KRA Program Motivates and Meets Basic Needs

CTWorks’ Pantry Points Program (PPP), a KRA innovation, continues to be highly successful. Since January 2010, the PPP has distributed more than 32,000 items (more than 5,700 orders!) to program participants. Here’s how it works: participants earn points by complying with certain program attendance requirements (appointments, employment-plan activities, orientations, etc.) and then redeem their points for items from the “pantry”, which stocks hundreds of products…from pacifiers to pencils and diapers to dish-washing detergent. For instance, part of the PPP is “Diaper City @ CTWorks”, in which participants can redeem 5 pantry points for 1 pack of disposable diapers, a real benefit for parents who are coping with the increased demands of infants and toddlers, while trying to improve themselves through CTWorks program participation. To date, the PPP has distributed more than 1,400 packs of diapers. Participants can also redeem their points for educational books, flash cards, and workbooks for their children, as well as everyday household items such as aluminum foil, napkins, and cleaning supplies. For many CTWorks’ participants these non-perishable items are a blessing when circumstances sometime leave them with little to spend on anything other than food and clothing. Participants are very happy with the PPP, as evidenced by impressive participation rates…currently the highest in North Central Connecticut.