OUR ON-GOING SERVICES OFFER A HELPING HAND DURING TIMES OF NEED
CRS is the designated emergency food pantry serving Avon and Avon Lake. Our pantry is supported through the generous donations of local churches, schools, businesses, civic organizations and individuals. As a proud partner of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio*, CRS also receives food grants and/or discounted food to help make sure our pantry shelves are well-stocked throughout the year. CRS provides a minimum of food every 30 days to individuals and families who come in for help. In order to receive food from the CRS pantry, individuals must provide proof of residence in Avon or Avon Lake, and a self-declaration of need following the eligibility guidelines set forth by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Local retailers, including Giant Eagle and Barry Bagels, donate additional items on a regular basis.
CRS offers options for fresh produce whenever possible. Thanks to the Second Harvest Food Bank, we are able to provide fresh produce during the spring and summer. Other partnerships that provide fresh fruits and vegetables include the Avon on the Lake Garden Club, the Avon Lake Community Garden, the Children’s Garden at the Avon Lake Public Library as well as many local home gardeners.
CRS operates the food pantry Monday through Friday, 10 am to 2 pm. The CRS office is closed on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day, federal holidays, and the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.
*In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by the USDA.
While many people come to CRS initially seeking help with food, they often have other needs. Clients are able to receive financial assistance with utilities, rent, auto repair, medical/prescription costs, school-related expenses and other basic needs once it has been established that they fall within our income qualification guidelines.
Our Client Personal Development Program (CPDP) is designed to encourage and support self-sufficiency. We have expanded and enhanced our menu of program offerings which will also include opportunities for scholarships and/or payment of fees for these programs. Program options include topics such as financial literacy, health & wellness, education and job training as well as programs that will offer students opportunities for internships, job training, classes for baby sitting or lifeguard certification, or even participation in educational or extra-curricular summer mini-camps.
In 2022 the CRS staff participated in Motivational Interviewing training which is a collaborative style of conversation to help strengthen a person’s own motivation and commitment to change as well as changing the behaviors that interfere with the achievement of meaningful life goals. This training was conducted by a consultant with the Center for Evidence-Based Practices at Case Western Reserve University. We hope to use the skills that we learned to elicit and strengthen our client’s own desire for positive change and self-sufficiency.
If it’s determined that the services necessary to best suit an individual client’s needs are outside of our own capabilities, CRS has a vast network of agencies and other support groups to use as sources of referral, including the United Way of Lorain County’s Emergency Assistance Collaborative, the United Community Assistance Network (UCAN).
UCAN is a county-wide emergency financial assistance collaborative that includes partners throughout the county. They are working to ensure that all residents of Greater Lorain County have year-round access to emergency financial assistance for rent, utilities, or other emergency basic needs.
Each zip code within Greater Lorain County is strategically covered by a collaborative partner at a single site located within each community. CRS is covering the Avon and Avon Lake zip codes (44011 and 44012). A connection can be made with UCAN through the CRS office.
Not only do eligible Avon and Avon Lake households now have an additional source of assistance when necessary, but the UCAN representative is able to provide case management services to help return the individual or family to financial stability.
For more information about how to connect with UCAN, please call the CRS office. Additional information can also be found on the United Way website at uwloraincounty.org.
Individuals seeking emergency financial assistance must either qualify at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG), or show proof that their family is dealing with a major illness or loss of 50% of the family income. For 2023, 200% of FPIG are as follows: