The “working poor” are the most under served population in America, often falling through the cracks of a system that helps the destitute, but offers no assistance to those who, though employed, are struggling daily to make ends meet. Living pay check to pay check, many working families are struggling in the lingering unstable economy.
BCS offers its clients a unique model of non-profit services. The BCS goal is to help working families struggling through the economy and in financial crisis; families who may not qualify for traditional support services but need help getting back on their feet. Families who use BCS pay a monthly membership fee—think Costco—and receive a wide range of mostly perishable foods, non-perishable foods, toiletries and more every week. In return, clients must volunteer in the warehouse on rotation. They must also attend workshops designed to move them forward that give them the tools they need to get their finances back in order. BCS operates not just as a charity handing out supplies. It also operates a social change model that preserves the dignity of its members by allowing, actually requiring, that they give back in some form.
We provide healthy, nutritious and nourishing groceries, farm fresh produce, toiletries, household goods, adult educational classes and resources that are designed to help these families move forward. Many working families are in financial crisis in food insecure households and simply cannot afford the wholesome, nutritious fresh foods to feed their family. This allows families to save money to pay their monthly bills and expenses, pay down debt, medical bills, make essential repairs and offset the consequences of the downward economy. Bentley Community Services, Inc., being unable to serve all of the needy families referred to it, reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to determine those families it will serve. We do not serve families who are receiving food stamps (SNAP), welfare, TANF, housing or childcare assistance.
We are financially responsible and practice food sustainability. The accountability model of food assistance is what we do and we just lead by the heart. By having the participant families volunteer several hours of their time on a rotation basis, we foster their desire to give back, responsibility and a sense of ownership. Our desire is to provide a hand up, not a hand out and serve families that have the will to change their situation. BCS’ unique model of service delivery is founded on a belief that true charity comes from empowering each individual to restore his or her capacity to be self-sufficient, and that the most effective way to accomplish this process is within the context of a community in which participants work together to attain their goals.
We serve as a re-distributor of donated product, redistributing donated surplus food and basic needs through a program in which each selected family provides a few hours on a rotation basis offering helping hands in volunteer service in support of BCS operations helping keep costs down. This innovative BCS program uses a “self-help” model in which the beneficiaries are also partners in running the organization. By providing this avenue of exchange and accountability by giving back to the organization, we foster responsibility and the sense of caring and community.
Practicing food sustainability, we donate to other agencies in need when we have surplus of provisions, inviting them to pick up at our location, providing nourishment and sustenance to their vulnerable populations, as we help feed many additional families from numerous communities.