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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
If you or someone you know has experienced a job loss or decreased income, you may be eligible for emergency food assistance through one of the many food pantry organizations in Columbus and throughout the state of Ohio. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services recently announced that households with gross income up to 230 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for pantry service until further notice.
What does this mean? If you have a family of 4 and your gross income is now AT or BELOW $59,225 per year, OR $4,936 per month, OR $1,139 per week, you are eligible to shop for free groceries at your local food pantry.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (acronymically known as ‘TEFAP’) is based solely on income and not on assets. If you have lost your job, you don’t have to lose everything else. Preserve your savings by using the pantry system to cut down on grocery bills until your income rebounds.
The late Fred Rogers’s direction to “look for people who are helping” in times of crisis has come up a lot lately. And with good reason. This is certainly an unusual time, and certainly a crisis. We have found the helpers–and in some cases, the helpers found us.
We cannot tell you how grateful we are to have so many incredible people helping us.
We have lost jobs. We have lost hours. We have lost. A lot. Despite all that, the helpers are present.
*There’s Zaftig Brewers, who donated 200 pounds of fresh produce after having to close their (awesome) Italian Village location.
*Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers gave 250 free kids combo coupons to distribute to our customers.
A dedicated cast of volunteers has stepped up–Victoria, Richard, Judy, Valerie, Madonna, Cathy, Sharon–all working tirelessly to make sure customers get served. Because we can’t do this without volunteers.
Pantry Manager Jim Hamberg, Pantry Services Coordinator Ali Dojki, and Executive Director Roy Clark have continuously refined the operation to ensure volunteers have a safe work environment and customers get plenty of healthy and safe food choices.
If you are reading this, I know YOU are a helper, too. If you can’t get out to help, you can help from the safety and comfort of your own home. Please consider donating money or materials to help us continue to serve customers. There are many ways to help–click below to find out more.
We are blessed to receive a $1,000 grant from The Catholic Foundation through the Foundation’s responsive grant cycle. This grant will help us continue to grow our service area and distribute more fresh and healthy food to more customers. We are proud that our pantry is being acknowledged and supported for all the good work we do.
We are grateful for all the donors who made this grant possible through The Catholic Foundation. Individuals who care deeply about helping others and want to do more in their community can set up endowments and other funds through The Catholic Foundation for the benefit of organizations like NNEMAP Food Pantry.
To learn more about how you can set up funds to help NNEMAP Food Pantry, please reach out to The Catholic Foundation’s Director of Development, Scott Hartman, at email@example.com or 614-443-8893.
To make a secure, online donation to NNEMAP Food Pantry right now, CLICK HERE.
To learn how your planned gift can leave a lasting legacy at NNEMAP Food Pantry, contact Sean Becker, Director of Development + Marketing, at 405-850-1688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.