If you’re 40 and live in these zip codes, this United Way grant can help with food and other needs.


By SARA VANDEN BERGE


Times are hard for a lot of Americans.


With a surge in fuel prices, electricity and food, stress is at an all-time high.

Lots of folks, including many in Erath County, are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, travel to work and put food on the table for their families.


But a new program - Erath County Community Bridges – is helping.


“This program was implemented when the Erath County United Way received a grant from Texas Health Community Impact,” Sylvia Zamora told Beneath the Surface News.

Zamora is a navigation specialist with Erath County Community Bridges and said the program helps people over the age of 40 who live in the 76401, 76446 and 76402 zip codes with food assistance, transportation, depression and anxiety.


“We help those who qualify navigate local resources,” she said.


And here’s the best part, it’s totally free.

STRESS AND ANXIETY


Erath County Community Bridges has partnered with Tarleton State University’s TeleHealth Institute and Compassion Counseling Center to help those suffering from stress, anxiety and depression.


“What we know is that sometimes it’s the day-to-day struggles like not having transportation or not being able to pay electricity or rent that are causing the stress, and many of those are things we can help with,” Zamora said. “We have helped folks get shower chairs and wheelchairs and secure those basic needs that are causing their anxiety.”

Local organizations like H.O.P.E., Grace Place, Basic Needs Ministry and Love Basket also work with the program to provide food and other assistance.


A food pantry is available from 5-6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at First Baptist Church in Dublin and from 5-6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at First Baptist Church Stephenville.


The program is also working with DoorDash to deliver Stephenville residents boxes of food from local food pantries.

And if transportation is an issue, the program helps with that too.


“We have partnered with CARR and we are able to offer individuals with 30 free one-way trips per month,” Zamora said. “That helps get people to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store or a food pantry. We even had one lady use it to get to the senior center to help with her social isolation.


“There is just a lot of good things happening with this grant.”

If you or someone you know could use a helping hand, give Erath County Community Bridges a call at 254-965-4429 option 2.


The grant ends in December, but Lisa Scroggins, executive director of the Erath County United Way, said they will reapply so they can continue the program next year.