The late Fred Rogers’s direction to “look for people who are helping” in times of crisis has come up a lot lately. And with good reason. This is certainly an unusual time, and certainly a crisis. We have found the helpers–and in some cases, the helpers found us.
We cannot tell you how grateful we are to have so many incredible people helping us.
We have lost jobs. We have lost hours. We have lost. A lot. Despite all that, the helpers are present.
*There’s Zaftig Brewers, who donated 200 pounds of fresh produce after having to close their (awesome) Italian Village location.
*Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers gave 250 free kids combo coupons to distribute to our customers.
A dedicated cast of volunteers has stepped up–Victoria, Richard, Judy, Valerie, Madonna, Cathy, Sharon–all working tirelessly to make sure customers get served. Because we can’t do this without volunteers.
Pantry Manager Jim Hamberg, Pantry Services Coordinator Ali Dojki, and Executive Director Roy Clark have continuously refined the operation to ensure volunteers have a safe work environment and customers get plenty of healthy and safe food choices.
If you are reading this, I know YOU are a helper, too. If you can’t get out to help, you can help from the safety and comfort of your own home. Please consider donating money or materials to help us continue to serve customers. There are many ways to help–click below to find out more.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.