Thanks to a grant from Community Harvest and Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, Turnstone’s Social Services department has been able to provide food vouchers for individuals with disabilities and their families during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Harvest COVID-19 Relief Grant was distributed to agencies who serve demographics disproportionately affected by the pandemic resulting in food insecurity.

As one of 60 grant recipients in Allen County, Turnstone was able to use the awarded funds to distribute both Community Harvest Food Bank vouchers and Meijer gift cards to 30 families. Grocery store gifts cards helped increase accessibility to food with the transportation and dietary restrictions that individuals with disabilities experience.

“We are so grateful to have this grant to help our clients and families with their needs surrounding food insecurities,” said Turnstone’s Director of Social Services, Kathy Baer. “This grant has allowed us to help many more adults and children than we are typically capable of assisting. They also have been so thankful for the help of this most basic need.”

In the United States, individuals with disabilities are twice as likely to be living in poverty as those without disabilities. Since many people with disabilities live in poverty, this population is also at a higher risk for food insecurity. Turnstone annually serves 3,400 children and adults with disabilities, with 60% of those individuals living below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Turnstone’s case managers and licensed social workers are uniquely equipped to offer access to support from this grant to the individuals and families who need it most. The recipients of the food vouchers and grocery gift cards were ecstatic and relieved to have their most basic needs met during an uncertain and discouraging time.

The Waynedale News Staff
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