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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger is the campus-wide food drive, held annually in September, which has been designated Hunger Action Month.  The funds collected are divided between two groups:  United Way’s People Gotta Eat initiative and The Food Bank of Northern Indiana.  People Gotta Eat is a group of 11 St. Joseph County food pantries that have banded together under the auspices of United Way of St. Joseph County to share resources and raise awareness and funds together.   Available PGE funds are distributed based on the number of households each pantry serves so that pantries serving more people will receive more funding to better meet the community need.

All eleven food pantries within United Way of St. Joseph County’s People Gotta Eat (PGE) network will be presented with a share of the $17,000 dollars raised during the University of Notre Dame’s annual Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger food drive.

“No one should go hungry when there are food and resources to share. Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger is proud to support United Way’s efforts to reduce poverty in our community,” shared Anne Kolaczyk, Chair of Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger. People Gotta Eat is an effort to help those in the community who cannot afford to adequately feed their families. United Way of St. Joseph County collaborates with these local food pantries to keep the pantries stocked and to develop a cohesive plan to effectively address systemic food distribution in our community.

“We are incredibly grateful for the Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger partnership and for the generosity of the Notre Dame community,” said Matt Harrington, President and CEO of United Way of St. Joseph County. “This is yet another way the University helps our organization stabilize local families and reduce the poverty that exists in our own backyard.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Power of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015
By Steve Taylor

Congress on Friday passed a bill that will boost local economies and change the lives of millions of working Americans, improving family financial stability and positioning children for a lifetime of success. The bipartisan, Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 made permanent some tax credits for businesses and working families. While not perfect, the package saves the current version of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit representing a big win for working families, and supports charitable giving in local communities. Now eligible American workers will have permanent access to the full Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which will significantly benefit communities and businesses around the country.

The EITC and CTC are among our nation’s most effective pro-work, anti-poverty tools, putting families on a path to success and independence. The EITC is one of the most successful initiatives for moving mothers from welfare to work. It is so successful that every president over the last 40 years has expanded it with bipartisan support. The refundable aspect of the CTC is similarly designed to encourage and reward work.

These refundable working family tax credits allow parents to keep more of what they earn, and the stabilizing effect helps children and families far beyond the timeframe during which families claim the credits. Studies show that the EITC improves child health and academic achievement, increasing the likelihood of college attendance and success in adulthood. Additionally, these tax credits pump money into local economies, helping to support local business owners.

At United Way, we witness firsthand the tremendous impact of the credits through our more than 380 local United Ways around the country that help people connect to the EITC and CTC through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites and MyFreeTaxes.com. In 2015, United Way-supported VITA efforts completed nearly two million returns leading to $2.35 Billion coming back to communities, including more than $681 million in EITC.

But beyond the numbers, United Ways see the faces of the people who are more financially stable because of the EITC and CTC, like the returning veteran’s family of five in Reno, Nevada, or the newly single mother in Jacksonville, Florida. United Way is committed to helping working families keep more of what they earn through accurate free filing, and Congress should be commended for holding up its end of the deal by keeping the credits whole.

Thank you, Congress, for passing such critical bipartisan tax legislation. Now, all two million military and veteran families, and 4.8 million rural families claiming the credits will continue to have full access. And the 16 million Americans in working families -- including eight million children – who were expected to fall into poverty without Congressional action, will now have greater financial stability moving forward.

If key provisions of the EITC and CTC had expired, the impact to working Americans would have be tangible and immense, and private charity would not have been able to fill the gap. The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax credit have a history of bipartisan support, of fighting poverty and incentivizing work. The decision to pass the tax package grants millions of Americans the opportunity to thrive in the coming year, and for many years beyond.

Taylor is the senior vice president and counsel for Public Policy for United Way Worldwide. Source: TheHill.com

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WESTFIELD INSURANCE FOUNDATION’S LEGACY OF CARING FUND BENEFITS UNITED WAY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY
1st Source Insurance Instrumental in Nominating Local Agency

MISHAWAKA, Ind.  12/15/2015  United Way of St. Joseph County received a grant from Westfield Insurance Foundation thanks to the help of 1st Source Insurance.  The grant is part of the new Westfield Legacy of Caring program in which Westfield independent agents across the country can nominate a local nonprofit in the areas of disaster relief, insurance pathways, family stability or safety.

“Thanks to the generous donation from Westfield Insurance Foundation, we will be able to increase our efforts toward providing the 2-1-1 Emergency Help Line, a service that connects callers to a community resource specialist who puts them in touch with local organizations. These organizations provide vital services that can improve and even save lives,” said Matt Harrington, President and CEO of United Way of St. Joseph County.

“We value our partnerships with our independent insurance agencies.  Giving back to our agents’ communities in support of these key areas is an extension of the fundamental role insurance plays every day in stabilizing families, businesses and communities,” said Westfield Insurance President and CEO and Westfield Insurance Foundation Chairman, Ed Largent.

“1st Source Insurance and its employees are proud members of the Michiana community.  Our collaboration with Westfield allows us to further our citizenship efforts and impact in critically important initiatives,” said Chris Strafford, President of 1st Source Insurance.

United Way of St. Joseph County is one of 30 nonprofit agencies nationwide to receive a total of $330,000 in donations from the Westfield Legacy of Caring program.

Serving our community since 1914, United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is To Mobilize the Community to Collectively Reduce Poverty. The organization works in collaboration with community partners to invest resources, convene, organize and support critical work in St. Joseph County

About Westfield Insurance Foundation
Westfield Insurance Foundation was established in 2005 as an independent private foundation endowed by Westfield Insurance. In keeping with the values of Westfield Insurance, the Foundation exists as a dedicated community and industry partner; concentrating resources to have an impact on safety, disaster relief and family stability. The Foundation donates $2 million annually to a variety of charities.
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About Westfield Insurance
Westfield Insurance is a part of Westfield Group, a customer-focused insurance and banking group of businesses headquartered in Westfield Center, Ohio, and in business for more than 167 years. Westfield Insurance provides commercial insurance in 21 states, personal insurance in 10 states and surety services to customers in 50 states. Westfield is one of the nation’s 50 largest property and casualty insurance groups, represented by a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agencies. Westfield Insurance was named as a Top Workplace in northeast Ohio in 2014 and as a Top Workplace in central Ohio in 2015. Westfield Bank provides banking solutions for businesses and individuals, and Westfield Services provides service and training support for independent insurance agencies. Learn more about Westfield Group at www.WestfieldInsurance.com and www.Westfield-Bank.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – All members of the media are invited to attend a reception where Walmart representatives will present 11 local food pantries with a $25,000 grant on Thursday, December 10th at 4:00 p.m. The event will take place at United Way of St. Joseph County, located at 3517 E. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend, Indiana 46615.

All eleven food pantries are members of United Way of St. Joseph County’s People Gotta Eat initiative.  People Gotta Eat is an effort to help those in the community who cannot afford to adequately feed their families. United Way of St. Joseph County collaborates with these local food pantries to keep the pantries stocked and to develop a cohesive plan to effectively address systemic food distribution in our community.

This initiative is one of many safety net services that United Way manages and supports.  “People Gotta Eat provides a cooperative environment for our food pantries to come together and exchange both ideas and resources to help better stabilize our local families,” said Matt Harrington, President and CEO of United Way of St. Joseph County.

In 2014, Walmart delivered a year early on a 2010 commitment to contribute $2 billion to fight hunger. As part of that commitment, United Way of St. Joseph County’s People Gotta Eat initiative is the recipient of a $25,000 grant to support and sustain the food pantries’ resources this year. Nationally, Walmart has a goal to provide four billion meals to those in need between 2015 and 2020. This is part of a pledge announced in October 2014 to help feed a growing planet by enhancing the sustainability of the food system. Walmart is working to improve affordability of food for both customers and the environment, increase food access, make healthier eating easier, and improve the safety and transparency of the food chain.

“We are truly grateful for this partnership and couldn’t be prouder to gain Walmart’s and the Walmart Foundation’s support for these local pantries,” says Harrington, “Walmart’s commitment to fighting hunger aligns perfectly with stabilizing families, which is one of our main areas of community impact.”

Serving our community since 1914, United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is To Mobilize the Community to Collectively Reduce Poverty. The organization works in collaboration with community partners to invest resources, convene, organize and support critical work in St. Joseph County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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