SIDNEY — Alpha Community Center is a hub of help and hope in downtown Sidney. Alpha Center is a United Way agency with a small staff and an army of volunteers providing an array of services, but daily meals are a focus of its offerings.
“The Alpha Community Center is the only place in Shelby County that offers meals at no cost to constituents on a daily basis,” said Jan Geuy, executive director. “We have several teams of dedicated volunteers who make all this happen, but it takes a great deal of money.”
The Alpha Center averages 34,000 meals served annually. In partnership with the Holy Angels Soup Kitchen, it serves lunch Monday through Friday. Hands of Hope provides lunch on the first three Saturdays of every month. In addition, the Alpha Center offers breakfast Monday through Friday and on Sunday morning prior to the JOY Church worship service. And finally, it provides an evening meal following chapel service every Tuesday.
“We rely heavily on grants which fund the majority of our food purchases,” said Geuy. “The opportunity for an extra $10,000 on Match Day would be great insurance for us and our ability to continue to provide this critical basic service, and for those who depend on us for assistance in combating food insecurity.
The Alpha Community Center was established in 1984 as an outreach of the Sidney First United Methodist Church. After renting space in different locations, the current building on East Court Street was purchased.
Alpha Community Center serves the community in four main ways: an after school program and summer program for kids, an emergency pantry with non-perishable food items, diapers and seasonal items like school supplies, blankets and winter wear, a meal program and a separately funded United Way allocation to assist with emergency rent and utility payments. New this year is the “Getting Ahead” class, funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Shelby County. “Getting Ahead” is a life skills curriculum aimed at helping at risk adults improve their quality of life and standard of living.
To support the Alpha Community Center on Match Day, gifts must be made payable to the Community Foundation of Shelby County with: Match/Alpha noted on the memo or in an accompanying note or form. Details and forms are available at the Community Foundation website at www.commfoun.com. Gifts must be received on or before Nov. 28 to be eligible for up to $5,000 in matching money.