As the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down businesses and leaves many families without income, organizations like NEEDS face a dilemma: how can we continue to serve our community – in a time when help is needed more than ever – without compromising safety? After much prayer and consideration, NEEDS volunteers were able to come up with a solution.
On March 24, the NEEDS pantry opened a drive-through service. Pantry coordinators Maureen and Janie had pre-packed bags of food and other dry goods, carefully sanitizing all work areas, and signs were posted outside Kenwood Baptist Church alerting clients to remain in their cars and call the desk rather than coming inside. As each call was taken, KBC volunteers placed bags in a designated pickup area, and clients were then instructed to get out and take their bags once the volunteers walked away. While protecting volunteers’ and clients’ safety, NEEDS was able to serve over a dozen appreciative families, including six new clients and totaling about 50 people.
NEEDS is so grateful for the ability to serve our community under extraordinary circumstances. Thank you to Kenwood Baptist Church for helping to make the pantry drive-through a success!
As of today, Friday March 13, 2020, the NEEDS food pantry and emergency financial assistance program are closed.
Our church host, Kenwood Baptist Church, is following the State of Ohio’s direction and it is shut down. Church services and other programs are cancelled and closed until further notice due to the heath concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
NEEDS and Kenwood Baptist Church deeply regret that we can not assist our neighbors in northeast Cincinnati at this time when we are most needed.
Please check back on the website or Facebook page to see when NEEDS will be partially or fully operational.
Most of us would like to do more to help our community – but sometimes it’s difficult to fit service into our busy schedules. Luckily, there are ways to give back without even leaving home! If you have an Amazon account, you can support NEEDS simply by shopping online. With just a few clicks, you can choose to send 0.5% of each purchase to NEEDS, helping to provide food and emergency services to needy families in the Cincinnati area.
To get started, open http://smile.amazon.com and log in with your Amazon account information. Next, use the search function to select NEEDS as the charity you would like to support.
Once you select NEEDS, Amazon will confirm your selection and show NEEDS at the top of your account page.
Each time you want to make an Amazon purchase, simply use http://smile.amazon.com instead of http://amazon.com. All of your usual Amazon settings, including Prime benefits, will continue to apply. As your purchases add up, your account header will show how much money you have generated to support NEEDS. Your 0.5% may not seem like much – but small amounts add up!
The NEEDS pantry has been very busy serving clients all winter – and some of our most useful items are running out! If you would like to help stock the pantry, please check out this list of much-needed items.
According to the CDC, more than 30% of American adults aged 20-44 are living with untreated tooth decay. Over a third of American adults have not seen a dentist within the past year. As the 2000 Surgeon General’s Report indicates, oral health affects much more than our smiles – it’s a crucial component of overall wellbeing. Dental problems can painfully lower quality of life, and since many diseases are first detected through oral symptoms, routine oral exams are critical in maintaining good health. But for many in our community who lack insurance coverage and are short on cash, regular dental care is simply out of reach.
Fortunately, UC Blue Ash College is here to help! On March 6, UC dental hygiene students will partner with local dental professionals to offer free exams and essential services. We would love for all of our NEEDS clients to take advantage of this terrific opportunity.
Who: Adults (aged 18 and over) can participate in the clinic. Where: UC Blue Ash College, Walters Hall (#4 Metro Bus Line, Plainfield Rd) When: Friday, March 6 from 8:00-2:00. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Available services: Patients can choose one of the following free services – cleaning, filling, or extraction.
While the free community dental day is an annual event, UC Blue Ash College also offers low-cost preventive services to adults and children throughout the year.
NEEDS volunteers are always eager to join forces with other organizations in order to serve our community. A wonderful recent example is NEEDS’ participation in Fill the Truck – an annual event sponsored by Frame USA that benefits more than half a dozen local charities.
This year, seven semi-trucks parked at shopping centers across the Cincinnati area to welcome donations for those in need. Each truck was soon filled with a variety of essential products, from food and toiletries to new blankets and warm winter clothing. Frame USA workers then organized and distributed the donations to each partner charity. NEEDS was especially grateful to receive canned food to stock the pantry shelves, as well as personal care items like paper towels, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products. Since toiletries are not covered by SNAP, they are often difficult for NEEDS clients to afford – and donations of these items are greatly appreciated. Thanks to the generosity of Fill the Truck contributors, NEEDS received so many donations that our volunteers were able to share with the Shelterhouse, an organization dedicated to supporting the homeless in Cincinnati.
It is so exciting for NEEDS to collaborate with other groups in helping our community. Thank you to all who participated!
NEEDS would like to thank three local schools for their support!
Just before Thanksgiving, families and faculty at Montgomery Elementary School donated over 600 food and personal care items to the NEEDS pantry.
Students from E.H. Greene Middle School not only held a food drive to support NEEDS and other groups, but made a trip to the NEEDS pantry to help organize donated items.
Madeira Elementary School welcomed NEEDS volunteers with colorful signs…and so much food that it could barely fit in the car!
NEEDS pantry coordinators Janie and Maureen say that it’s heartwarming to see young people eagerly serving others. These students’ energy and enthusiasm are infectious! NEEDS is so grateful for the generosity of families and faculty at each school.