We work to empower those who are under-served in the community
Black River Good Neighbor Services offers several assistance programs, both on our own and
on behalf of other organizations. We administer programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and provide assistance in accessing programs run by the State of Vermont and by the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To see our Our Policies, please CLICK HERE.
If you have any questions, please call us at 802-228-3663.
To get information about our special programs, please scroll down or CLICK HERE.
For Financial Assistance Information, please scroll down or CLICK HERE.
Food Shelf Programs
We maintain a food shelf for the benefit of individuals and families in Ludlow, Cavendish, Proctorsville, Mt. Holly, Belmont, and Plymouth. Anyone who needs food but cannot afford to buy it may apply to us for assistance. Those who meet our guidelines may generally receive enough food, as available, for each person in the household.
We also distribute food through the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program and their Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Each of these programs requires an application available in our office. For more information on these programs please see our Special Programs page.
Food is only one of many problems that people face when times are tough. Therefore, we provide financial aid to individuals and households in several areas. Anyone who is an established resident in our service area and believes that he or she needs help in one of these areas may visit our office at 37B Main St. in Ludlow to fill out an application and to discuss the situation with our staff. We do not provide cash, but, when approved, we do pay bills to landlords or vendors. Please see below for more information about the different ways we can help.
Financial Assistance Information
Heating Assistance: Clients must first have applied to other agencies including the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) and Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) before we will supply aid. BRGNS can supply limited fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood used to heat a home. Applicants must have either written or verbal proof that they have applied to other agencies first for heating assistance.
We are also a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) application distribution center so we do have applications available for that program.
Housing Assistance: We can help find limited temporary housing assistance, including the payment of rent. We do not pay security deposits.
Utilities Assistance: BRGNS can provide limited assistance for utilities such as electricity, propane, kerosene, fuel oil, or wood used for cooking, lights or hot water.
We do not pay utility deposits.
Miscellaneous Assistance: Above may be available at BRGNS’ discretion.
Please note that BRGNS does not provide assistance for telephone, (cell or landline), cable or satellite TV bills, or past due bill payments. (Assistance will only be paid for current bills.) BRGNS may make a referral to other agencies and will help applicants with referrals as circumstances warrant.
If you have any questions about qualifying for assistance as outlined above, please visit us at 37B Main Street, Ludlow, or call us at (802) 228-3663.
To submit an application for our programs or for employment, please print out a form by clicking on the icon of the form you need below, then fill out and submit in person or via snail mail to: BRGNS, 37B Main Street, Ludlow, VT 05149
Special Program Information
USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Food Programs
BRGNS helps administer and manage several USDA food programs for the towns of Mount Holly, Plymouth, Ludlow, Cavendish, Belmont and Proctorsville. These programs involve federal and state qualifications and require an application process. We can help determine eligibility and we can help fill out the application. Please ask one of our employees for assistance.
TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program)
The USDA buys food, including processing and packaging, and ships it to the States. The amount received by each State depends on its low-income and unemployed population. State agencies work out details of administration and distribution. States provide the food to local agencies that they have selected. In Vermont that is the Vermont Foodbank, which in turn distributes the food to food pantries such as BRGNS that directly serve the public.
Each State sets criteria to determine what households are eligible to receive food for home consumption. Income standards may, at the State’s discretion, be met through participation in other existing Federal, State, or local food, health, or welfare programs for which eligibility is based on income. States can adjust the income criteria in order to ensure that assistance is provided only to those households most in need. Currently, Vermont considers any household at or below 185% of the federal poverty level as eligible for TEFAP food distributions. BRGNS has the necessary application forms and can assist in filling them out. Please stop in to the office at 37B Main Street or call (802) 228-3663 for assistance.
CSFP (The Commodity Supplemental Food Program)
The Commodity Supplemental Food Programs (CSFP) is a federally funded program, which works to improve the health of people at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA commodity foods. It provides food and administrative funds to States to supplement the diets of this group. CSFP distributes food once a month.
The program is administered in Vermont through the Vermont Foodbank and the food is distributed through BRGNS. There are income qualifications that an applicant must meet in order to participate in this program. These limits are subject to change. To see the current income qualifications, please click here. BRGNS has applications and can assist in filling out the necessary paperwork. Please call (802) 228-3663 or come to 37B Main Street, Ludlow for more information.
Annual Holiday Program
BRGNS has a very active Holiday program. Please fill out a Holiday Program Application and submit to us within the designated timeframe.
Over the past four years we have served over 526 families or 1,242 individuals with gifts. This is a community effort involving local businesses and individuals. With economic reverses brought on by the convergence of individualized problems and the general economic decline the need for a little holiday cheer is greater than ever.
We use an extensive network of local social service providers to gather names of those who may need assistance. We solicit applications from those referred to us and from those whom we have recently helped. We rely on volunteers to purchase or solicit gifts for children, and pack gifts in time for the holidays.
We can always use more help. If you are interested in donating your time and effort please contact us at (802) 228-3663.
When Tropical Storm Irene devastated the Black River area, as well as much of the rest of Vermont, BRGNS sprang into action to provide emergency assistance to those who suffered from the loss of home, general possessions, and inability to work.
The needs created by the flooding did not fit the usual patterns seen by BRGNS, but the assistance demanded by the disaster was immediate and basic.
Since BRGNS had been distributing aid to the community for over forty years, the community turned to us as a hub for dispensing food clothing and financial assistance in the aftermath of the floods.
BRGNS made minor changes to its usual process of dealing with these needs so that those suffering from Irene's devastation could receive the type of assistance that they needed. BRGNS also became the focal point for financial and in-kind donations from outside the Black River area. As a result, we created a disaster fund that distributed an enormous volume of monetary help to many, many people in the towns that we serve. BRGNS created that fund as a permanent disaster fund that will stand ready to serve the next disaster, large or small. Hopefully, such disasters will be very infrequent.
Thrift store and Food Shelf
37B Main Street
Ludlow, VT 05149
105 Main Street
Ludlow, VT 05149
Thrift store and Food Shelf
Mon - Sat
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Mon - Fri
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Fri - Sat
10:00 am – 4:00 pm