Volunteer for 20 hours per month to get up to $200 more on your EBT credit; how composting is moving forward on sustainable waste and at Forward Church
Forward Church, located in the heart of Historic Broadway District, is at the center of a revitalization around Christ and the neighborhood.
This summer, Groundz began recycling food waste for Merwin’s Wharf, Cleveland Metroparks first full service restaurant located off Columbus Avenue, with sweeping views of the Cuyahoga river. Since July 29 we have recycled 3,241 pounds, or 1,205 gallons (almost 9 cubic yards) of food waste for Merwin’s Wharf, which we deliver to Willow Community Garden, a market garden initiative of Forward Church, for making compost about 4 miles away.
We have begun the paperwork for Cuyahoga Job and Family Services (CJFS) new EBT/food stamp benefit program: If underemployed or unemployed individuals receiving food stamp benefits volunteer between 20-24 hours per month at a designated work site, then they can see up to $200 per month additionally for their EBT credit.
Below are the CJFS’ work requirements for qualifications for increased EBT benefit.
What are the participation and work requirements?
The required hours are:
Eighty (80) hours per month/ twenty (20) hours per week in paid or unpaid work, school, training or
looking for a job* . Unpaid or “in-kind” work may be done in exchange for goods or services (eg.
building maintenance in exchange for free rent). In Job Search a service provider will help you look
for work and options are available through adult basic education (ABE), GED preparation, vocational
or technical training. Or
Twenty (20) – twenty four (24) hours per month/5-6 hours per week in the agency’s Work Experience
Program (WEP) **. A service provider will find you a worksite based on your interests and skills.
* Job search must be combined with another activity (cannot exceed 9 hours per week)
** The number of hours in the Work Experience Program is calculated by dividing your food assistance
amount by the State minimum wage.
Forward Church/Willow Community Garden will be a new worksite. Some opportunities include: gardening, seeding, weeding, watering (learning how to operate a fire hydrant), composting, market garden opportunities like volunteering with local food grown onsite to be brought to celebrity chef restaurants, maintenance of farm equipment like repairing flat tires, lawn mowers, weed whackers, and upcoming opportunities with Forward Church.
Earlier this year Forward Church gave out about 100 Garden Sox by Filtrexx to families in the Broadway/Slavic Village area, to encourage healthy eating. Forward Church is a catalyst for a larger community revitalization initiative to continue the work of Jacob VanSickle, now executive director of Bike Cleveland, to bring bike lanes on East 55th Street and other streets to encourage the Forward Life of health.
Another advantage of individuals with increased EBT benefit is now most farmers markets accept it. At Willow Community Garden we were awarded a USDA grant to build a new hoop house, which will be build on a vacant property off Broadway.