The Starke County Commissioners this week received an annual report from Community Services of Starke County’s Joan Haugh, who informed them that the organization has assisted 25 percent of the population of Starke County through transportation and other services.
Haugh told the commissioners that 739 people used transportation service last year, with their nine vehicles, three full-time staff, and four part-time drivers. She said that they did have to increase fares from $1.25 to $1.50, but the organization earned over $16,000 from passenger trips, many of which were out of county.
She also said the food pantry has been doing well, serving 925 different families last year and more than 2000 people. On average, the pantry assists 235 families per month. Haugh says the organization has received donations from over 270 individuals, agencies, and organizations.
Unfortunately, some reductions have been made as well. The energy assistance program has been reduced to $255, but the organization has been able to assist almost 900 families– a number lower than usual, which Haugh attributes to a change in the state program preventing them from giving someone assistance for a bill not in their name.