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 After seeing the positive Covid test, the employer rescinded Kendra’s job offer.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.
The blustery autumn months are upon us. Before you know it, those holidays are going to be blowing down the street, right toward us.
For NNEMAP Food Pantry customers, holiday gifts can be out of reach. That’s why we try to brighten up those days by offering toys and gifts to our youngest customers. Last year NNEMAP Food Pantry served 4,675 children aged 17 or younger. Nearly 1,000 of them received holiday gifts. That put a lot of smiles on little faces!
The Holiday Gift Shoppe is back for 2020–and we fear it may be needed more than ever. We can only offer this special service with your help. Can you donate a gift–or your gifts–to put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season?
Here’s how you can help:
*Donate new, unwrapped gifts: here are some great GIFT IDEAS
*Donate funds on our DONATION PAGE
*Donate your time by volunteering! Here’s how YOU CAN HELP!
*Print and share a copy of our informational flyer: PRINT A COPY NOW!
THANK YOU FOR HELPING MAKE THE HOLIDAYS A SPECIAL TIME FOR OUR YOUNGEST CUSTOMERS!!!
Did you feel that? Nope–not those recent 90-degree days. Those couple of nights in the high 50s–did you feel that?
We did. Sure, the frost ain’t quite on the pumpkin yet, but we felt that little bit of cool creeping in. And it can only mean one thing: fall is near! And you know what rhymes with “fall is near”?!? Yes: VOL-UN-TEER!!! You read my mind! Read on for some fun new ways (and old) to help out around the best pantry in Columbus!
STUDENT SERVICE HOURS School is back in session in one way or another. If you or someone you know needs to complete service hours as a course or graduation requirement, let us know! Please note that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
DRIVERS NEEDED Do you like to stay on the move? We can help! We need volunteers to deliver groceries to customers and pick up donations from area stores and restaurants. Come join our fleet!
NEW SHIFTS Looking for after school/work activity? We’ve got you covered. We are now open Thursday afternoon from 3pm-7pm. Need to fill those college football-free Saturdays? Come in for our 10am-1pm shift. Join our team and help us win the big game against food insecurity!
WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU! Hurry up and get in here–we’ve got work to do!