KACS wins award as exemplary nonprofit

The Barra Foundation has announced that Kennett Area Community Service is a recipient of a 2018-2019 Barra Award. KACS joins 43 nonprofit organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region that will each receive $50,000 in grant funding. Barra awardees are nominated by their peers in the social sector and are then invited to submit an application to the foundation. The application questions focus on the organization’s leadership, performance and adaptability.

“We are so excited to have been chosen for this grant opportunity. Our leadership team has been focused on taking our Kennett Food Cupboard program to the next level by working on the task of poverty reduction. Not only do we have the opportunity every day to end food insecurity, but we can also use that connection to begin the journey with our families to achieve economic mobility. Support from the Barra Foundation allows to do just that, to make every relationship count.” said KACS Executive Director Melanie Weiler in a press release.

In line with the foundation’s mission to invest in innovation in the social sector, the Barra Awards provide unrestricted funding and introduce awardees to a diverse network of social sector leaders. “Without unrestricted capital, nonprofits have little margin for error or appetite for innovation. Through the Barra Awards we hope to provide organizations with some financial breathing room and their leaders with opportunities to learn from their peers—a diverse and inspiring network of entrepreneurial thinkers from across the nonprofit sector,” said Kristina Wahl, president of The Barra Foundation in the release.

Since its 2013 inception, the Barra Awards has granted more than $6 million to area nonprofits. Awardees represent a range of nonprofits from the Arts and Culture, Education, and Health and Human Services sectors in the Greater Philadelphia region.

A full list of the 2018-2019 Barra Award winners is available here.

To learn more about the Barra Awards program, click here.

About The Barra Foundation

The Barra Foundation invests in innovation to inspire change that strengthens communities in the Greater Philadelphia region. Through its Catalyst Fund and Barra Awards, the Foundation provides approximately $4 million in annual grants that are focused on supporting innovation in and across the fields of Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services.

About Kennett Area Community Service

KACS is committed to serving families and all individuals in the fight against hunger and homelessness in the Kennett area and surrounding communities. KACS is a responsible steward of the community, helping members of the greater Kennett community lift themselves in a dignified manner out of the cycle of poverty. The ultimate goal is to address and eliminate critical individual and societal barriers preventing households from exiting poverty.

KACS is the only organization of its kind in the Kennett Area providing three primary programs of service: The Food Cupboard, Emergency Assistance Program and Resource Building--that meet immediate needs while preparing participants for a healthy, stable future.

The Food Cupboard, one of the largest in Chester County, provides nutritious supplemental grocery items such as meat, dairy, eggs, fresh produce, bread, grains and canned fruits and vegetables to food insecure families and individuals. The program offers a week’s supply of nutritious food each month to 420 families.

The Emergency Assistance Program (EMA) provides cash grants to prevent eviction, pay overdue utility bills, purchase prescriptions, pay for essential transportation, and other urgent needs. Case Management and referral services are provided to all households. Over 100 homeless or imminently homeless households have sought KACS services in 2017, including the use of laundry and bathing facilities.

The final program area, Resource Building, started in 2014 and dramatically changed how KACS supports families. KACS implemented a nationally recognized strengths-based framework (based on the book Bridges Out of Poverty) aimed at reducing local poverty and building long-term sustainability for participants. All three programs address the ultimate goal by providing case management to address immediate needs and offering an extended, multi-year program to address issues leading to poverty. To date, KACS has trained 230 community members on the Bridges framework. An additional 40 families in need have participated in the Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World program.

To learn more about KACS and programs, visit www.KACSonline.net or contact Melanie Weiler at 610- 925-3556 x112.




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