To the Editor:
The Forsyth County Department of Social Services (DSS) sincerely appreciates the recent community response to ensure that nearly 800 people had food on their tables after we experienced technical delays. For a variety of reasons, some families did not have timely access to their food benefits, commonly called food stamps, which are provided through the Forsyth County DSS.
We reached out to the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the Winston-Salem Foundation and the United Way of Forsyth County and they all came together to provide emergency funds for these families. Crisis Control Ministry, Sunnyside Ministries and The Salvation Army then provided coordinated services necessary to see that 250 families received food. We also want to thank the staff at Forsyth County DSS for bringing these organizations together to help us solve this emergency. The collective efforts by many helped solve a community issue before it accelerated out of control.
Unfortunately, hunger is a local issue in part due to unprecedented job losses over the past few years. The caseload for Food and Nutrition Services has doubled since 2009 with 60 percent of the recipients of these benefits being under the age of 21 or over the age of 60. Most of these households are headed by people earning minimum wages, which means their pay is so low that they still qualify for food assistance.
We, and the families that the community helped recently, are extremely grateful and we feel very fortunate to have organizations that work together every day to make a difference in the lives of so very many people.
Board Chair Evelyn Terry and Vice Chair Nancy Young