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.
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