A main component of the service is the distribution of groceries and clothing to those in need.
Recently, the organization received an important tool to help provide even better service to those who seek their aid.
According to Christy Ritzhaupt, resource developer, the Caring Place recently acquired a large industrial style walk-in cooler that allows the organization to provide chilled goods like milk, eggs and cheese to those who need food.
“We are really excited, because this means people and businesses in our community can now donate perishables for the families we serve,” Ritzhaupt said.
A single individual who qualifies for The Caring Place’s services receives one bag of groceries per calendar month, and families are eligible for a bag twice a month.
According to Ritzhaupt, in July the Caring Place gave out 28,267 pounds of food to Bradley County residents at or below the poverty line, so keeping the shelves stocked is a top priority.
“Even if it’s a business with product nearing the expiration date — we can help them get that to people who need it and they don’t have to throw it all away,” she explained.
The Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland, the United Methodist Women of First United Methodist Church and Cooke’s Food Store have already provided The Caring Place with various food items and labor in preparing and stocking the cooler.
Ritzhaupt stated that one of the biggest needs right now is for USDA-approved prepackaged meat products.
Those seeking more information on helping The Caring Place as a volunteer or via donations, or those seeking to qualify for the organization’s services can call 472-4414 or visit thecaringplaceonline.org for more information.