You never know what’s going to happen at NNEMAP Food Pantry. Take this recent customer’s adventure, for example. Kendra (name changed) sent a request for free grocery delivery service right after the New Year. It was January 4th–our first business day of 2021. Pantry Manager Jim Hamberg called Kendra back to confirm the request and set up a delivery time. Business as usual.
The next day, business took an unusual turn. Kendra called Jim back to cancel the delivery request. “I do not have money for rent, so I am probably going to get evicted. I don’t know where we will be, so I don’t know where to tell you to deliver,” she explained.
A year ago, Kendra was a working, single mother of a middle-school aged son. Like many families, they had enough to get by as long as nothing crazy happened. Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck. The first wave of shutdowns left Kendra without a job. After finally finding a new, full-time job that would be sufficient to support her household, she was diagnosed with Covid-19 as part of a final, pre-employment screening. After seeing the positive Covid test, the employer rescinded Kendra’s job offer.
In less than 48 hours, Kendra and her 12-year-old son were going to be out on the street in the dead of winter with no food and no place to go. That was not acceptable. Jim and NNEMAP Food Pantry Executive Director Roy Clark found a nearby organization that would help Kendra pay her rent. A couple of phone calls later, Kendra’s rent was paid and she could stay safely at home.
Crucially, avoiding eviction will keep a blemish off Kendra’s credit rating–a negative mark that could haunt her for years to come. Also, staying in her home meant Kendra’s son would not miss any school time or transfer to a new school. Countless studies have shown that the effects of missed school time or transferring to a different school have a devastating effect on academic achievement. For a middle school student, missing school or being forced to transfer could have catastrophic effects.
Some quick thinking and good listening helped Kendra avoid a disaster–and helped her son stay on track in the classroom.
All in a day’s work.
Say what you will about 2020, but you have to admit it was not uneventful. For a year of pandemic-induced lockdowns and travel restrictions, it was not without its excitement.
NNEMAP Food Pantry experienced a year of accelerated growth and explosive expansion in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In case you missed it, we….
*Expanded our service territory to include the whole City of Columbus and Franklin County,
*Allowed shoppers to come once a week instead of twice a month,
*Added Thursday afternoon/evening hours so we are now open 6 days a week,
*Introduced a popular grocery delivery service for customers who can’t get out.
As expected given the economic fallout of the pandemic, we were busier than ever distributing food to our friends in the community. By the end of the year we…
*Served 5,137 unique households (up from 3,736 in 2019)
*Served 17,480 unique individuals (11,904 in 2019)
*Fulfilled 18,546 requests for groceries (17,338 in 2019)
*Distributed the equivalent of 605,250 meals (526,731 in 2019).
Thank you to our supporters, including our incredible church network; United Way of Central Ohio; The City of Columbus Department of Development; The Columbus Foundation; and hundreds of individual donors who gave what they could for those who had nothing to spare.
Thank you for helping us navigate a most unusual year. 2021 is off and running already. We are looking forward to running this race with you again!
We are always welcoming new partners to our community. Click a link below to learn how you can get involved today!
We are growing–again! NNEMAP Food Pantry will soon expand its service territory AND offer afternoon hours for the first time.
Starting March 1, 2020, we will add the 43219 ZIP Code to our service area. We will now serve households at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level in ZIP Codes 43201, 43211, 43215, 43224 and 43219. We are looking forward to welcoming new neighbors to our pantry.
To accommodate the anticipated increase in traffic and make shopping more convenient, NNEMAP Food Pantry will be OPEN WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS FROM 3:00-6:00pm. Our first afternoon date will be Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
Starting the week of March 1, 2020, our hours will be as follows:
Wednesday: 9am-12pm AND 3pm-6pm
Saturday: 11am-1pm (Fresh produce and bread only)
HELP WANTED: If you would like to volunteer for any of our shifts, please contact Executive Director Roy Clark at email@example.com to find out how you can help. As always, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Happy Bastille Day, everyone! On this date in 1789, a band of angry French commoners, fearful of being excluded from the reconstituted government by the more powerful factions of church and state, stormed the infamous Parisian prison and fortress. They freed a handful of fairly insignificant political prisoners when the prison guard stood down.
So maybe the commoners were rowdy and a little paranoid. Nonetheless, the riot preempted the political process and was the signature event marking the early days of the long and complicated French Revolution, which ended with the rise of the dictator general Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Monarchy, bad! Dictatorship…less bad? We did say it was complicated.
Here at NNEMAP, we are waging a lengthy battle against a more contemporary but no less vexing foe–hunger in our community. Since 1969, we have provided meals for local citizens in need of nourishment. We are still at it–now more than ever.
Our move last year to our building at 677 E. 11th Ave. has resulted in steady growth. We are now serving an average of just under 1,000 shoppers per month. In terms of customers served and meals distributed, NNEMAP is on pace to obliterate previous record totals. Consider:
January 1-June 30, 2014: 5,215 shoppers; 120,041 meals.
January 1-June 30, 2015: 4,237 shoppers; 96, 408 meals.
January 1-June 30, 2016: 5,985 shoppers; 150,540 meals!!!!!
We’re a little busy these days! How can you help?!? We’re glad you asked!!!
NNEMAP is always happy to welcome new volunteers to our revolution. Click here to view volunteer job descriptions or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your volunteer schedule today. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
NNEMAP recently welcomed Chef Jim Warner to the pantry for an afternoon of kitchen fun and instruction. Warner, who is Program Director, Food and Nutrition at the nearby Wexner Medical Center, spent a couple of hours teaching a knife skills training course to NNEMAP customers and staff.
Warner demonstrated how to chop, slice and prepare mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, yellow squash, onions, cilantro and more for a sumptuous and super-quick stir-fry recipe. We weren’t getting a few tips from a local prep cook here. Warner received his training at New York’s prestigious Culinary Institute of America, the premiere culinary school in the country. Among professionals, this guy is a professional!
After furiously chopping a pile of produce, Chef Warner demonstrated his take on the classic stir-fry. He fired up a couple of propane burners and quickly seared off the fruits (and vegetables) of the class’s labor. We plated up samples of the dish as a light afternoon snack and sent students home with their own chopped goodies to make for dinner that night.
The NNEMAP class enjoyed Warner’s hands-on approach and thorough instruction. The feeling was mutual. “This is a great group,” Warner said. “Everyone is really engaged!” Some students in the class had experience in the foodservice industry, others just cook at home. Regardless of experience or skill level, everyone in attendance (including this staff member!) gained an abundance of practical knowledge about knife skills and safety.
“I really enjoyed myself,” said one student as she made her way out after class. “We have to do this more often.” We couldn’t agree more!
NNEMAP Food Pantry extends a special thanks to Chef Jim Warner for sharing his time and talent with us!