Community Action House
This month, Frances Jaye is investing in Community Action House. We will be donating 2% of November sales to support CAH's mission to "end poverty in our community and help families prosper by providing families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter and the opportunity to build necessary skills to achieve a stable and prosperous life."
Community Action House was started in 1969 to meet the needs of our community’s poor. Lupita Reyes, an early advocate for the poor and migrant workers in our community, offered presentations in local churches about the need to have a community safety net. David Myers, a Hope College Professor invited Reyes to make a presentation to representatives from local churches and the American Association of University Women. The meeting resulted in the formation of Community Action House. Three years later CAH started its first food pantry and free clothing distribution.
Over the following years, CAH faced challenges but continued to grow their support and services for the Holland Community.
In 2012, the CAH Housing and Education team applied for and was granted certification and approval through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This designation recognizes CAH’s significant investment in training, resources and staff to provide important housing counseling services and financial education classes to the community.
Today, CAH offers a number of support programs to the Holland Community including a newly opened Food Club & Opportunity Hub, Food Pantry & Guest Services, Community Kitchen, Financial Wellness Counseling, Outreach Assistance, Foreclosure Intervention, Community Garden, and Resale Store.
Newly Opened Food Club & Opportunity Center
Even before the recent economic turmoil, far too many of our neighbors were forced to make difficult decisions, like choosing between food or paying for utilities or a needed prescription. Young families and seniors suffer the greatest long run damage, but anyone without sufficient healthy food will struggle to achieve their full potential - in school, at work, in life.
Community Action House has met this growing need as our area’s busiest Food Pantry. We’ve surveyed our guests, and along with them, we’re excited for a better model. A membership approach, where guests contribute a small fee, set based on their income, and in return receive a much enhanced experience - with more healthy options, expanded hours, and lowered stigma.
Food Club invites qualifying low-income residents to take ownership and contribute at a level based on their income, offering a highly affordable way for members to invest in their family’s health and future. For a small monthly fee, members get points based on household size to spend as they wish throughout the month.