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Higher demand for heating assistance in Davidson County

Posted 10:35 pm, October 30, 2014, by Kim Wynne

THOMASVILLE, N.C. - Every year when the weather starts to get colder, Leigh Thompson finds herself making the same tough choices. "Do we buy shampoo and paper towels and toilet paper?" Thompson asked. Thompson is a single mother with three children and gets by on disability checks. She has rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes and can't work. "When you have to raise three kids on $691 a month, it gets a little tight," Thompson said. It gets even tighter during the winter, when about a third of that money goes towards heating her mobile home. Thompson, like hundreds of others in Davidson County, struggling to make ends meet, will be applying to the heating assistance program at Fairgrove Family Resource Center in Thomasville. It's a program Executive Director Terri Fisher says is already seeing more demand. "Every year we see more and more people need assistance," Fisher said. The nonprofit normally gets $2,200 dollars a month from United Way. It's enough to help about 50 low-income families pay utility bills. But with calls already coming in for help this winter along with the group losing a FEMA grant, Fisher fears she may have to turn some families away. "Our pot of money is hitting bottom, long before it needs to," she said. The Salvation Army of Forsyth County expects a 20 percent increase in people needing heating assistance this year. Guilford County Department of Social Services expects a 10 to 15 percent jump. "It's just something you have to brace yourself for," Fisher said. Fisher says she'll be working hard, trying to drum up donations and other grants to fill in the gap. It's a helping hand people like Thompson are grateful for. "It's nice to have this option to rely on," Thompson said. Applications for the heating assistance program through the Forsyth County Salvation Army will be accepted starting Dec. 1.

NC Now | Hunger Action Month | UNC,TV

September is Hunger Action Month, a national initiative to help raise awareness for the needs at food banks across the country. Here in North Carolina many are rolling up their sleeves across the state to make a difference in their communities for hungry people. Heather Burgiss shows us how these actions are getting people to think about how they can help put food on someone's table.

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One in three children in Davidson Courny is considered at risk for food insecurity, according to Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston Salem. Let that number sink in for a moment. That means in a class of 24 students, eight may not have access to nutritious food on a regular basis. On a youth soccer team of 15 players, five may be going hungry. In an afterschool program of 30 youngsters, 10 may not be eating well.

Sometimes numbers can easily be dismissed, but look closely the next time you visit a store, classroom, sporting event or other activity with a group of children and consider that one in every three children you see may not be eating well. Perhaps that number caused a shock the first time you heard it, but as time passed it lost some of its impact.

Fairgrove Family Resource Center's mission is to end hunger. To help us achieve this goal, we started the first weekend feeding program in Davidson County in 2006 at Brier Creek Elementary School. We now serve 182 children in 4 schools having added Fair Grove, Pilot and Thomasville Primary Elementary schools. We are conducting our annual fundraising campaign to raise needed dollars to feed the most vulnerable children. We need to raise $20,000 to feed 100 of these children.

It's hard to learn when all you are thinking about is how hungry you are. Only $200 will feed one child every weekend for the entire school year. Any donation is appreciated and is 100% tax deductible as we are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charity. You can make your secure donation here or mail it to Fairgrove Family Resource Center, 159 Myrtle Drive, Thomsville, NC 27360. For more information, call us at 336-472-7217. Thank you for helping us reduce hunger with our children and showing them someone cares.

Partial reprint with permission from The Dispatch. "Many children depend on food assistance", August 16, 2013

Amazon shoppers!! You can now support us by shopping at Amazon Smile. This is a part of Amazon.com that will donate a percentage of your Amazon shopping dollars to Fairgrove Family Resource Center. You can't beat the prices and now you can help us too. All you have to do is shop as usual on AmazonSmile and we will benefit. Thanks!!

The entire staff at the center is so helpful. Each one really wants to help. Terri made the process easy and made sure that our dignity was intact. Thank you so much for helping us in our time of need!

I am very grateful for the service and programs provided by Fairgrove Family Resource Center. They have provided my family with invaluable information that benefits us in so many ways. I think many families I know would benefit from taking parenting classes.

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