Catholic Social Service Seek Donations for the Food Pantry

The food pantry at Catholic Social Service Guam (CSS) is running low on supplies for feeding the hungry, and needs help from the community in order to continue offering its service.  Executive Director, Diana Calvo said.  “In the last two months there has been an increase in demand from families and individuals seeking food at our pantry.”  The food pantry provides two days of food once a month for individuals who request help.

Currently the food pantry is running low and the staff at CSS are worried about their ability to meet the current demand.  Calvo is asking for the community to drop off non-perishable dry foods and canned goods or to make a donation online.

When the Food Pantry receives a request the manager determines the size of the household and provides enough food for two days to feed everyone in the household.  Patrons can only make a request once a month. To qualify for assistance individuals must bring in a Mayor’s verification and a certification from Public Health. Every effort is made to ensure that individuals requesting food are given food with enough vitamins and protein, along with enough calories to sustain themselves in a healthy manner. The food pantry typically provides households with one to two individuals with 2lbs rice or pasta, one canned meat, two cans of vegetables, two soups, two cans of seafood, and a can of fruit.  When available other items are added to the patron’s bag of food supplies. The value of the food offered to the individual is $12.00

Calvo said. “Many of our patrons are homeless, but some are out of a job and desperate, while the rest have a job, however those that are working are either working at minimum wage or only part-time.  Guam is expensive for families and individuals living on minimum wage”.

CSS’s food pantry managers are looking for donations from the community.  The food pantry is able to buy food at wholesale prices, so most of the food they get is cheaper than the prices found in the store.  As a result, it is asked that people consider making a monetary donation through the CSS website catholicsocialserviceguam.org, or on their Facebook page facebook.com/CSSGuam.  CSS will gladly accept all donations of non-perishable dry-foods and canned goods. here.

Twenty caregivers employed with Catholic Social Service and Health Services of the Pacific began an apprenticeship program at the University of Guam on June 4 to become certified nursing assistants.
Photo courtesy of University of Guam.

Caregivers train at UOG to become Certified Nursing Assistants
 
A second class of apprentices began the three-month Nursing Assistant Education Program in June at the University of Guam to become certified nursing apprentices (CNAs). The program was launched in February under a federal grant and is the first CNA program on island to offer a paid apprenticeship.

The class has 20 students who are employed as caregivers with Catholic Social Service or Health Services of the Pacific.

“This will mean promotions for the individuals who obtain the certification, and it will also immediately elevate the quality of care in these organizations and on our island,” said Margaret Hattori-Uchima, dean of UOG’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “Caregivers, in some cases, receive very little training, whereas these CNAs will receive 160 hours of training and will have to pass an exam.”

CNAs work under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse preparing rooms and supplies, assisting with tests and procedures, and directly assisting patients.
 
The demand for CNAs in Guam is growing with a higher vacancy rate than the U.S. mainland, Hattori-Uchima said. Based on a needs assessment the school conducted in December among Guam Memorial Hospital, Guam Regional Medical City, and Health Services of the Pacific, there was a 29% vacancy rate for nursing assistants, compared to the U.S. rate of 22%.

Funding for the training program comes through the Guam Department of Labor via the State Apprenticeship Expansion grant, a $1.7 million grant to increase registered apprentices in Guam by 300 workers within allied health, telecommunications, construction, and hospitality.

“We’re yielding to the subject matter experts as to what the workforce needs now,” said Lina N. Hammond, program manager for the grant. “Those are the four in-demand industries.”
 
The funding covers the students’ tuition, uniforms, books, clearances, and physical exams to be part of the program. Following the completion of 160 hours of classroom training and paid apprenticeships at their place of employment, the students will take the CNA exam to become officially certified.

Those interested in participating in future cohorts need to have a high school diploma and an interest in becoming a CNA and can contact UOG Apprenticeship Coordinator Danilo Bilong at (671) 735- 2650 or dbilong@triton.uog.edu.

Catholic Social Service

234 U.S. Army Juan C. Fejeran Street

Barrigada, Guam 96913

 Tel: 671-635-1442  

Fax: 671-645-1444

Email: info@cssguam.org

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