Nearly 65,000 people in Johnson County struggle to get enough food to eat. At times, they’re forced to make difficult choices between feeding their families and paying their rent.
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas is here to help. Our Olathe Emergency Assistance Center (EAC) is available to low-income individuals and families who need food or assistance with basic utility payments, housing, clothing or medical prescriptions.
The help goes beyond meeting immediate needs. An on-site case manager works to identify solutions and resources that will lead to long-term change.
GIVING HELP. GIVING HOPE.
Although Catholic Charities had been serving Johnson County, it was determined that an on-site EAC in Olathe could more directly meet the community’s needs. The Olathe EAC opened in 1981 in the city’s downtown area. We partner with many organizations to provide extensive programs and services including the Olathe Fire Department’s Integrated Health Care Unit which offers monthly screenings; Happy Bottoms diaper program; K-State Extension for monthly nutrition classes; and weekly financial classes through Arvest Bank. On the fourth Tuesday of every month, we team up with Harvesters to host a mobile fresh food distribution of perishable and refrigerated items in the parking lot.
This past fiscal year, demand for services continued to grow in Olathe. We served 12,246 unduplicated individuals. We provided food assistance 30,593 times. Household and personal items increased 147% while the distribution of gently used clothing grew by 15% and the number of financial education participants was 63% higher.
We could not assist our neighbors in need without the support and generosity of individuals, businesses, parishes and foundations who step up to organize food drives, make gifts-in-kind, volunteer in our food pantry and make financial contributions. We are truly blessed.