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Community Spotlight: Elkton Area United Services

Elkton Area United Services provides food and other necessities to people in need.
Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 2:12 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Elkton Area United Services does everything it can to help those in need, from handing out food and clothing to helping people pay their bills.

These things have become especially helpful during the holiday season.

Elkton Area United Services helped feed more than 300 families over the Christmas holiday.

“We distribute food twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays, and in general, most folks who come will get pretty much a shopping cart full of food every time they come,” Jeff Miracle, EAUS Executive Director, said.

But helping people isn’t just a seasonal job for EAUS. The nonprofit is providing assistance year-round, serving about 13 percent of all people who live in the Elkton area.

“The people we generally help are in the ALICE population, which means Asset Limited Income Constrained but Employed, so some of the folks who fall in between the cracks. They may not make low enough to be able to get government assistance, but they really don’t make enough money in their paycheck to survive,” Miracle said.

In 2020, EAUS really saw the need for their services increase due to the pandemic as they distributed over 600,000 pounds of food.

That number is down to about 400,000 pounds of food for this year, but Miracle said the need has increased just over the past couple of months.

“Not only is the pandemic still hitting us again, but the fact that moratorium on evictions and having people’s electricity turned off has now gone away, we’ve seen more clients coming in for need for rental assistance, for mortgage assistance, for utility assistance, for fuel because it’s winter time,” he explained.

EAUS is able to adjust what they do so they are able to meet those needs, and the organization is looking forward to doing that from a new building.

To celebrate 50 years of serving the Elkton community, crews will be breaking ground in the new year.

“Right now, we have this location, our thrift store location, our office location, and our client services location. In the new building, we’re all going to be together,” Miracle said.

He’s planning to be working out of new building in the next 18 to 24 months.

“Because more food has been coming in, more donations at our thrift store and more sales at our thrift store, we are able to help more people. It’s amazing that it’s very, very few times that we have to say no to someone,” Miracle said.

The new building will be located just inside of the Elkton town limits behind Auto Zone.

If you would like to get involved with Elkton Area United Services and stay up to date on everything it is offering, you can search EAUS on Facebook.

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