Emergency Assistance


The Emergency Assistance program provides emergency food to almost 8,000 families per year, feeding over 17,000 household members. Not only are some of our clients homeless, but our low-income clients also include a significant number of disabled and/or aged persons living on fixed incomes. Clients are referred to this program by numerous Mercer County agencies. Our staff assesses the needs of the entire family. Five days a week we distribute bags of food, according to family size.

Our Purpose:

The Emergency Assistance program’s primary purpose is to provide direct and immediate support and relief to individuals and families in both chronic and temporary crisis. This program assists clients in crisis by providing them with an array of social services that includes the following:

  • Three to five day supply of nutritious food items, both perishable and non-perishable.
  • As funds are available, utility assistance to prevent shut off or to restore services.
  • Limited financial assistance to those who have no prescription coverage
  • Basic staples for newborns and infants, such as diapers, formula, baby food.
  • Personal hygiene and grooming items, basic household items, and clothing, as available.
  • Referrals to additional services within the community.

Our Success:

In 2013, we served 8,039 households, totaling 18,498 people, by distributing 20,199 bags of food at an estimated valuation of $605,970.  In addition, we helped 38 people with with a total of $2,206 for needed prescription medicines and 90 families with $21,567 for emergency assistance with their utility bills.    At Thanksgiving, 754 families were helped with 2,985 bags of groceries and, for Christmas, 210 families received donated toys.  Demand for our services continues to increase each year, and we continue to receive more referrals for our services from other social service agencies.

Our Clients:

Many of the households that benefit from the services of the Emergency Assistance Program are families that do not earn enough to be able to afford basic necessities, such as food and housing. Although one or more individuals in the household are working, they still struggle to make ends meet. In addition to families, we also provide assistance to single adults who are on a fixed income, are mentally or physically disabled, or are unable to secure consistent employment.