Hello MAHN! I hope everyone had a happy, healthy holiday and a wonderful New Year. I'm excited to see what 2016 has in store for Montgomery County!
EVENTS: SAVE THE DATE!
Mark your calendars! MAHN will be hosting its second Montgomery County Emergency Food System Conference on Friday, May 20, 2016 at Advanced Living Communities in Lansdale. For our keynote speaker, we’ve invited Janet Poppendieck, author of Sweet Charity? She’ll walk us through a bit of history about food pantries in the United States, and help frame our discussion on how we can better our efforts going forward. We’ll also have group sessions similar to our Peer Learning Circle meetings. Look for more information to come!
UPDATES: WHAT'S NEW?
An update on the three-month SNAP time limit for adults aged 18-50 who are not living with children or working 20 hours a week (called ABAWDs, for able-bodied adults without dependents). 

DHS has finalized its form for verifying “unfitness for work,” and this form is now on our web site at http://www.clsphila.org/ABAWDs and on Hunger Coalition’s site at http://www.hungercoalition.org/ABAWDs. In addition, later this month DHS will be mailing a “survey” form to potential ABAWDs in the counties where the time limit will apply. The survey form is also on our web site. Also on the web site are a map with the affected counties, and a screening form we created that can be used by community organizations to help identify whether someone is exempt from the time limit. Either our screening form or DHS’s survey form can be used as a request to the local County Assistance office to be exempted from the time limit.

We encourage community organizations to make copies of the survey, with the “unfit for work” form on the back, and urge individuals who might be affected by the time limit to complete the survey and submit it to the County Assistance Office. If they have physical or mental health problems that prevent them from working, they should get a medical provider to complete the “unfit for work” form and submit that to the CAO as well.

As of now, we still do not have DHS’s form for an agency to verify that someone is doing community service (and hence is meeting the ABAWD work rules). We’ll continue to update our web site as we learn more.
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Have you taken our 2016 MontCo Provider Survey? MAHN is collecting information from emergency food providers about their operations, capacity, and any changes your pantry has experienced in the past year. We’ll use this data to inform our efforts going forward, and your participation is key to a more food-secure Montgomery County! Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TBT8TJ9

And if you like taking surveys, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Committee has issued a survey on sources for local food in Montgomery County. The DVRPC is aiming to strengthen local farms and improve the health of county residents, and would welcome input from you or your organizations. You can take the survey here: http://www.dvrpc.org/food/MontCo/
MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTS!
Welcome to The Rachel Way, the most recent addition to the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network. The Rachel Way is a food pantry in Plymouth Meeting that specializes in gluten-free and dairy-free items for people facing food insecurity and who have dietary restrictions. Founder Heather Gannon opened the food pantry in October of last year, inspired by her daughter Rachel and the effects that purchasing gluten-free food had on the family budget.

While many pantries offer some gluten-free or dairy-free items, The Rachel Way focuses exclusively on these items. Gannon said she hopes her pantry can supplement the great work already being done by MontCo food providers. For clients who want to learn more, this flyer can help people get in touch with The Rachel Way.

The Rachel Way is open to clients on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and by appointment. For more information, contact heather@therachelway.org, or call (484) 804-5293.
GRANTS: WHAT'S AVAILABLE?

World Hunger Leadership Challenge Accepting Student Entries for World Hunger Service Learning Projects.

The Lead2Feed Challenge was created by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the Yum! Foundation, to encourage middle and high school students to hone their leadership skills by completing a service-learning project that addresses hunger or other community need.

Teams of students in grades 7 to 12 in a public, private, or charter middle school or high school are invited to enter the challenge. Each team must create and execute a service learning project to raise awareness of world hunger by setting a goal that attempts to solve a local, statewide, or national hunger-related issue (i.e., help an existing charity or create a project in its community whose mission is to address or solve hunger related problems locally or nationally).

First-, second-, and third-place prizes of $25,000, $5,000, and $1,000, respectively, will be awarded, for a total amount of up to $275,000.

For more information, click here: http://phennd.org/update/world-hunger-leadership-challenge-3/

 

COALITIONS: AROUND THE COUNTY!
The InterCounty Food Network will meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 29, at Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities. For more information, contact Monica Oswald at foodcupboard@theopenlink.org.

The Nutrition Coalition will meet at 9 a.m. on March 17, 2016 at Lamb Foundation in North Wales, PA. Contact Britt Peterson for more information at Britt@mannaonmain.org.

Advocates Against Hunger will meet again in February or early March. Contact Kary LaFors at AdvocatesAHLaFors@aol.com.

The Eastern MontCo Pantry Coalition will meet in March at Calvary Assembly of God in Wyncote. Contact Pat Druhan at pdruhan@cadcom.org to get information about upcoming meetings. 

That’s all, thanks everyone!
MAHN Newsletter, 8.3.15
For more information, contact montcoantihungernetwork@gmail.com
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