Because of the rapidly changing situation with respect to COVID-19 the Black River Good Neighbor food shelf and assistance programs have CHANGED SOME PROCEDURES to assure the safety of our staff and those who may need help.
All requests for food and other assistance MUST BE MADE BY TELEPHONE. Our Thrift Store and Furniture Stores are CLOSED during this time. Please call (802) 228-3663 and talk to Krey or Audrey. They will make an appointment for you to pick up food or other assistance.
Please be assured that we will continue to operate, just with a slightly different procedure.
During this time we are unable to accept clothing or furniture donations.
Food ready for
Gill Terrace Apartments
Volunteers, John & Jay, unloading a Vermont Food Bank order.
No Spring Rummage Sale, But Food Shelf Still Open
At its most recent meeting, the Black River Good Neighbor Services Board of Directors made the painful decision to cancel the Spring 2020 rummage sale and to concentrate on providing food and financial assistance to neighbors in need. “These sales have been a mainstay of our fundraising for over 12 years,” said Lou Krefski, Board President, “but we are in strange times that call for some otherwise unwanted choices.” He explained that even though the sale may have occurred after Vermont businesses reopen, the preparation work takes weeks before the sale. “We should have been working on the preparation already,” said Krefski. “Our volunteers put in an amazing number of hours to sort and price donations, and to arrange merchandise; but we simply can’t do that right now.”
Also, since there will be no rummage sale, and since the thrift store is closed, the organization is not accepting donations at this time.
A decision on the Fall sale will be made later this summer, and the Board hopes that it will happen as scheduled in September.
Meanwhile the food shelf is open for assistance Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 3:00 PM for anyone who needs help. Even though the program is running with normal hours, it is running with different procedures. Anyone needing food or financial assistance should first call 802-228-3663 to schedule an appointment with Krey or Audrey. Food boxes will be ready for pick up at an appointed time.
Food Shelf Offers More Than Food
The economic crisis gripping the nation and Vermont reaches into all of our pockets right now. “One of Black River Good Neighbors’ main services is assistance with rent, utilities and heat when a family faces an emergency,” said Audrey Bridge, Executive Director. “This is just such an emergency, and we are here to help anyone in Ludlow, Cavendish, Mount Holly, or Plymouth who can’t meet basic needs because of the crisis. We know that many people have lost jobs and may be facing a critical choice of paying the rent or the electric bill, each of which is important to pay. We can help when you face such choices. People are often too embarrassed to come to us for assistance, but that’s why we are here, and that’s what we do.”
While BRGNS is seen as the local food shelf distributing food to those in need, the other programs that they administer are often overlooked. The financial assistance program is one that has helped hundreds of local residents over the years.
For well over thirty years BRGNS has stepped up in times of crisis and helped local families. “We are not a government organization. Our funding comes from the people, and we are here to help our neighbors in turn,” said Bridge.
If you need food and cannot afford to buy it, or if you just can’t make the rent because you’ve lost your job, please call (802) 228-3663 and speak with Audrey or Krey to arrange for help.
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