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County Launches 24/7 Homeless Information Line

County Launches 24/7 Homeless Information Line The County’s Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with EveryMind, has launched a 24/7 Homeless Information Line, with trained specialists to provide information on County homeless services and shelter resources.  Callers can also provide information about the location of individuals in the community experiencing homelessness.  The reports will be forwarded to community outreach partners who will attempt to locate the individual and offer support and resources. The information line number is 240-907-2688.

A word from our Prevention Coordinator on Opioids

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 130 Americans die from an opioid related overdose every day. Opioids, a class of drugs that act on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to relax the body and relieve pain, are often described as licit (e.g. prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine), illicit (e.g. heroin) and synthetic (e.g. man-made drugs such as methadone, fentanyl, tramadol). Synthetic opioids are manufactured using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients, resulting most times in higher potency. A drug that is considered highly potent requires only a small amount to give the desired effect. Click here to read more

Free Tax Preparation for households with incomes of $55,000 or less

Free Tax-Preparation Montgomery County’s Community Action Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free tax-preparation services to Montgomery County residents with household incomes of $55,000 or less. VITA is now scheduling appointments for the upcoming tax season. Appointments are available from January 22 to April 15 in Rockville, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, East County, Wheaton and Germantown. Call 240-777-1123 or visit this website to schedule an appointment.
NEW! Schedule Your Appointment Today!
  • Gaithersburg: Mondays, 3:30 – 7:30 pm
  • Silver Spring: Tuesdays, 3 – 8 pm
  • Rockville: Wednesdays, 11 am – 8 pm
  • East County: Thursdays, 11 am – 4 pm
  • Wheaton: Fridays, 11 am – 4 pm
CAA VITA Days at Additional Locations:

Montgomery County has established a new web portal for those impacted by the partial federal government shutdown

Montgomery County has established a new web portal where federal employees and contractors who live in the County, and who are impacted by the partial federal government shutdown, can go to find assistance provided by various organizations throughout the County

The Federal Shutdown Assistance Portal be found on this county webpage

Nonprofit and Community Resources for Montgomery County Residents Impacted by the Federal Government Shutdown

A Wider Circle has created a dedicated fund to support those who are financially impacted by the shutdown with food and other household essentials.  Visit their website or call 301-608-3504 for more information.

Interfaith Works aids families in crisis and those potentially facing homelessness.  Updated assistance information tailored to those impacted by the government shutdown will be posted on the organization’s web page.  Visit their website or call 301-762-8682, for more information.

Manna Food Center is at the center of ending hunger in the County. Visit Manna’s website, for a full list of their programs, food distribution sites and drop off locations.  Individuals wishing to donate can go to https://www.mannafood.org/give-help/ or call 301-424-1130.

The Capital Area Food Bank is holding a free pop-up market to distribute free produce and groceries to government employees and contractors affected by the shutdown.  Up to 250 people can receive food with a valid ID or federal contractor ID.  On Jan. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon, the pop-up market will be located at Giant Food located at 12051 Rockville Pike. The organization has set a goal of providing 300,000 extra meals through fund raising efforts.  For more information visit https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/support-during-the-shutdown/ .

Shepherd’s Table is in downtown Silver Spring and is prepared to serve federal workers or anyone in need of nutritious meals or clothing.  Their dining room is open every day and all are welcome.  For more information visit their website or call 301-585-6463.

Women Who Care Ministries in Montgomery Village can provide food assistance for five to seven days. For more information, visit their website https://www.womenwhocareministries.org/ or call 301-963-8588.

The County’s Health and Human Services Eviction Prevention Program provides crisis intervention assistance to qualified individuals and families.  This includes emergency financial assistance and/or shelter to families and adults who are homeless or at high risk of losing housing.  The program also provides help for overdue utility payments and welfare avoidance grants are available for eligible temporary cash assistance applicants.  Visit https://tinyurl.com/y8mrtamb or call 311.

The Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs in the County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs can provide mediation assistance for tenants and landlords.  For more information call 311.

The County’s Office of Consumer Protection can provide advice to resident on their rights and ability to cancel contracts. For more information call 311.

Unemployment Insurance Applications

If you are a federal employee and have been furloughed as a result of the federal shutdown, you may file for unemployment using the Federal Civilian Employee Application for Benefits or you may call 410-853-1700 or contact an unemployment insurance claim center.

Manna Food Center Announces a Temporary Waiver on Income Requirements for Montgomery County Residents Impacted by the Federal Government Shutdown

 Manna Food Center (Manna) is temporarily waiving income requirements to provide food to any Montgomery County resident impacted by the Federal Government Shutdown. Residents are encouraged to contact Manna as soon as possible to begin receiving food through regular distribution channels.   “Our doors are open and we are ready to welcome all residents in need,” said Jackie DeCarlo, chief executive officer at Manna Food Center. “We recognize that many government employees, contractors, and service industry employees that support our Federal agencies are experiencing financial strain from the shutdown. We are extending our services to individuals and families as a way to lighten the burden and give residents hope in these uncertain times.”

  Montgomery County residents can request food assistance by contact Manna at 301-424-1130. Participants will be provided with approximately 60 pounds of food every 30 days. Manna offers several food pickup locations on specific days during the week and every Monday thru Friday at Manna’s warehouse (9311 Gaither Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20877).

  DeCarlo notes that County agencies, elected officials, and non-profits are stepping up to meet the growing financial need. Manna’s Community Food Rescue program is one of several groups providing food for Councilmember Tom Hucker’s community potluck being held tonight. Multiple food runners will be picking up food from area restaurants to deliver to the potluck.

  Residents interested in supporting Manna’s extended services should visit www.mannafood.org for volunteer or giving opportunities.

Mobile Food Market at Montgomery College

The Montgomery College Student Health & Wellness Center for Success’s Mobile Market provides fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods as part of a partnership between Montgomery College and the Capital Area Food Bank. Food availability is based on a first-come, first serve basis. Bring bags to carry food. No proof of eligibility required..

The food is distributed on campus at no cost to students, faculty/staff and the community. See this flyer for dates and times:

English

Spanish

Contact

Carmen Poston Travis (240) 567-5253 carmen.poston@montgomerycollege.edu

Benita Rashaw (240) 567-4389 benita.rashaw@montgomery.college.edu

County Offers Mini-Grants for Food Security Organizations; Applications Due September 4

County Offers Mini-Grants for Food Security

Organizations; Applications Due September 4

Community organizations involved with food security issues are urged to apply for mini-grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 to improve capacity and infrastructure dedicated to increasing food security or to support inventive and collaborative approaches to reducing food insecurity. Tax-exempt organizations applying for the mini-grants can use the funding for direct service or assistance to vulnerable populations; this may involve meal preparation, distribution, transportation and/or delivery. The funding may also be used for recovery of food that is good to eat but otherwise would be wasted. The County’s vision for food security is a community where all residents have access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food.

Funding for the grant program is included in the FY19 operating budget for the County’s Department of Health and Human Services. Organizations can apply independently or in collaboration with other groups.

Applications are due by close of business on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. For information about application guidelines and to complete an online application, visit https://bit.ly/2mZI76e . Questions can be directed to Diana Tato-Niktash at 240-777-3404 or by email to diana.tato-niktash@montgomerycountymd.gov.

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Media Contact: Mary Anderson, 240-777-6534

Keeping Food Safe From Pantry to Plate- available in 5 languages

This short 2 page brochure, written by Manna’s Jenna Umbriac, is for everyone who eats! It describes what the dates on packages mean and how to determine whether food is safe to eat. The brochure provides shelf-life of common foods, clues to determine food safety, and how to properly store, thaw, cook all types of foods. Request printed copies of “Keeping Food Safe from Pantry to Plate” in bulk quantities English or Spanish by emailing cheryl@communityfoodrescue.org

How do you know if food is safe to eat, even if the label is past the current date or a can is slightly dented? How do you properly store, thaw, cook, and freeze different types of foods? Read CFR’s Food Safety Brochure to find out, available as downloadable PDFs in these languages: English, French, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

 

If you’d like printed copies of English or and Spanish language brochures, please contact the CFR Director, cheryl@communityfoodrescue.org.

USE SNAP to buy a fresh fruits and vegetables for half price

Become a part of a CSA with your SNAP benefits

CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” or “Caja Semanal de Alimentos”. It is a weekly box of high quality, fresh produce grown by local farmers. It’s a “share” of a farmer’s harvest each week of the growing season, which, like the Crossroads Farmers Market, runs from April 18th-Nov. 28th, 2018. Crossroads also offers the option to join the CSA from June 6th- August 29th.
SNAP/EBT + CSA = Great Food at a Great Price! What’s a CSA? Crossroads gladly accepts SNAP/EBT for CSA payments. That means that CSA members using SNAP/EBT pay just $11 for their weekly CSA share, and Crossroads will match the rest with $11 in Fresh Checks. Shares can be picked up each Wednesday at Crossroads Farmers Market, on Anne St. & University Blvd. in Takoma Park, anytime between 11am-3pm.

For more information, please contact Crossroads’ CSA Coordinator Liz Whitehurst at lwhitehurst@crossroadscommunityfoodnetwork.org.
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