Reaching-Out gets funding boost from City Council

Tom Neve is breathing a sigh of relief these days.

Neve, founder and executive director of Reaching-Out Community Services Inc., has had to make serious cutbacks in services to struggling families due to severe funding shortages. But he recently received some happy news when he learned that Councilmember Justin Brannan had secured additional funding for the non-profit organization to allow it to continue serving residents of Brannan’s council district.

“Councilmember Justin Brannan keeps families in his district that struggle with food insecurity hopeful. Justin Brannan is providing over $125,000 so no one is his district will be turned away or cut off the pantry system,” Neve said in a statement.

Brannan, a Democrat, represents Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bensonhurst and Gravesend.

Brannan is scheduled to visit the headquarters of Reaching-Out Community Services Inc. at 7708 New Utrecht Ave. on Monday, July 29, to make the official announcement about the new funding.

“Reaching-Out does great work serving our community, so I am pleased to announce that, for the second year in a row, I have secured record levels of funding for this incredibly worthy organization,” Brannan told the Home Reporter in an email on Friday.

With the additional funding, Brannan said the total amount he was able to obtain for Reaching-Out was $162,500.

“Many don’t realize just how many people in our community don’t know where their next meal is coming from. And these families would go hungry without the services RCS provides. While we continue to make strides in this city so that nobody has to go to sleep hungry, it’s important to have groups like Reaching-Out on the ground and helping people in the here and now,” Brannan said.

Reaching-Out, a mainstay in Bensonhurst, sponsors a well-stocked food pantry and assists clients in other ways, such as helping them fill out the paperwork to apply for government programs. The organization serves an estimated 9,800 families in 16 ZIP code areas in Brooklyn.

Neve recently told the Home Reporter that he has seen a dramatic increase in the number of families coming to Reaching-Out’s headquarters him for help. The funding had not increased, however, forcing Neve constantly to ask local lawmakers for help.

Reaching-Out, which subsists largely on grants and government funding, barely had enough money to continue assisting the families already on its roster, according to Neve, who said he recently made the painful decision to stop accepting new clients from 11 ZIP code areas.

While the new funding secured by Brannan won’t solve all of the problems facing Reaching-Out, the new money will help Reaching-Out clients in the councilmember’s district, Neve said.

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