I just delivered groceries to this customer. She lives pretty close to me, so with a slightly alternate route, I drove right by her street on my way home. Just a few minutes out of my way at most. But probably hours of time saved for our customer. “Oh, thank you so much,” she said as she helped me carry in the groceries. “You have no idea what this means to us!”
Actually, we kinda do–and that’s exactly why we are doing it.
NNEMAP Food Pantry isn’t revolutionary. When you get right down to it, we are just a grocery store. If we’re a grocery store, shouldn’t we offer delivery service? For-profit grocers deliver. It’s a great service for people who are short on time.
Our customers are often short on time, money, and other critical items as well. Limited or no transportation options. No childcare. Medical challenges. Personal mobility challenges. Throw in a pandemic and you have a whole new level of challenges. Transportation and childcare vanished, and the threat to personal health skyrocketed.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather just be short on time.
For customers who can’t get out, are afraid to get out or are quarantined and not supposed to go out, NNEMAP Food Pantry is bringing home the bacon. And the eggs, milk, bread, produce, pasta…well, you get the idea.
Delivery isn’t easy. Delivery isn’t cheap. But it is indispensable service for our customers right now. We all pitch in on deliveries when we can. Volunteers, staff, and our partner Gimme the Dirt, Ltd.
Why do it? Because if I’m busy, I can pick up the phone or hop online and order up a grocery delivery to make my life easier. And I believe NNEMAP Food Pantry customers deserve the exact same convenient access to fresh, healthy foods that I enjoy. Don’t you?
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!
Have you seen our Amazon Wish List? Somebody has, because we have been getting amaz-(on)-ing gifts for the past couple of weeks! Toothpaste–soap–razors–pads–all perfect choices for our customers. We can rarely acquire these products through our channels. When we can, they are rarely at a price point that we can afford. Making these hygiene products available to customers is like putting money back in their pockets. Even for customers who are eligible for SNAP (Food Stamps), those benefits don’t cover these purchases.
Paper AND plastic–wow!!! It’s a bag bonanza! We go through thousands of bags every week, so we spend a pretty good amount of money on these supplies to make transporting groceries easy for our customers. When you shop our wish list, you are saving us valuable money–and time. When these supplies show up on our doorstep, we don’t have to pay for them AND we don’t have to find an hour in our day to go pick them up. Which is great, because there is plenty of other work to do around here!
We can’t thank our donors enough–sending these supplies is good for the goose and the gander! If you can pitch in right now, we would be grateful for the extra support. Find out how you can help by clicking this link.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR EXTRA HELP PITCHING IN DURING THIS TIME OF CRISIS! WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!
Things are happening fast these days. Travel restrictions, school and business closings, inexplicable runs on toilet paper….it can be a little overwhelming. Now is not the time to recoil in the face of calamity. As my typing class primer implored instead–“Now is the time for all good [people]* to come to the aid of their country.”
*-edited to use more inclusive language!
NNEMAP Food Pantry could use your help. Here are 3 easy ways for you to pitch in and make an immediate difference:
1: VOLUNTEER Monday through Friday mornings from 8:30am to 12:00pm, needed to help manage our temporary service model and also “deep clean” the pantry. To schedule volunteer days/times, please contact Executive Director Roy Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2: DONATE STUFF Bars of soap would be awesome. We would like to make sure every household gets at least one full-size bar of soap every visit. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, and feminine hygiene products are always good products to donate as well. For additional donation ideas, please contact Pantry Manager Jim Hamberg at email@example.com.
3: DONATE MONEY We expect service numbers to increase greatly over time as the impact of this event comes to bear on our customers. The “downstream” effects of school closures, job layoffs and wage losses will devastate our customer base. It costs about $16 per customer visit and around $1,200 a day on average to operate the pantry. Contributions now will go a long way to keeping us ahead of what will almost certainly be a wave of increased need in the weeks and months to come. To make secure online donations, sign up for the new Givevia “Shop to Give” platform, or learn about other ways to contribute financially, please visit or direct others to visit our website at www.nnemappantry.org/give.
While discussing another matter of worldwide concern once, a volunteer assured me, “We’ve survived since the days of living in caves–we’ll surely survive this.” When we all work together, we work best.