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Editor's Voice: Two worthy initiatives to help the area's needy

Posted 4/2/13

If  you’re looking for a sign that our economy has not improved, here’s one: The number of local residents seeking food at the Interfaith Food Pantry in Royalton has increased from 360 a month to almost 500 recently.More than 40 percent of …

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Editor's Voice: Two worthy initiatives to help the area's needy

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“There’s an awful lot of poverty, I think more than is often recognized,’’ said John Cooper, a self-sufficiency councilor for the Tri-County Community Action Commission, who has opened an office in the food pantry.

There’s such a need for help among the local poor that the local church council that operates the food pantry and the school district are moving to do more to connect the needy with charities and social agencies.

Cooper’s new office is one example. “It gives me more access to people who have problems,’’ he said, citing a sufficient lack of jobs in the area and past-due electric bills in Middletown as some of the problems he sees.

The school district will host its second annual Social Services Fair, an initiative to help more needy people, from 2 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 at the MCSO Building. Representatives from more than 30 local social service agencies offering help in housing, career development and other needs will be available.

We applaud the efforts of the local churches and school district to present more help to the growing number of needy residents.

We also applaud those of you who generously give to charities that help. “It amazes me how generous the people of Middletown are,’’ said JoAnn Shipkowski, the food pantry’s coordinator. Even during such uncertain economic times.

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