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 firstname.lastname@example.org today!
NNEMAP Food Pantry kicked off its Winter Healthy Cooking Class series this morning. After an introductory lesson on USDA’s MyPlate initiative, it was time to fire up the skillet! On the menu today: black bean quesadillas and some fun new nutrition tricks and food prep tips.
Next up in the series: Boost Your Day with Breakfast! Join us on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 10am for our next culinary adventure. Please note: You must register to attend! Sign up during your next pantry visit or by calling 614-297-0533
For additional NNEMAP events and information, please check our events page regularly. See you in the kitchen!
Last month NNEMAP Food Pantry was invited again to participate in the CenturyLink “Backpack Buddies” fundraiser. This campaign promises matching funds of at least 75 cents on the dollar thanks to the generosity of the Clarke M. Williams Foundation. That’s a great deal no matter how you look at it.
After last year’s successful fund drive netted over $20,000 in total donations, NNEMAP challenged you, our donors, fans and supporters, to make this year’s event even better. Leave it to an organization supported by dozens of churches to understand the old ‘call and response’ routine, because did you ever respond!
NNEMAP’s donor individuals, churches and other organizations contributed over $37,000 toward the Backpack Buddies campaign. The Clarke M. Williams Foundation matched that nearly dollar for dollar. When all was said and done, NNEMAP was blessed with over $70,000 in total cash donations!
There’s really only one thing to say:
As we approach the midpoint of the 2017 service year, NNEMAP Food Pantry is still seeing record numbers of clients. Compared to the drastic year-over-year increase from 2015 to last year, however, 2017’s growth is downright modest. We are on pace to distribute more meals than in 2016, but not over 100,000 more. Maybe an extra 10 percent or so–25-30,000 meals.
After working extra hard to keep pace for much of 2016, our crack staff of ace volunteers has the pantry operation running like a well-oiled, food distributing machine once again. So while we are still plenty busy, we’ve settled into our “new normal.”
NNEMAP Food Pantry would still love to see your smiling face volunteering. Interviewers, personal shoppers, front desk and Saturday help is always welcome. The more the merrier, many hands make light work, etc. You get the idea. Plus it’s a fun and fast-paced environment. You will have earned your keep by volunteering here!
If you like working with people of all ages, NNEMAP Food Pantry is the volunteer spot for you! Contact Assistant Director Sean Becker at email@example.com or call him at 405-850-1688 to get started today!