for help.
Almost every month the items at the food pantry will be different. Staff from Catholic Charities of Imperial County will need to meet applicants by appointment each day to understand their needs. Another benefit of this approach is by meeting with individuals one-on-one, Case Managers from the non-profit are also able to make recommendations about other social services. This can include long term solutions such as job placement and benefits such as CalFresh food stamps.
The items passed out by the church will mostly have non-perishable food items, but as noted the make up of each bag will vary. The goal is to offer items that may be helpful in meeting the needs of each applicant. So if there is a child in the home, the contents will be different than for seniors.
The bag of food or box of groceries may have bread, produce, milk and eggs. There may also be other personal hygiene items or household products such as paper products, cleaning products, toiletries, or maybe even diapers. These goods will be disbursed based upon availability.
Meals on Wheels is a tool that provides a low cost meal (as donations are appreciated). It is available in only certain portions of Imperial County. It was designed to meet the nutritional needs of those who are home-bound. There may even be pet food from Meals on Wheels too for the low income in Imperial county.
Volunteers from the Imperial County Catholic Charities and partner agencies deliver a free hot or cold meal to people who are unable to shop for groceries or prepare a meal for themselves. The typical person who benefits from this 60 years of age or older, and is most cases they live along or with a spouse. That being said, Meals on Wheels is flexible.
Catholic Charities of El Centro will determine eligibility. The program is based entirely upon the individual's need, such as being unable to shop or prepare meals. There are no income requirements or restrictions in place, but donations are needed as noted. While terms and conditions can change, the church will try to not deny anyone due to their inability to donate to the program.
Meals from the service are prepared on-site. They will be healthy as possible and be balanced and nutritious. The preparation is done under the supervision of a registered dietician. The food served will include a portion of meat, dairy, vegetable, bread or roll, margarine, and more. Cold evening meals can be prepared to for the homebound. This will include a sandwich, side, dessert and a drink.
Catholic Charities of Imperial County holiday assistance is for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Staff and volunteers from Imperial County are working hard to make sure that families with children as well as the elderly in nursing homes will still be able to celebrate. There will be meals and small toys for children. Holiday programs help without regard to religion.
When it comes to financial aid, it is limited. Social workers from the church House can refer people to resources such as LIHEAP or rent help from ESG. Or applicants can inquire into prescription medical programs. Other options, though less common, are funds for paying back rent.
The Department of Public Welfare administers public assistance from those and other entitlements, such as SNAP food stamps or CalFresh If eligible for any type of cash grant, the funds will be sent directly to the landlord or utility company.
In addition to all of the above, referrals are provided to other charities or government benefits. Catholic Charities is at 760-353-6823.