By Laurie Hindman
The Berthoud House of Neighborly Service (HNS) food banks were so low at the end of September they consistently had to get food from the Loveland HNS to make food baskets for their clients. But as word spread of the need, Berthoud responded. Within the last 45 days approximately 4,000 pounds of food has been collected.
Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, Grace Place, the First United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, who have hosted the HNS since 1990, the Church of the Latter Day Saints, Berthoud High School, Berthoud AARP, Berthoud Weight Watchers and Berthoud Habitat for Humanity, as well as numerous individuals, were instrumental in filling the bare shelves at HNS. Some individuals, as well as Life Bridge Church of Longmont, have given cash donations critical to providing utility assistance and keeping the organization running.
Linda Hirsch, manager of the Berthoud HNS office said that need for help has been “huge” and that without donations from the community they would have difficulty providing services to those in need.
“Our new clients have increased 175 percent, year-to-date. This is the most staggering figure,” said Hirsch. “The increase reflects the many people who have lost their jobs or homes, or are close to losing their homes. This is a new demographic for us and really is telling about today’s economic downturn.”
Hirsch went on to explain that for clients they see on a regular basis, usage is up 50 percent from last year; assistance with utilities is up 53 percent.
While the recent donations have provided immediate relief for the empty shelves and coffers at HNS, Hirsch does not expect the need to go away anytime soon. “Things are rough right now and we continue to get new clients every week,” said Hirsch. “We are very grateful for any help from the community.”
The Berthoud branch of House of Neighborly Service is located at the Berthoud Presbyterian Church on Eighth Street and is open on Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information call (970) 532-0161 (Tuesdays only) or the Loveland office at (970) 667-4939.
<p>Food banks across the country have seen a dramatic increase in clients, and groups such as Scouts can make a big difference.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;”><span style=”font-family: "Times New Roman";”>Boy Scouts from Troop 6 and Cub Scouts from Pack 7 work together to fill food baskets for the House of Neighborly Service. The Scouts and their families donated food to make Thanksgiving baskets for needy families in the Berthoud area.</span></p>