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!
It’s not everyday that a major international celebration coincides with a global giving event. But here we are–Cinco de Mayo and #GivingTuesday, joined together in a unifying day of hope and, hopefully, change. Spare change, that is.
For the price of a marguerita at a major chain restaurant, we can provide a family with three days’ worth of groceries. That’s not bad. Why not have one for the road? We’ll serve two families!
To get you in that #GivingTuesday mood, here are some fun and completely factually inaccurate statements about Cinco de Mayo:
-Actor Robert De Niro considered changing his name to Roberto Dinero before auditioning for the title role in ‘Scarface.’ He reconsidered after reading the script.
-American author John dos Passos did change his original name. He was named John dos Pesos at birth. (That is entirely untrue. He was actually christened ‘John Hey It Would Be Amazing if You Donated Six Bucks to NNEMAP Today.’
-Cinco de Mayo was not celebrated for decades. After France’s dismal showing in the two World Wars, Mexico did not want to sound like a bully for routing the French Empire in 1862.
-For real facts about Cinco de Mayo, maybe try a Google search. To donate to NNEMAP Food Pantry, CLICK HERE!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT!
In response to social distancing directives, NNEMAP Food Pantry had to make major changes to the service delivery model. The “choice” pantry is not possible right noew, because customers are not allowed to enter the building to shop for food. Instead, volunteers hand out prepackaged, shelf stable foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats and other items.
This is not what we are used to. Any of us. Customers, staff, volunteers. We’re used to having the full use of our space, where we can enjoy our time together. But since March 16—and probably for the next few months—this is our reality.
Everyone has adjusted to the changes, but we are sometimes left to wonder if we are still making a difference. A recent phone call showed that we are. “I was just there to pick up some food,” a woman’s voice said. “I wanted to call as soon as I got home to tell you how much I appreciate you being there,” she continued. “The produce I got is wonderful and exactly what I needed,” she said.
I began to apologize for having to operate in such an impersonal manner, but she would have none of it. “Please be careful and make sure you are safe,” she said. “I don’t know what people will do if you aren’t there.”
Dear customer: don’t worry. You just gave us all the motivation we need to keep serving. We will be here! See you next time!
You can be here too (if you want!). Volunteers are always welcome. We have a variety of opportunities and days available. Can’t come in? There are other ways you can help. For information about volunteering, donating, or contributing in other ways, CLICK HERE!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!
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!