Agencies approach county for fundingWORTHINGTON — Three agencies that have received appropriations in the past from Nobles County were on hand during Tuesday morning’s county board session to present information about their programs in hopes that funding will again be provided to help with their operational expenses.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Three agencies that have received appropriations in the past from Nobles County were on hand during Tuesday morning’s county board session to present information about their programs in hopes that funding will again be provided to help with their operational expenses.
Robin Weis and Joanne Bartosh spoke on behalf of the Nobles County RSVP program. There are 384 registered volunteers providing service at 62 sites throughout the county. Based on their hours worked, Bartosh said the county sees an annual savings of more than $374,000 — if those volunteers were to be paid at $9 per hour.
Several RSVP volunteers were in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting, and spoke of the benefits of the volunteer organization. There were also representatives from Nobles County Historical Society, St. Mary’s School, YMCA and Manna Food Pantry on hand to express their appreciation for the RSVP volunteers.
“In general, I think that we older folk want to help others — we want to give back,” said Lola Lindquist, an RSVP volunteer and program participant.
“Without all of the volunteers from RSVP, I just don’t know how we could keep (Pioneer Village) open,” added Jacoba Nagel, a Nobles County Historical Society volunteer.
Gene Foth of the Manna Food Pantry went before the board to present statistics on those served by the food shelf in Nobles County. Foth told commissioners that 46 percent of those who visit the food shelf are between the ages of 18 and 64, with 53 percent being children under the age of 18 and the remainder being those over the age of 64.
“Forty-nine percent are Latino, 41 percent are Caucasian,” said Foth, adding that the remainder are other nationalities from 15 different countries.
So far in 2009, Foth has seen a 49 percent increase in the number of individuals seeking food since last year at this time. In addition, there has been a 47.5 percent increase in the number of pounds distributed from 2008 to 2009.
Representatives of the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council also came before the board to talk about the grants that have been awarded to projects throughout the county in the past. Most recently, SMAHC awarded funds to the Plum Creek Library System in Nobles County, and has earmarked funds for the annual International Festival in Worthington.
“We’re really not asking for more money,” said SMAHC board member Ellen Copperud. “We’re just asking for your continued support.”