The Natick Service Council recently received a $20,000 grant from the Boston Scientific Foundation to help support food, housing, and other basic needs for Natick residents, according to council representatives.
The council began in 1962 as a way for civic organizers to help out neighbors who were dealing with a crisis or needed extra aid, whether it was food, help with bills, employment options, or health services.
The Natick Service Council has since seen their numbers grow in both volunteer efforts and people served annually, and with the down economy, has seen its highest numbers to date.
Their flagship program, the Vi Tutuny Food Pantry, currently serves 60 families weekly and saw almost 5,000 visitors in 2011, up 9 percent from 2010, while the 2010 number was up 8 percent from 2009.
The Natick Service Council also relies heavily on its case managers, who work closely with Natick families and individuals to provide mental health support, bill assistance, transportation, and eviction prevention.
In 2011, clients served by case managers were up 7.4 percent. The Natick Service Council said that recently, more and more people from all backgrounds are seeking their services for employment aid as well.
The Boston Scientific Foundationís grant of $20,000 will go directly to support the councilís Case Management program, helping to meet the increased demand for food, housing, unpaid healthcare costs, and other needs from people in the Natick community.
The council will also hold its "Winter Warmer" fundraiser this Saturday at the Natick Elks Lodge from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. to help raise money for their cause.
For more information, visit the council's website.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org