Logan County Good Samaritan 2008 Yearly Report
By Denise McDonald

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

In 2008 Logan County Good Samaritan (LCGS) assisted a total of 845 families. These families had a total of 1931 household members. The numbers in this report are based on the total household members. Our clients consisted of 259 people over 60 years old, 737 children and 408 disabled persons. 1618 were below the poverty level and 1844 were low-income as determined by the USDA standards (130% of poverty level).
LCGS provided a total of 6,833 services, of which 541 were financial assistance. The total amount of financial assistance was $44,001.66 for an average cost of $81.33 per service. As utility expenses rise, the requests for assistance continue to be for larger amounts and more often. This is resulting in larger amounts of financial assistance going to fewer clients and more denials for clients returning too often. 
When a client comes in for food they normally receive two services (USDA and Pantry). With that in mind, LCGS provided 6,292 food services at a cost of $9,202.74 for an average of $1.46 per service. LCGS received 51,430 pounds of food from America’s Second Harvest food bank at a cost of $3,691.78. These numbers show there was a 15% decrease in poundage from 2007 with a decrease in costs of 6%. The decreases are due to the fact the USDA commodities continue to be less plentiful. Much of our food was donated directly by the member churches, civic/school groups and the community in general. We counted all items donated with a total of 17,300 donated items. The remainder of our food products was purchased through other vendors with a cost of $5,510.96.
LCGS had a total of 776 requests for financial assistance, which was higher than expected. We were able to assist with 69% of these requests. More than 99.5% of all food requests were granted. Combining all services together, we granted 97% of all requests for assistance. 
LCGS was able to assist with 541 requests for financial assistance that involved a total of 468 different households. Of these households, 85% received assistance once, 15% received assistance twice and less than 1% received assistance three or more times during the year. Many of the financial requests were for a greater need resulting in more assistance less often. 
On average, we served 262 households per month with food assistance. We asked our regular food recipients to complete a survey in December 2008. We received 193 completed surveys which is 74% of our regular food recipients. The following results of the survey are based on those 193 households. These numbers were lower than we expected but we try to promote honest answers.
Since beginning to receive food from LCGS, 71% said they spent less on food, 68% had more food available and 72%said they now eat a more balance diet. Only 38% said they found the recipes we provided were useful but 84% said they use them. When asked how satisfied they were with the service provided by the staff, we are pleased to report that 82% said they were very satisfied and 5% said somewhat satisfied. 
Beginning in January 2009, LCGS began providing two new services through partnerships with the City of Russellville and the Barren River  Asset Building Coalition (BRABC). The Russellville City Water Discount Program is a partnership between the City and LCGS where the City provides a $10 per month discount to those households LCGS certifies as meeting the requirements. We expect to certify 75 households in 2009. This program represents a potential $9,000 a year in benefits to these aged or disabled, low-income households.
The second partnership is between BRABC, United Way, LCGS and the IRS to prepare and E-file Federal and State taxes for low-income households and provides information on programs to help build financial stability. LCGS agreed to file 35 federal tax returns. That number was met by the end of February. A very low estimate of the average amount of money saved in tax preparation fees, filing fees and fees for “rapid refund” loans would be approximately $200 per household providing at least $7,000 in benefits on just the first 35 returns. We are always looking for innovative ways to benefit our clients and we feel these new partnerships help achieve this goal.
In 2008, we took part in one fundraising event which worked extremely well for us. The fundraiser is called the Feinstein Challenge. Mr. Alan Feinstein of Rhode Island challenges food banks across the nation to raise money for food and to collect canned goods in their own communities during the months of March and April. The total amounts raised are then sent to Mr. Feinstein. Based on the total amount raised, Mr. Feinstein proportionately distributes one million dollars of his private funds to the participating agencies. This fundraiser brought in over $3191 and over 4600 canned goods to LCGS in 2008. We plan to repeat this fundraiser again in 2009.
LCGS had over 849 volunteer hours in 2008 involving 18 volunteers. We encourage everyone to sign in when they are volunteering here as we try to keep our numbers as accurate as possible. Board members attending meetings have not been doing this and should make an effort to do so. 
The past few years, we have noticed a trend toward clients having much greater needs due to the increases in utility costs. Last year alone, we saw 214 households who had never been to LCGS for assistance before. Several times we had clients whom we had not seen in 5 or more years return for assistance. Unfortunately, we expect this trend to continue resulting in higher costs per service rendered.  
As always, we strive to continue to learn and improve on a daily basis.

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