Article Copyright © 2020 The Brunswick Beacon.
BFA’s services vital to county’s ongoing success
Brunswick Family Assistance is critical to Brunswick County’s success.
BFA is “dedicated to improving the lives of families and individuals in crisis in Brunswick County” by providing emergency assistance and educational and skills development programs to those who are willing to help themselves, according to its mission statement. The need is great, but soar the staff and team of volunteers who have long devoted themselves to assist and alleviate that need. During winter, BFA with its annual Christmas holiday distribution for families and seniors, which were conducted and concluded in mid-December at The Brunswick Beacon’s old pressroom on Smith Avenue. Brunswick Family Assistance has been providing emergency assistance to those in crisis who are willing to help themselves since 1981 when it started as the private, nonprofit Volunteer Information Center. It’s most recent work was a Commodities distribution, Thursday, Feb. 13.
It offers this assistance, along with complementary programs designed to help people become Self-sufficient, to qualified low-income families and individuals as a result of donated money, food, clothing and countless hours from volunteers. Although Brunswick County is considered one of the most prosperous in North Carolina and is among the fastest growing in the state and nation, the number of its people in need has increased, too. At the same time, the separation between our affluent and our poor continues to widen, leaving more and more people to fall through the cracks.
BFA is a full-time year round operation with the emergency assistance it offers in forms of temporary help with housing and utilities issues as well as its food pantry. BFA also takes part in the quarterly federal commodities Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is focused on supplementing the diets of low-income Americans, including the elderly, with emergency food and nutrition aid at no cost. Brunswick County residents who meet 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline are eligible as are those eligible for food stamps or EBT.
Next door to BFA’s Shallotte office, the BFA Family Thrift store operates as a net-income profit center to support the nonprofit. The store accepts gently used donated items that are still in good condition to sell at more affordable prices. The thrift store is known for its monthly clothing sales and discounts for seniors and military/veterans. BFA also regularly provides vouchers for clothing, money for prescription drugs, support for transportation and assistance to individuals to enroll in the food stamp program.
Over the years, BFA has grown, a mixed bag reflecting how the need has grown as well. The local non-profit organization always needs good volunteers. To apply or learn more, call the BFA office or complete an application on the BFA website. The fact is, BFA and the services it provides are vital to our community
Read the the article online at the Brunswick Beacon website, www.brunswickbeacon.com: Brunswick Beacon 2/20/2020, Page 6