You never know what’s going to happen at NNEMAP Food Pantry. Take this recent customer’s adventure, for example. Kendra (name changed) sent a request for free grocery delivery service right after the New Year. It was January 4th–our first business day of 2021. Pantry Manager Jim Hamberg called Kendra back to confirm the request and set up a delivery time. Business as usual.
The next day, business took an unusual turn. Kendra called Jim back to cancel the delivery request. “I do not have money for rent, so I am probably going to get evicted. I don’t know where we will be, so I don’t know where to tell you to deliver,” she explained.
A year ago, Kendra was a working, single mother of a middle-school aged son. Like many families, they had enough to get by as long as nothing crazy happened. Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck. The first wave of shutdowns left Kendra without a job. After finally finding a new, full-time job that would be sufficient to support her household, she was diagnosed with Covid-19 as part of a final, pre-employment screening. After seeing the positive Covid test, the employer rescinded Kendra’s job offer.
In less than 48 hours, Kendra and her 12-year-old son were going to be out on the street in the dead of winter with no food and no place to go. That was not acceptable. Jim and NNEMAP Food Pantry Executive Director Roy Clark found a nearby organization that would help Kendra pay her rent. A couple of phone calls later, Kendra’s rent was paid and she could stay safely at home.
Crucially, avoiding eviction will keep a blemish off Kendra’s credit rating–a negative mark that could haunt her for years to come. Also, staying in her home meant Kendra’s son would not miss any school time or transfer to a new school. Countless studies have shown that the effects of missed school time or transferring to a different school have a devastating effect on academic achievement. For a middle school student, missing school or being forced to transfer could have catastrophic effects.
Some quick thinking and good listening helped Kendra avoid a disaster–and helped her son stay on track in the classroom.
All in a day’s work.
NNEMAP Food Pantry presents our annual Holiday Gift Shoppe!!! Gifts for children aged 17 and under!!! Details follow!!!
SIGN UP DATES November 2 through November 14 ONLY during pantry hours (CLICK HERE for times)
TO REGISTER YOUR CHILDREN Bring ONE of the following documents with your child’s name: Photo ID / Social Security Card / health insurance card / birth certificate
NO EXCEPTIONS TO REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS!!!
HOLIDAY GIFT SHOPPE DATES By appointment only, December 14 through December 19
To DONATE or VOLUNTEER for this event, CLICK HERE!
The blustery autumn months are upon us. Before you know it, those holidays are going to be blowing down the street, right toward us.
For NNEMAP Food Pantry customers, holiday gifts can be out of reach. That’s why we try to brighten up those days by offering toys and gifts to our youngest customers. Last year NNEMAP Food Pantry served 4,675 children aged 17 or younger. Nearly 1,000 of them received holiday gifts. That put a lot of smiles on little faces!
The Holiday Gift Shoppe is back for 2020–and we fear it may be needed more than ever. We can only offer this special service with your help. Can you donate a gift–or your gifts–to put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season?
Here’s how you can help:
*Donate new, unwrapped gifts: here are some great GIFT IDEAS
*Donate funds on our DONATION PAGE
*Donate your time by volunteering! Here’s how YOU CAN HELP!
*Print and share a copy of our informational flyer: PRINT A COPY NOW!
THANK YOU FOR HELPING MAKE THE HOLIDAYS A SPECIAL TIME FOR OUR YOUNGEST CUSTOMERS!!!
Necessity is the mother of invention, or so said Plato in his Republic. Who are we to argue with ancient Greek philosophers? In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been forced to reimagine the way we do a lot of things. For NNEMAP Food Pantry (and others), this has meant that customers no longer have the freedom to enter the building and choose their groceries. It’s not ideal, but we are continuing to get food to customers.
As the lockdown settled in, NNEMAP Food Pantry introduced a grocery delivery service, available on a limited basis. Also, we are now serving customers from any ZIP Code. We have eliminated a huge barrier to pantry access by expanding our service area.
As jobs and incomes have disappeared, so have the thin financial cushions that separated our customers from disaster. To help people preserve scarce financial resources, we have been permitting weekly visits to the pantry, up from 2 visits per month. Weekly visits will become permanent policy starting on Monday, August 3.
For our many working customers, we are expanding our hours to offer more convenient shopping times. Starting August 6, afternoon/evening hours will be available every Thursday from 3pm-7pm. The first hour of every Thursday will be reserved for customers who are over 60; immunocompromised; or differently abled.
Beginning August 8, Saturday shopping hours will be available. From 10am to 1pm, customers will be full-service pantry shopping–food distribution will not be restricted to produce and bread.
We are looking forward to these permanent service enhancements that will better serve our customers. Our expansion efforts have been made possible through generous funding from the City of Columbus; United Way of Central Ohio; The Columbus Foundation; the Ohio CDC Association Community Recovery Fund; and our many dedicated individual and church sponsors.
Studies show that adults can recall memories from when they were 3 or 4 years old. Any memories before that would be pretty boring. Most of them would revolve around being dependent on other people to meet your basic needs. I’m hungry–somebody feed me! Oops–now my diaper needs changed. Little help?!?
Diapers and wipes can get pricey. And formula? That can break the bank. It’s easy enough to mash up some fruits and veggies and call it baby food. But toddler foods–stuff that’s made for kiddos to pick up as they learn how to feed themselves? Not cheap. Economic reality might mean parents have to put off a change to stretch the life of your diaper (warning: diaper rash ahead!). No finger foods can delay the development of those crucial small-motor skills. When you’re that little, you don’t have much control over what goes on.
Sometimes parents are forced into making sacrifices without even realizing it. But should you really have to make sacrifices when you’re bringing up baby?
We asked the Kiwanis Club of Columbus, and the response was a resounding–NO!
The Kiwanis Club of Columbus delivered a generous $6,250 grant to help launch ‘Full Bellies-Clean Bottoms’–an initiative to help NNEMAP Food Pantry keep baby supplies stocked for our youngest customers. Our amazing church partners and two fantastic diaper-drive organizations do their best to help us keep these products on our shelves. Despite their efforts, we still run short at certain times of the month.
Thanks to our Kiwanis Club friends, those days are over. Straight ahead: happy babies!
To join the Kiwanis Club of Columbus and support our Full Bellies-Clean Bottoms program, please click below to make a secure online donation!