Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

UCAP cupboard is bare


The waiting area is full, the front door continues to open and close with patrons entering and leaving, while the office area and donation areas are a-buzz with volunteer activity. It is a typical day at the United Christian Assistance Program (UCAP).

With the help of 28 area churches, volunteers and individual donations, UCAP has been providing assistance to financially-distressed families in south Webster Parish for 27 years.

The non-profit organization offers emergency food, overnight shelter, rent assistance, clothing, utility assistance and assistance to stranded transients and families who are distressed financially.

The organization also offers help with prescription drugs for life threatening diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Along with monetary donations, UCAP welcomes individual donations of food, clothing and household items.

According to Madelyn Gilbert, UCAP co-director, they have plenty of clothes right now but their overflow shelves for canned and dry goods such as flour, meal and sugar, are getting bare.

"Usually the boy scouts, different schools and the post office have had can drives by now but they haven't had any yet," Gilbert said.

"When you serve as many people as we do every day it doesn't last," she continued.

According to Nell Perry, UCAP co-director, the month of September saw 83 people in need of food and another 121 people that needed clothes and basic living items and approximately $7,000 worth of checks were written towards utility bills.

UCAP has a number of fundraisers and food drives throughout the year. The big fund-raisers are the Hungerfest, which is held at the First United Methodist Church, and the Thanksgiving Dinner, which is held at First Baptist Church.

Plans are already moving forward for the Thanksgiving dinner, which will be held November 10.

The pick-up-only meal will include turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased from any UCAP volunteer, UCAP member church and at the UCAP office located at 204 Miller Street, Minden.

Meals can be picked up at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Anyone wanting to make a donation or in need of a UCAP service can visit the office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Although UCAP welcomes donations and greatly appreciates them Gilbert asked that the items left in the outside drop-off area be clean, presentable and usable.

"We want articles of clothing fit for people to wear. We don't want to give something to someone we would not use ourselves," she said. "We need your donations and appreciate getting them but please do not leave dirty, torn, unusable articles out there."

For those needing UCAP assistance, there is a screening process to determine a client's eligibility to receive assistance and all who apply are required to present their social security card and provide proof of income and expenses for all household members.






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