Impact and Programs
FY2015 Overall Programs Statement
FOOD: In FY2015, ICA distributed 1.6 million pounds of food to individuals, families, schools, senior centers, other social services agencies and food shelves/food banks. 1.5 million pounds went to 5832 individuals through 15,171 food services. The number of Food Services has increased by 170% since the beginning of the Great Recession (Dec 2007), and has continued to climb even after the Recession ended: annual Food Services are up 64% since the end of the Great Recession (June 2009). ICA also offers specialty foods to meet the allergy, medical, and ethnic needs of our clients
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: ICA provided $135,235 in financial assistance benefiting 1,184 individuals in FY2015. ICA assisted with rent, mortgage, utilities, bus passes, transit link passes, laundry tokens and miscellaneous items.
MOBILE FOOD SHELF and HOME DELIVERY: 67,330 pounds of food were delivered by ICA’s Mobile Food Shelf in FY2015 to 182 individuals, primarily senior citizens, at four low-income housing units. ICA volunteers made 358 home deliveries of 25,196 lbs of food to 147 individuals.
EMPLOYMENT SPECIALIST: In FY15 ICA’s Employment Specialist met with 117 individuals who were unemployed/under-employed to increase their chances of securing employment. 24% of Employment Assistance clients were 'marginally employed', meaning they did not earn enough to sustain their families. 42 individuals are known or believed to now be employed after working with ICA’s Employment Specialist.
REFERRALS AND OUTREACH: In FY2015 ICA Case Managers made 1129 referrals for SNAP (food support), MFIP, Hennepin County services and other resources to 639 ICA clients, and an additional 365 to individuals out of ICA's service area or who did not require any other services. 1020 households received Area Resource lists with local service and contact information.
SEASONAL PROGRAMS: In FY2015, ICA gave out 854 Thanksgiving turkeys and fixings.
ICA is committed to maintaining healthy, vibrant communities through our Food Assistance, Homelessness Prevention and Employee Assistance programs: FOOD ASSISTANCE - Choice Model Food Shelf - More than 1,455,000 pounds of food was distributed to over 5500 individuals through 13,600 food services in FY2016. Families are able to select foods they enjoy and know how to prepare, up to 37 pounds of food and non-food items per household member at each visit. Most neighbors visit the food shelf once per month, however many visit 2-3 times per month. They receive fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, non-perishable goods and non-food choices that include personal care items and pet food. Emergency Bags: 877 emergency bags of food (14,697 pounds) were distributed to individuals in need. For people needing same-day food assistance, ICA provides an emergency bag of food until a scheduled appointment is available, usually within two days. ICA collaborates with the Hopkins and Minnetonka Fire Departments to distribute emergency food bags, as deemed necessary, during routine stops. Mobile Food Shelf: 1,299 delivers to 191 neighbors living in low-income apartments. Residents without transportation to ICA, benefit from from our Mobile Food Shelf delivery once or twice a month to reduce meal gaps. Home Delivery: 290 home deliveries to 113 individuals living independently. Neighbors who are living independently but are food insecure and physically unable to come to the food shelf can call for delivery appointments. The program also provides an opportunity for personal interaction and assessment of client’s needs. School Snacks and Weekend Programs: 22,649 pounds of food to local students in the Hopkins and Minnetonka School districts. At each of 18 schools, ICA provides snack bins for school counselors to distribute nutritious snacks to food insecure students and weekend food packs with easy-to-prepare food items for students to take home for their entire family. The weekend packs contain outreach flyers indicating that the family's food needs can be so much greater when they come to ICA. Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS): This federal program provides 65 low-income seniors currently receive nutritious, non-perishable food monthly to supplement their food needs. ICA began distributing food to seniors through the federal NAPS program in May 2015.
HOMELESS PREVENTION ASSISTANCE: ICA provided $98,428 in homelessness prevention and financial assistance, benefiting 692 individuals. ICA provides this assistance for “solvable situations,” neighbors needing temporary assistance with rent, mortgage, utilities, and transportation due to unforeseen circumstances. With ICA’s help to fill the financial gap in an unexpected situation, the family will once again be able to pay their bills independently. EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: ICA offers employment assistance to over 100 clients each year. 109 resumes were created and/or revised and 42 clients told clients they had secured employment. Our Employment Specialist provides individualized job search, resume writing, and interview skills assistance to current and new clients who are unemployed/underemployed.
Community or Constituency Served
Intercongregation Community Association (ICA) has served the west metro communities of Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Shorewood, and Woodland since 1971. It was then that 5 churches in the area became aware of the mounting need in our communities and began distributing food and clothing. Over the years, 32 additional congregations have joined ICA as have over 325 local businesses, civic groups, school groups and over 1000 individuals in order to help our neighbors in need. It is often thought that poverty is an urban problem. Yet a study done by the Brookings Institution as reported in the Minneapolis StarTribune in May 2013 indicated the Twins Cities’ rise in suburban poverty ranked in the top 10 in the nation. A more recent article using statistics from research reported by Alan Berube of the Brookings Institution in May 2015 specifies that while the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have 259,292 residents in poverty, the surrounding suburbs have 385,325 residents living in poverty as of 2013. Hennepin County suburbs in particular saw a rise of 32,648 additional people moving into poverty from 2000 to 2013. This is the fastest rise within all of the suburban Twin Cities area. The poverty experienced by the 6,300+ individuals ICA serves reflects these facts. ICA’s food program is primarily for residents whose income is below 200% of the poverty guidelines and 94% of our families fit this category. For a family of 4, this is an annual income $0-$48,500. Sixty percent of clients are below 100% poverty guidelines which equates to $24,250 annually. Many in our community have to choose between paying rent, paying utilities, buying groceries or purchasing medications. One of the communities in our service area, Hopkins where 58% of our clients reside, has been designated a “food security red zone” - an area of highest food insecurity in MN, based on the findings of the Hunger-Free Minnesota’s work with Boston Consulting Group. Another 34% reside in Minnetonka and the balance in our remaining 5 communities. It is ICA’s goal to create a healthy and stable community where all people can eat nutritious food, live in stable housing and are gainfully employed. In our fiscal year 2015, ICA served 6300+ individuals, neighbors who needed food assistance, homelessness prevention and/or employment services: 49% of ICA households have children; 30% single adults; 35% children and 8% seniors age 65+; 49% of households had someone employed, but due to low wages and underemployment, they still needed assistance; 8% had no income; 44% Caucasian, 28% African American, 13% Hispanic, 15% Other; 23% of our clients were new to ICA in fiscal year 2015, while 27% had used us for over 5 years; 44% of our clients visit ICA 3 months or less during the year, with only 20% visiting each month. We are watching the numbers of seniors needing assistance in our community closely for we predict those numbers to increase over the next 5 years. While currently 8% of our clients are seniors, another 11.3% are in their 50's. As the Great Recession hit during their later working and savings years, we need to prepare for these clients needing assistance longer. As our mission is to offer hope to our neighbors in need, we have the opportunity to provide food, homelessness prevention support for rent/mortgages, utilities and transportation, and employment search assistance within our 7 communities. Our goal for these families is self-sufficiency, yet we know that some of our families, especially our seniors and those with mental health issues, may never be self-sufficient. In those situations are goal is that through ICA, we can offer assistance and referrals so these neighbors can be resilient, continuing to live in our community.
Geographic Area Served
Twin Cities West Metro Suburbs - Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Shorewood, and Woodland.