Necessity is the mother of invention, or so said Plato in his Republic. Who are we to argue with ancient Greek philosophers? In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been forced to reimagine the way we do a lot of things. For NNEMAP Food Pantry (and others), this has meant that customers no longer have the freedom to enter the building and choose their groceries. It’s not ideal, but we are continuing to get food to customers.
As the lockdown settled in, NNEMAP Food Pantry introduced a grocery delivery service, available on a limited basis. Also, we are now serving customers from any ZIP Code. We have eliminated a huge barrier to pantry access by expanding our service area.
As jobs and incomes have disappeared, so have the thin financial cushions that separated our customers from disaster. To help people preserve scarce financial resources, we have been permitting weekly visits to the pantry, up from 2 visits per month. Weekly visits will become permanent policy starting on Monday, August 3.
For our many working customers, we are expanding our hours to offer more convenient shopping times. Starting August 6, afternoon/evening hours will be available every Thursday from 3pm-7pm. The first hour of every Thursday will be reserved for customers who are over 60; immunocompromised; or differently abled.
Beginning August 8, Saturday shopping hours will be available. From 10am to 1pm, customers will be full-service pantry shopping–food distribution will not be restricted to produce and bread.
We are looking forward to these permanent service enhancements that will better serve our customers. Our expansion efforts have been made possible through generous funding from the City of Columbus; United Way of Central Ohio; The Columbus Foundation; the Ohio CDC Association Community Recovery Fund; and our many dedicated individual and church sponsors.
Dear NNEMAP Food Pantry Donors,
Wow. There are no words to describe your generosity, so “Wow,” is going to have to do. The “Big Give” ended yesterday afternoon at 6:00pm. In just 32 hours, you donated $52,513.89 to NNEMAP Food Pantry. And that’s BEFORE our share of matching funds from the prize pool.
In a year when we have lost so much, you reminded us of just how much we have. We have your support. We have your encouragement. We have…you.
On behalf of the thousands of area households we serve, thank you for being there for us.
From the entire staff and Board of Directors, thank you for walking beside us as we strive to eliminate hunger in our city.
From all of us to all of you–THANK YOU for your support.
NNEMAP Food Pantry
Having trouble with transportation? Compromised health condition keeping you confined to your home? We will bring the goods to your doorstep! NNEMAP Food Pantry has partnered with local janitorial and environmental services contractor Gimme the Dirt, Ltd. to offer free grocery delivery service for our customers.
Here’s how it works:
Delivery is available on TUESDAY and THURSDAY throughout Columbus.
Want to help pack provisions for our patrons? Fill bags and boxes of food for our favorite folks? Get in here! Call 614-297-0533 or e-mail email@example.com and tell us you are ready for action!
Special thanks to @gimmethedirtohio for making this service possible. If you need residential or commercial cleaning services, we know who can help!
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 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.