Inflation Increases Need for Donations at St. Martins Center as Erie Gives Day Approaches
For the past few years, Christine Rice has depended on the St. Martin Center to help feed her children.
"I come here," said Rice. "They help with food, which is always a huge help, especially when you have children."
From food, to childcare, to housing and rental assistance, the Catholic Charities agency provides a wide variety of services for those in need.
However, the past several years have been tough.
"What we find is that many individuals still haven't recovered," said David Gonzalez, CEO of St. Martin Center.
Ongoing inflation has had a major impact on the non-profit's expenses.
"We used to pay $400 or $500 of rent. Now, we're paying $750 to $800+ of providing rent assistance."
The cost of food has also skyrocketed.
"Our food pantry numbers continue to increase," said Gonzalez. "They tripled from June of last year to July this past month. As the cost increases to all of us, [it] certainly [does] to the people who have less resources they feel it deeper."
Donations St. Martin Center receives from this year's Erie Gives Day are more important than ever before.
"We just want folks to think about us, to consider us," said Gonzalez. "Our goal was to double last year's amount because cost of everything has doubled. We really want folks to partner and pray about it and to join us - walk along side us as we help those in need."
Social services are crucial to those who are using them in the community.
"If you're in need and you're a single woman, absolutely why not use it?," said Rice. "It's a huge help for the community."