The Berkeley County Congregational Cooperative Action Project, or CCAP, is an organization run by a group of churches in Berkeley County, WV. It is chartered as an emergency social services again that provides temporary food and financial assistance to residents of Berkeley County who can demonstrate both residence and need. Its largest ministry is its Loaves and Fishes food pantry, which obtains food donations from both federal programs under the USDA’s Feed America” program and and local donations, often through local food drives.
Berkeley County CCAP was founded in 1983 by representatives from sixteen Berkeley County churches who were looking for a way to help needy residents of Berkeley County. These church representatives came together and chartered CCAP hoping that by pooling their social outreach programs they could accomplish more together than each church could individually In its first years Berkeley County CCAP had a total budget of only a few thousand dollars, and when it opened the Loaves and Fishes food pantry it only offered bags of surplus beans obtained through a federal government program.
Berkeley County CCAP has experienced tremendous growth since those early years. Last year CCAP distributed over $250,000 of financial assistance and over 120,000 pounds of food. Its programs now offer assistance in many areas including dental needs, prescriptions, propane for cooking, and clothing (usually in the form of work boots and work clothes). The Loaves and Fishes food pantry, from its humble beginnings giving out beans has become by far its largest program and provides food to thousands of local individuals and families each year. In addition, its staff keep clients informed about educational programs that are available, businesses that are hiring, and where they can turn to for long-term assistance if their needs are beyond the scope of what CCAP is chartered to provide. CCAP’s goal is always to help people return to financial independence.
Berkeley County CCAP is staffed and administered entirely by volunteers. Of every $100 donated to CCAP, over $90 is given to the needy. The rest of that money is spent on overhead expenses including insurance, rent, and our new computer system.