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!
The coronavirus pandemic has featured no shortage of bitter ironies. Add one more to the list. Our annual Volunteer Appreication Luncheon, scheduled each year in April, has been postponed. Although a new date has not been set, we are tentatively planning to celebrate the exceptional work of our volunteer staff in September. At a time when we owe so much to our dedicated volunteers, we are extremely disappointed that we have to reschedule this afternoon of hard-earned and much deserved recognition. We are looking forward to our best event ever in the fall!
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.
A few weeks ago, a volunteer came into my office on another busy Friday. “Can you help this customer?” she asked. “She got a letter about her property taxes and she doesn’t know what it’s about,” she explained.
I went to speak with the customer to learn more. Well into her 80s, she was shopping in a wheelchair, visibly upset. “They’re going to take my house,” she said. After gathering some information, it was time to investigate.
A quick look at the Franklin County Auditor’s website showed her property taxes were current. Perhaps the letter was sent in error or it was in regard to another matter. We had to find out, but how? If it was a legal matter, who could help?
Short answer: the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. I sent all the information to our friends at Legal Aid and explained the situation. They called the customer to learn more about the notice she received in the mail. The customer is now working with the City of Columbus to find out why she received this notice. If our customer needs additional assistance, our friends at the Legal Aid Society of Columbus are a phone call away and completely free of charge.
This story will have a happy ending, and it’s all because of the wonderful partnerships that help NNEMAP Food Pantry serve more than food.
-Our CUSTOMER, our most important partner, knew she could share her concern with the NNEMAP volunteer who was helping her shop.
-Our VOLUNTEER, the heart and soul of our organization, knew there was some way we could help.
-Our STAFF identified an agency that could help the customer.
-Our REPRESENTATIVE from the Legal Aid Society of Columbus immediately responded to our customer’s needs and continues to follow up.
At NNEMAP Food Pantry, we can give you food. And we can listen.
We can’t give you legal advice, but we can connect you with someone who can.
We can’t complete your application for SNAP/Food Stamps benefits, but we can connect you with someone who will.
We can’t help you choose the right health care plan or explain how open enrollment works, but we can connect you with someone who does.
We CAN care about connecting you to trusted, quality services and organizations. And we do. Because ALL of our partnerships are important.
To find out how YOU CAN BE A PARTNER, click the link below. We can’t wait to see you!
One of the great things about working in the social services sector is knowing that your work helps people. An even greater thing is being around people who volunteer their time in service to others. If you can’t draw inspiration from that, well, you’re probably in the wrong line of work.
Last Wednesday, NNEMAP Food Pantry was the beneficiary of some seriously community minded second graders from Grandview’s Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School. The four second-grade classes gathered up over 500 dental-care products for distribution to NNEMAP Food Pantry families. It was like a Treasure Island of toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash and floss! Look at these fantastic foragers of outstanding oral healthcare items:
Each of the classroom teachers used the project as another kind of “teachable moment”–counting up all of the different items, working on addition to add up the total and creating graphs to show the sums in visual form. Great lesson on so many levels. Thanks to these Bobcats (or Bob…kittens?!?) for their generous spirit–and their amazing math skills!
We’re not going to lie–it was tough to top Wednesday’s foray into the heart of Grandview–but Thursday’s volunteer group made it as close to a dead heat as you can get. NNEMAP Food Pantry is closed for business on Thursdays, but we are open for deliveries. Specifically fresh produce–we get about 6,000 pounds every Thursday morning. Without some volunteer help, it can make for some long and backbreaking days for the paid staff.
It’s not easy work, and you have to be willing to get your hands dirty. Who better to come to the rescue than this crew:
Yep, that’s right, we brought in the heavy hitters. That’s a group of AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers who are currently posted with our local Habitat for Humanity branch. In just a few short hours, this gang for the good sorted, stocked and otherwise helped store four huge pallets of fresh produce.
They also helped prep for Friday’s delivery of dry goods, got our shopping carts loaded up and ready for Friday, restocked and organized our kids’ bookshelf and probably did 10 other things that were amazing. It was an incredibly productive morning with a great group of people.
It was pretty inspiring, so we must be in the right line of work!
Our sincere thanks to the spectacular second graders from Grandview Heights and the stellar, hard-working crew from Habitat for Humanity for all of the help last week. It was truly a pleasure working with you all!
If you are looking for a service project for your school or a volunteer opportunity for your company, look no further! NNEMAP Food Pantry has a variety of options and would love to work with you!!! For additional information visit our VOLUNTEER page or contact Assistant Director Sean Becker via e-mail at email@example.com today!