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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
October 2017
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Golden Pages
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Senior Spectrum Publications

Catholic Charities Helping Residents with
Medicare Benefits and Supportive Services
by Connie McMullen
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Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada (CCNN) has expanded its scope of services and is now providing support and resources to 161 locations in 16 of Nevada's 17 counties, due to some grant funding from the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

The One Stop Shop Community Outreach Program allows CCNN staff to take Medicare and other federally funded services directly to people in need, offering food and wraparound social services to homeless individuals and low-income families. The program has developed partnerships with 45 food pantries and organizations across the state, all of which help Catholic Charities serve people in need.

CCNN staff helping a senior enroll for benefit assistance.
CCNN staff helping a senior enroll for benefit assistance.

“We are excited to announce that CCNN is one of 13 organizations nationwide to receive grant funding from the National Council on Aging's, Center for Benefits Access,” explained Benefits Enrollment Center (BEC) Program Manager MacKenzie Butler. “This $170,000 grant will allow our organization to provide assistance to seniors and disabled adults through community outreach and partnerships with the Frontier Community Action Agency in Winnemucca and Consolidated Agencies of Human Services in Hawthorne. CCNNs goal is to ensure that the atrisk seniors in the community are receiving the help they need, whether it's getting them signed up for SNAP benefits, helping them pay their utility bills or providing them with food.”

Using a screening tool provided by the NCOA, certified Outreach Specialist assess clients' eligibility for benefits and provide on the spot application assistance for Medicare benefits. They include:

According to the NCOA, Catholic Charities joins a network of 57 BECs that have helped nearly 70,000 individuals apply for $219,589,111 in benefits that save money on prescriptions, food, and utilities. For questions about the services or scheduling a BEC screening for assistance, call (775) 315-6081.

CCNN staff helping a senior.

In addition to the BEC program, CCNN is seeking food donations heading into the holiday season to bolster its supply in the St. Vincent's Food Pantry for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“CCNN has seen food donations drop significantly in the past few years, yet the number of people coming to us for help continues to rise,” said Matt Vaughn, Director of Marketing. “In 2016, we gave out holiday food bags for ‘Feeding Families' to more than 7,000 people. It is our hope that the community will once again get behind our efforts and provide support for the families we serve.”

Vaughn said the St. Vincent's Food Pantry has gone from serving 12,000 people per month to around 15,000. All food donations can be taken to the pantry at 500 E. Fourth Street, in downtown Reno.