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Generous donations bring food pantry back to full strength

CAFCA | October 30, 2018 |

The need for food pantry services is so great that it’s not unusual for clients of the New Britain Food and Resource Center on Osgood Avenue to walk from as far away as Willow Street and East Street every 15 days to get fresh produce, meat and a variety of staples, said site manager Michelle Torres. But due to funding cuts in recent years, the center was only open once a week and was not providing case management services. “There is a tremendous need, a tremendous need,” said Torres who works for the Human Resources Agency of New Britain, which runs the center. “That’s why when we were on the verge of closing, it was a scary thing.”

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'Untapped' talent engage skills training for better employment

CAFCA | October 30, 2018 |

Hector Marrero is beginning to understand the difference between a career and a job. The 21-year-old Hartford native had abandoned high school, adult education and other job-course programs. Nearly out of options, Marrero this spring enrolled in Hartford nonprofit Community Renewal Team's YouthBuild program for another shot at new learning opportunities, job training, meaningful employment and, ideally, a better life. Just months in, Marrero has earned his high school diploma, several construction certifications and a driver's permit. His goal now is to land a union job that pays a livable wage and provides growth opportunities.

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Staying warm this winter may cost more for American families

CAFCA | October 30, 2018 |

The cost of staying warm this winter is going to grow for the average American, and it’s going to be especially painful for those who rely on heating oil, a federal agency said. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts a 20 percent increase in spending for heating oil but more modest increases of 3 percent for electricity and 5 percent for natural gas. Propane expenditures are expected to be roughly on par with last year, the agency said. It’s tough news for residents of the Northeast, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the nation’s residential heating oil consumption.

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Conn.’s income growth lags behind N.Y., N.J., Census data shows

CAFCA | September 13, 2018 |

Yesterday's U.S. Census Report shows 'Connecticut, among the most unequal states in the nation, was again near the top of the list in 2017 with a so-called Gini income coefficient of 0.49. A 1.0 Gini score represents a society in which one person takes in all income, a 0.0 shows a society in which the income is spread evenly among all members.

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Journey 2 Wellness program helps people with HIV and AIDS

CAFCA | September 13, 2018 |

Curtis began taking his medication regularly after he attended the Journey 2 Wellness support program sponsored by the New Britain and Bristol Human Resources Agency. A woman said she is learning to live again thanks to the group after receiving what she thought was a death sentence when she was diagnosed with HIV years ago. Mary contracted HIV from a needle in her job as a nurse at a rehab center 38 years ago. “Because I found HRA, my life is a whole lot better,” she said.

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More families face food hardships

CAFCA | September 13, 2018 |

After several years of decline, the number of American households struggling to afford food for themselves and their families increased in 2017. According to a new report by the Food Research & Action Center, 15.7 percent of households faced food hardship in 2017, an increase from 15.1 in 2016. Until now, the rate had been declining since 2013, when it was 18.9 percent. Despite a low unemployment rate and economic growth in the U.S., Jim Weill, president of the Food Research & Action Center said people are still getting left behind and struggling to feed themselves and their loved ones.

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After years of cuts, Nonprofits struggle to survive

CAFCA | August 07, 2018 |

The term “nonprofit organization” may well be misleading. Some might think nonprofits aren’t really businesses. Ah, but they are; indeed, some are large, intricate and highly regulated businesses. Like for-profit businesses, they need revenue to execute their missions. When that revenue falls off, they must make creative and/or hard-nosed business decisions. This is the leaky boat in which many of the state’s nonprofits, particularly those under contract to provide human services to the state, find themselves.

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DSS increasing staff at its call center to combat long wait times

CAFCA | July 13, 2018 |

The commissioner of the state Department of Social Services says his agency is increasing staff at its call center to reduce long wait times. Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby wrote about the increase in staffing in a letter to a group of Medicaid advocates, providers, and clients who recently penned a letter to the commissioner demanding action. “Notwithstanding these inaccurate descriptions of the Department’s access options and processes, the Department also understands that long wait times are deeply frustrating to those who need to contact a worker and prefer to use the telephone,” said Bremby in the letter.

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Program promotes healthy, affordable food

CAFCA | July 13, 2018 |

The Human Resources Agency of New Britain has recently been funded by United Way to add a new component to its Foundations for Financial Independence (FFI) program. The new component is called Money and Menus. The $105,000 grant includes Money and Menus as part of the big picture of the project. The goal of Money and Menus is to educate families about eating healthy without breaking the bank. The program will include six monthly sessions to teach families and allow them to keep track of their progress.

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'Helping Feed Hartford' event benefits more than 800 families

CAFCA | June 20, 2018 |

Hundreds of families in the greater Hartford area received about a weeks worth of food and essentials on Tuesday, at no cost to them. It's all part of the annual event, "Helping Feed Hartford,” which was held outside the Xfinity Theatre. The Community Renewal Team joined forces with Feed the Children, PepsiCo Frito-Lay, and PriceRite for the eighth annual event, benefitting about 800 families in the greater Hartford area.

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