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NEWS: May 2014

Hunger Never Gets a Summer Vacation

“Give thanks with a grateful heart,” reads the posting in the St. Paul Community United Methodist Church bulletin, “bring canned goods to church every Sunday.” The members of this church realize that though it’s wonderful to be generous during holiday season, hunger is year round. More importantly “hunger never gets a summer vacation.” The Northeast Emergency Distribution Services (NEEDS) is particularly sensitive to children’s food insecurity that can increase as early as May when low-income children no longer receive free and reduced meals at school.  Not only is the demand greater but consequently without schools in session, with clubs and teams available to do canned food drives, food pantries notice that intake and monetary donations drop.

According to William Lambers author of “Ending World Hunger”, over 50 million Americans suffer from hunger.  He notes that food banks are over stretched and cutbacks from government assistance can be disastrous. This includes the recent reduction in food stamps.  The American Federation of Teachers notes that as few as “1 in 7 low-income children receive food assistance” during the summer. Of those few students who do receive assistance it is due, in fact, to their enrollment in a summer program that provides free and reduced meals (AFT News 7/1/13).

The American Federation of Teachers requests that its members be aware of summer hunger by suggesting they work with their communities to be sure students return in fall “well-nourished and ready to learn” (AFT News 7/1/13). But it’s not only teachers that can help, you and your neighbors can also help – remember: “hunger never gets a summer vacation.” In the Sycamore community it’s the NEEDS food pantry that serves to help our neighbors who face family food shortages summer, fall, winter and spring. Have you considered organizing a food drive in your neighborhood?  Having a block party – why not place a barrel on your street for neighbors to drop a can or two for NEEDS? Consider making a request of your summer swim club or camp to organize drives and if your church hosts a festival consider asking them to place a container to collect for NEEDS.

It is the mission of the Northeast Emergency Distribution Service (NEEDS) to provide emergency assistance to the neediest families in the Northeast Cincinnati community.  In addition to canned goods and non-perishables, community members can also support NEEDS monetarily by sending checks to:  NEEDS, 8341 Kenwood Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45236.  Truly, during the summer when you are fortunate to share good times with your neighbors, please consider your neighbors who are in need with a donation to NEEDS.

NEEDS is a community of 25 churches and civic organizations whose mission is to do God’s work through caring for their neighbors by providing basic emergency assistance.  NEEDS is an all-volunteer cooperative located in the Kenwood Baptist Church. NEEDS does not receive government support.  The NEEDS board oversees an active foodbank, as well as provides neighbors-in-need with housing and utility payment assistance.  During the year NEEDS supports local schools through school supply and clothing drives. NEEDS serves more than 2,500 people in northeastern Hamilton County.

The NEEDS food pantry is located at the Kenwood Baptist Church, 8341 Kenwood Road, 45236 and is open Tuesday and Thursdays from 9 am – 1 pm.  Donations of canned goods and other items are always accepted at the NEEDS food pantry. Monetary gifts can be mailed to: NEEDS, 8341 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236. For pick-up of donated items or to ask questions please call (513) 891-0850 (NEEDS) or checkout NEEDS website: http://www.cincyneeds.org/

Shelving with cans of food. Shelves with cans of food

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