The WIC Budget Shortfall

How It Will Impact Pennsylvanians, And What You Can Do About It

Introduction:


If Congress fails to act by January 19, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) will face a budget shortfall that could result in 2 million eligible families nationwide being turned away from the program. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) As an organization dedicated to providing essential services to vulnerable communities, BCHG is deeply concerned about the potential ramifications of the budget shortfall on the individuals and families utilizing our food program.

The WIC Program and The Budget Shortfall:


WIC is a crucial federal assistance program that provides nutrition education, healthy food, and support to low-income pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. (USDA) Currently, the WIC program serves about half of all infants born in the United States. Unfortunately, the budget that Congress is currently considering will fund the program at a $1 billion shortfall. The shortfall will cost the same amount as funding six months of benefits to all pregnant women and infants participating in WIC. (USDA) Individual states will likely create waitlists to join the program as a result of the shortfall, and several eligible families will be turned away from receiving the assistance they need.

What this Means for Pennsylvania:

The WIC budget shortfall is projected to impact 51,000 Pennsylvanians by September 2024. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) To avoid such a stark impact, the USDA may choose to reallocate funding from their other programs toward WIC, but there is no guarantee that this will be feasible. There will likely also be a long-lasting impact on the perception of the WIC program. Turning eligible participants away due to inadequate funding will likely discourage people from applying in the future.

Impact on Our Food Pantries:


Our pantries and mobile markets are vital resources for those in need, offering a safe and reliable source of food in times of economic hardship. The potential increase in demand due to the WIC budget shortfall will place additional strain on these essential services. We anticipate welcoming new families to our pantries and mobile markets as a result of the shortfall. Demand for produce, milk, eggs, baby formula, and diapers will also likely increase. Finally, we anticipate an increase in the need for families who are already utilizing our programs. The level of support WIC will provide to those already on their programs is uncertain, so their need for food from our programs may increase.

How You Can Help:

  1. Contact Your Representatives:
    Use the form here to contact your elected representatives. Be an advocate for policies that prioritize the well-being of pregnant women, new mothers, and young children.
  2. Spread the Word:
    Share this blog, our website, and our social media with your network to help spread awareness about the WIC budget shortfall. as well as the resources that BCHG provides to combat food and housing security.
  3. Donate to BCHG:
    Monetary support and food donations make a significant difference in our ability to meet increased demand at our food pantries. Support our mission by donating to our cause to help us prepare for the influx of patrons at our pantries.
  4. Volunteer Your Time:
    Offer your time and skills to assist at BCHG’s food pantries or other programs. Volunteering is a hands-on way to contribute to the community and support vulnerable individuals and families.
  5. Organize Food Drives:
    Coordinate food drives with local businesses, schools, and community groups. Collecting non-perishable items can help ensure that our food pantries remain well-stocked to meet the growing demand.

Conclusion:


The WIC budget shortfall is a challenge that will require collective action and community support. By raising awareness, advocating for policy change, and contributing to organizations like ours, we can make a positive impact on the lives of those facing food insecurity. Together, let’s ensure that every individual has access to the nutrition and support they need for a healthy future.

Written By: Amanda McGill

While the holiday season fills many hearts with joy and warmth, it’s important to recognize that for some, it can bring about unexpected hardships and challenges. To ensure that the spirit of giving extends to those in need, we invite you to join us in making a meaningful difference through a holiday-themed drive. Together, let’s spread comfort, support, and joy to those who may find this season particularly challenging.

For your drive, you can ask for donations of food, clothing, and/or supplies. Below are some examples of what our clients currently need!

Food donations:

  • shelf-stable milk or milk alternatives
  • canned goods (soup, vegetables, fruits, tuna)
  • pasta, rice, and grains
  • canned or dried beans
  • holiday-themed cookies and treats
  • cake or brownie mixes
  • hot cocoa or hot chocolate packets
  • coffee or tea bags
  • canned cranberry sauce
  • stuffing mix
  • instant mashed potatoes

Clothing donations:

  • winter coats
  • hats, mittens, and scarves
  • sweaters
  • sweatpants
  • warm socks

Supply donations:

  • cleaning supplies like sanitizing wipes, spray cleaners, etc.
  • laundry supplies like dryer sheets or laundry detergent
  • holiday supplies like wrapping paper, tape, and gift bags
  • household supplies like dish detergent, hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper etc.
  • baby supplies like diapers or baby wipes

You can also ask for gift cards! An easy way to help those in need, gift cards to places like Target, Walmart, Uber, or gas stations are incredibly appreciated, especially during the holiday season.

Below are some other ideas on how to keep your drive in line with the holiday spirit:

  • Use decorated boxes or containers at the drop-off site! Or give each box a theme, like Santa’s Pantry” for food items, “Warm Hearts” for clothing, and “Gifts of Necessity” for supplies.
  • Host a fun event alongside the drive such as a hot cocoa and cookie social!
  • Transform the donation site into a winter wonderland by decorating it with holiday lights, ornaments, and festive decorations!

At BCHG, we are so grateful for community support, especially during these cold months. Your donations directly impact the lives of community members in need. To schedule a donation drop-off, reach out to amcgill@bchg.org. If you have any questions or need more inspiration, head to our Hold a Drive page!


PS, be sure to tag us in any content you share on social media! Let’s make this holiday season brighter for everyone.

Written By: Hannah Borish

A Guide to Making a Difference

Introduction:


Giving Tuesday is a global day of charitable giving that encourages people to give back to their communities and support causes they are passionate about. Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) is continuing our work to close the door on hunger and homelessness, and we hope you’ll consider supporting us this Giving Tuesday. We are dedicated to addressing the challenges of food and housing insecurity, and providing affordable housing solutions, and rely on community support to carry out our mission. This Giving Tuesday, consider one of these ways to contribute to help give back to our community and support BCHG:

  1. Monetary Donations:
    One of the most direct ways to support BCHG is through monetary donations. Your financial contributions can go a long way in helping us provide shelter, food, and essential services to individuals and families facing homelessness. Visit our Giving Tuesday page to make a secure online donation, donate via Paypal, or fill out this form to set up a recurring donation to provide ongoing support. You can also support us by buying our merchandise!
  2. Fundraising Campaigns:
    Consider organizing a fundraising campaign within your community or workplace to raise awareness and funds for BCHG. You could host a neighborhood event, set up crowdfunding pages, or collaborate with local businesses to create donation drives. Get creative and involve others in the process to maximize the impact of your fundraising efforts. Need our support? Email info@bchg.org!
  3. Volunteer Your Time:
    If you have the time and skills to spare, consider volunteering with BCHG. We often need volunteers for various tasks, such as assisting with food distribution, helping in our community gardens, or providing support at our office. Volunteering is a hands-on way to make a direct impact and connect with the community you’re helping. To get started, visit our volunteer page.
  4. In-Kind Donations:
    We welcome in-kind donations of essential items. This could include non-perishable food items, clothing, hygiene products, and household supplies. You can view our current list of needed food items here, and check out our Amazon Wishlist for the most up-to-date needs of our housing program units and families.
  5. Spread the Word:
    Help amplify our mission by spreading the word on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and X. Share our posts, upcoming events, and initiatives on your page or story. Encourage your friends, family, and followers to get involved and support us on Giving Tuesday! Use the hashtags #GivingTuesday, #GT2023, and #GivingTuesday2023 to increase the visibility of your posts and inspire others to join the cause.
  6. Corporate Sponsorship:
    If you represent a business, explore the possibility of corporate sponsorship for BCHG. This can involve financial support, in-kind donations, or even collaboration on community initiatives. Corporate partnerships can significantly boost our resources and enable us to expand our impact. If you’re interested in becoming a corporate partner, email amcgill@bchg.org for more information.

Conclusion:


This Giving Tuesday, make a meaningful contribution to Bucks County Housing Group and play a role in addressing homelessness and housing challenges in your community. Whether through financial support, volunteerism, or spreading awareness, your efforts can make a lasting impact on the lives of those in need. Join the movement and be a part of positive change in Bucks County.

  • Two children dyeing Easter eggs
  • Fresh produce on a table display
  • Gardening

How Your Support Transforms Lives at Bucks County Housing Group

At Bucks County Housing Group, we’re excited to share with you the incredible impact of your generous donations. Your support has been pivotal in changing lives, and we want to give you a glimpse of how we put your donations to work and how they are making a tangible difference in our community. 

1. Filling Plates and Hearts: The Food Program 

Your support has ensured that no one in our community goes to bed hungry. With your help, we’ve been able to purchase nutritious food to sustain our food program, providing a lifeline for individuals and families facing food insecurity. Your generosity goes beyond filling plates; it fills hearts with hope. We’re able to leverage your donations to fill our pantries with healthy produce, pantry staples, and allergen-friendly options.

2. Turning Houses into Homes: Essential Household Supplies 

Imagine starting anew with nothing but the clothes on your back. Your donations have made it possible for us to provide clients in our housing program with essential household supplies to get them started as they stabilize. From toiletries to bedding and kitchenware, your contributions empower individuals and families to transform their living situations, turning houses into comfortable homes. Additionally, our Apartment Partners program provides essential furniture and unforeseen expense help to our client families.

3. Play and Laughter for Children: A New Playset and More

Our youngest clients have reason to smile, thanks to your donations at work. We installed a new playset for children within our housing program thanks to a generous fundraiser from our community, bringing joy and laughter to their lives. This small act has had a significant impact, offering a sense of normalcy during challenging times. In addition, your support has provided supplies for our community building program to host holiday parties, homework help, and community days to aid in bringing a sense of camaraderie and support among our housing clients.

4. Cultivating Hope through Community Gardens 

Gardens are places of growth, not just for plants but for people too. Your support has allowed us to provide seeds and materials for our community gardens, enabling clients to cultivate fresh produce and gain valuable skills. Because of your help, our gardens nourish both bodies and spirits while fostering a sense of community and empowerment. 

5. Beyond the Examples: A Broader Impact 

Your support extends far beyond the specific examples mentioned. Because of your support, we have been able to provide shelter, offer case management services, and host educational workshops. These services are instrumental in helping our clients find stable housing, overcome challenges, and work toward self-sufficiency. 

The Ripple Effect: How Your Donations Transform Lives 

The impact of your generosity goes beyond immediate assistance; we put your donations to work to make lasting changes in Bucks County and our clients’ lives. Clients who receive support during difficult times are better equipped to tackle challenges and work towards self-sufficiency. Your contributions fill them with hope and empowerment, impacting every aspect of their lives and creating a brighter future for them and their families. 

In closing, we want to express our deepest gratitude for your unwavering commitment to our mission. Your support, whether through financial contributions, volunteering, or advocacy, is truly making a difference. Together, we’re creating a stronger, more vibrant community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. 

As we continue this journey of transformation, we look forward to the positive changes your kindness and compassion will bring. Thank you for being a vital part of this life-changing work. 

Introduction 

Have you been wondering “What are volunteer opportunities near me?” or “How can I get involved in my community?” Look no further! Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) is working steadfastly to close the door on hunger and homelessness. Our mission depends on the invaluable contributions and support from individuals like you, who want to make a difference in their community. In this blog, we will shed light on how you can get involved with BCHG and play a pivotal role in turning our shared vision into reality. 

Understanding BCHG 

Before embarking on your journey of involvement, we encourage you to delve into the heart of Bucks County Housing Group. Explore our website, familiarize yourself with the needs in our area, peruse our social media, and acquaint yourself with our diverse range of services. This foundational knowledge will empower you to engage effectively and align with our vision. 

Volunteer Opportunities 

BCHG operates on the dedication and passion of volunteers who are the backbone of our organization. Volunteering offers an opportunity to directly contribute to our mission. Here are some of the volunteer opportunities you can explore: 

a. Food Pantries: Lend your time and compassion to our food pantries, where you can provide crucial support to individuals and families facing food insecurity. 

b. Community Gardens: Make a tangible impact by volunteering at one of our community garden locations, helping individuals access and grow fresh produce. 

c. Administrative Assistance: Offer your skills in areas like data entry or office management to help facilitate the smooth operation of BCHG. 

d. Other Opportunities: We are always looking for ways that community members can contribute their skillsets to our mission. If you have an idea for a volunteer partnership, let us know! 

Financial Contributions 

If your schedule doesn’t permit regular volunteering, we invite you to consider making a financial contribution. Your donation significantly supports BCHG’s programs and services. We offer various giving options, including one-time donations, monthly contributions, and support for specific fundraising campaigns. 

Advocacy

Amplify your voice in support of food security and housing issues in Bucks County. Advocate for initiatives that address the root causes of homelessness and endorse affordable housing solutions. Attend community meetings and become a voice for change in Bucks County. 

Organize a Fundraiser or Drive 

Harness your community spirit by organizing a fundraiser or donation drive within your network. Events like food drives, cleaning supply drives, and group fundraising can raise both awareness and resources for BCHG, making a considerable difference. Questions about holding a drive? Email amcgill@bchg.org.

Spread the Word 

Help BCHG’s mission reach new heights by promoting it on social media, within your local community, and among friends and family. Sharing our success stories, events, and volunteer opportunities can draw more support and volunteers to our cause. 

Conclusion 

Bucks County Housing Group stands as a beacon of hope in addressing hunger and homelessness in Bucks County. Your involvement through volunteering, donations, advocacy, or event organization is invaluable to our mission. Every action, no matter how small, creates a ripple effect of positive change in the lives of those in need. Join us today and be a part of the solution with BCHG, for together, we create a stronger and more compassionate community. 

Written by: Amanda McGill

BCHG operates the largest and only professionally-run food pantry system in Bucks County. We have two brick-and-mortar pantries, one in Doylestown and one in Penndel, along with two mobile market vans that distribute food to places further from our permanent pantries. We rely heavily on donations to keep our pantries stocked and our communities fed.

If you’d like to help out, donations to our pantries can be made at the following locations and times:

Penndel: 349 Durham Road, Langhorne, PA 19047
Tuesdays from 10am-12pm

Doylestown: 470 Old Dublin Pike Doylestown, PA 18901
Wednesdays from 1:30-3:30

If you’re interested in making a larger contribution by holding a food drive, below is all the information you’ll need to get started!

What You Need:

  • Containers/boxes for donated items
  • A designated drop-off location with start and end dates and times
  • Publicity (via social media, flyers, etc.)

What to Ask for:

At BCHG, we prioritize healthy food options in our pantries by following the Healthy Pantry Initiative set up by Philabundance. Click here to learn more: https://www.philabundance.org/healthy-pantry-initiative/

With this in mind, please ask for healthy and fresh food donations such as the items below.

Proteins such as:

  • peanut butter
  • canned chicken, tuna, or salmon
  • canned or dried beans
  • lentils and peas

Fruits and vegetables that do not require refrigeration such as:

  • canned fruit or 100% fruit juice
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • bananas
  • oranges

Dairy such as:

  • shelf-stable milk or milk alternatives like oat, almond, or soy milk
  • dried powder milk

Grains such as:

  • rice
  • quinoa
  • pasta
  • oatmeal
  • breakfast
  • cereal

Other Items such as:

  • olive or canola oil
  • broths, lemon juice, or vinegar
  • nuts
  • crackers
  • condiments like ketchup and mayo

Where to Hold the Drive:

Any organization that will allow it! For example:

  • schools
  • businesses/office parks
  • neighborhoods
  • churches, etc.

Where to Bring the Donations:

Please drop off the donations at one of our pantries listed above. To schedule drop-offs outside of the designated hours, please call 215-750-4344 x 101.

As we continue our journey to alleviate hunger and uplift those in need, we are very grateful for community support. Every contribution to our food programs counts; if you prefer to make a monetary donation, you can easily scan the QR codes below.

Donate on PayPal:

Donate on our website:

If you would like to view this info as a printable flyer, please click here: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFpMIIMvjU/cMMIeeBLt6Ysodb1sVOPGQ/view?utm_content=DAFpMIIMvjU&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink

If you have any questions about organizing a drive or how to donate, please don’t hesitate to reach out to amcgill@bchg.org. Together, we can create a brighter, more nourished future for all.

Written By: Hannah Borish