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2022 Annual Report

A recap of Hope Full Life Center's 2022 activities


The pandemic crisis receded in 2022, but it was replaced another calamity for struggling families – out-of-control price increases for everyday expenses, especially food. The Hope Full Life Center team remained steadfast in our commitment to give people a helping hand by stretching their food dollars. Hope Full Life Center blessed hundreds of people last year through Helping Harvest, its community food assistance program.


What is Hope Full Life Center?

• Hope Full Life Center (HFLC) is the hands-on ministry of Abounding Love Christian Fellowship.

• The organization assists the needy in Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk and throughout southern Albany County and the surrounding region through Helping Harvest, a community food assistance program that encourages self-sufficiency.

• HFLC is a 501(C)3 not-for-profit corporation founded in 2012.

• HFLC oversees Helping Harvest and the Linda Civill Community Garden.

• Mission Statement: Hope Full Life Center empowers people. Activated by compassion, our multi-faceted outreach provides a helping hand, not a hand-out, to improve life for our neighbors.


2022 Program Highlights


Helping Harvest

Helping Harvest is a community food assistance program for families struggling to put food on the table. It functions like a grocery store. Our members can make their own selections and “check out” with a donation. Families save an average of 50% on their groceries at

Helping Harvest.


2022 Statistics

• Helping Harvest sent home more than $186,000 worth of groceries with low-income families in the area.

• Since its inception, the charity has sent home more than $1.5 million worth of groceries with struggling families.

• Helping Harvest has a good selection of dry foods, frozen products, meats, dairy, and fresh produce.

• Helping Harvest has 275 current members. We have served more than 1,700 members since we opened in 2010.

• 160 new families enrolled in Helping Harvest in 2022, a 55% increase over 2021.

• Total member shopping visits to Helping Harvest in 2022 was more than 2,100.

• When we add members and all the people in their households, Helping Harvest assists nearly 1,000 people in the area with food and nutrition. Since inception we have served more than 6,000 individuals and families.

• Many members are from Ravena, Coeymans and Selkirk, but we have people travel from as far away as Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady and points south to use Helping Harvest.


Community Minded


• When we have an over-abundance of food we share it with the Ravena Senior Projects, Teen Challenge, and the Capital City Rescue Mission.

• We support Capital Roots, a Troy-based not-for-profit, through the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables.


Linda Civill Community Garden

For the first time since 2018, the community garden was open. However, lack of a water source made gardening in this spot difficult and the Center is seeking an alternative location for the future.

Other 2022 Accomplishments


Stretching food dollars further with SNAP

More than 20% of sales at Helping Harvest were made using SNAP benefits in 2022. Members benefit from our low prices AND use their SNAP benefits to stretch their food budgets even further. We anticipate use of SNAP will increase in 2023 as more people learn that we accept it.


Continued Access Helping Harvest is open six days a week for a total of 24 hours, far longer than any food pantry in the area.


Volunteer Achievement

Long-time volunteer John Hudspath was honored with a Jefferson Award for service in April. The award is a national honor.


Blessing Bags

During the Christmas season we gave away 75 Blessing Bags to families in need. The bags were full of household paper products and cleaning supplies, which are not covered by SNAP benefits. We also included some festive holiday food items.

Generous individual donors and local businesses, TCI of NY, LLC and Mattress by Appointment Ravena, made the Blessing Bag project possible.


We identified plenty of need with Helping Harvest members and most of the bags were distributed there. 2022 marked the fifth year Hope Full Life Center ran the Blessing Bag program during the Christmas season.


Volunteers

• A core group of 14 volunteers and staff kept Helping Harvest running in 2022.

• We’re grateful for Albany Adult & Teen Challenge who sent us volunteers all spring.

Other organizations that supplied us with volunteers before the pandemic, including RCS Central School District and the Albany County Community Justice Outreach Center, were still unable to do so in 2022 for a variety of reasons.


Grants and Donations


HFLC generates the bulk of its operating income from individual donations. However, the charity was grateful to receive donations from the Port of Coeymans; P&M Brick; GPS Metro, LLC; Curaleaf New York; National Bank of Coxsackie;Persico Oil; Charles Hite, Land Surveyor, and HEARt Ear Boutique. Save A Lot and Trader Joes donated groceries to us throughout the year. Thanks to our landlord, Flach Development & Realty, we pay extremely low rent. We are grateful to each of these organizations who believe in our work and who help us walk out our mission.


The Center was also the grateful recipient of grants from the Stewart’s Holiday Match, Bank of Greene County Charitable Foundation and the Seymour Fox Foundation.


Impact


Hope Full Life Center is proud of the services we provide and how we deliver them. We don’t just give struggling families in the RCS community access to low-cost food, we supply a benefit far less tangible - dignity.


The Center’s staff and volunteers strive to offer a clean, friendly, professionally operated program where customers can make selections to suit their individual tastes and needs. Through modest donations, customers contribute to their well-being and ensure the survival of the programs for others.


We are inspired by our fellow volunteers and the people we serve. We lean on Matthew 25:35-40 for direction: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”


Respectfully submitted,


Rebecca Flach Executive Director




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