To many social service professionals, the Pandemic was as an unprecedented time of need for emergency assistance. Many families who had never experienced navigating a support system to provide for the basic needs of their family were forced to reach out…to a system with which they were unfamiliar. At the same time, an even larger number of families who had been experiencing poverty…some for generations…also needed great assistance as they all tried to find their way through a very difficult time. The need was so great, yet most thought at some point we would return to a time with less need across all economic levels.

Speaking to most social service professionals today might surprise many as the need has continued to climb as food prices, housing costs, medical costs, utility costs etc. have risen to a point where many families cannot meet their basic needs. GRACE is among those service providers who remain concerned by the numbers of individuals and families reaching out for assistance. Most days, there is a line of people requesting services forming way before the doors to our Client Services programs are even open.

The numbers of individuals served on a yearly basis demonstrates this substantial growth in services requested and provided. When looking at the GRACE Pantry, the total visits to the pantry in fiscal year 2021-2022 was 7027. In fiscal year 2022-2023 the total number of visits rose to 11,129. That is a 58% increase in just 1 years. When looking at Christmas and Thanksgiving food distribution, there was a 50 % increase last year when compared to the last 3 years.

The total number of families and individuals served mirrors this increase. During fiscal year 2021-2022, Client Services assisted 7,010 individuals (2,825 households). In the past fiscal year, 2022-2023, Client Services assisted 10,301 individuals (3,789 households). That is a 47% increase in individuals served and the numbers are still rising.

In order to keep up with current needs, it is essential that we increase the number of trained individuals needed to do an in-depth assessment for each of the households presenting to the GRACE office with basic needs. Additionally, new support is needed in transportation as more Pantry orders and pick-ups are needed to keep up with the increase in households who are experiencing food insecurity.

GRACE has been blessed to add additional offices for our growing Client Service department at our Walnut location and we have been able to acquire a new truck for our Pantry to support the growing client needs, our current truck served us well for 20 years.

If you would like a tour of our facilities or want to learn more, please contact our Development Department by emailing to set up a time.