Family Resource Center provides help to families in need


Elizabeth Atanosian

The Willis Administration building houses many programs for Delaware City Schools, including the Family Resource Center.

Elizabeth Atanosian, Staff Writer

The Family Resource Center was built in order to help families who struggle to make ends meet.
“We provide services that support the holistic needs of children and adults within Delaware County,” said Carrie Hunt, program coordinator at Delaware City Schools’ Family Resource Center in an email interview. “Each circumstance is different, but we provide a safe environment to tease apart and triage the immediate needs over the long term goals and necessities.”
Everyone has different needs, and the Family Resource Center is made up of multiple programs that are available to anyone who can make use of them, with no need to provide proof of income.
“The Pacer Pantry and diaper bank are frequently used,” Hunt said. “The pantry is solely stocked with donations that come from anyone in the community, and due to everyone’s generosity, it serves roughly fifty people per month.”
Almost all programs provided by the Family Resource Center are volunteer-run, but the volunteer requirements can be hard to reach.
“During the summer lunch program and weekend bag packing, an average of eight volunteers per week assist with these programs,” Hunt said. “The program is always looking for volunteers who would like to assist with either program, and the commitment is generally less than an hour per shift.”
As the needs and resources within the community change, Hunt said the Family Resource Center works to be prepared to evolve with them.
“Our other goal involves collaborating with other partner agencies and forming relationships with new ones,” Hunt said. “Our network of support within the county continues to grow daily and I am still amazed how the agencies in this community come together.”
In order to help serve more clients throughout the county, the Family Resource Center has partnered with Delaware County Job and Family Services.
“We recently welcomed a staff member from Delaware County Job and Family Services to the Family Resource Center once a week,” said Delaware City Schools Superintendent Heidi Kegley in an email interview. “They come over and assist individuals with their application process for benefits, such as Medicaid, SNAP, and cash assistance.”
With the population increase of Delaware, a main need for the Family Resource Center is help from the community. In order to help keep all programs running smoothly, volunteers are needed and donations are always beneficial.
“We encourage everyone to reach out if they have any needs,” Kegley said. “It is our goal to connect everyone with the services or support they need. We are always accepting donations for our Pacer Pantry and volunteers to assist with packing the weekend backpacks each week.”
Single mother Leann Amato has made use of multiple programs through the Resource Center and said she has benefited from their help.
“The Family Resource Center has helped me in many ways when I was struggling and going through a difficult time,” Amato said in an email interview. “It was hard to swallow my pride and ask for help, but I did and they were terrific.”
She continues to make use of their programs when she needs them, and she said she is treated with care and respect each time she arrives.
“I would like to share that I have become a regular there and I can call and count on [Hunt] for anything,” Amato said. “She made me feel welcome and at home. You couldn’t ask for a better person or employee.”
If anyone is struggling or debating on whether or not they should ask for help, the Family Resource Center is always available and happy to help in any way they can.
“I would recommend them over anybody else I have dealt with or had an experience with,” Amato said. “The Family Resource Center has helped me get back on my feet and get my life somewhat back on track.”