3. Use your bank’s online payment service or Zelle. This costs you and NEEDS nothing, unlike Paypal which charges a fee (2.2% of each donation). Use this email: CincyNeedsTreasurer@gmail.com as the Recipient.
Serving dozens of clients each week, the NEEDS pantry always relies on support from individuals and companies who care about their community. We are happy to highlight three partners who are helping us to continue serving our clients under extraordinary circumstances.
Trader Joe’s (https://locations.traderjoes.com/oh/cincinnati/669/): To ensure safety, the NEEDS pantry is now operating as a drive-through service. Volunteers pre-pack a variety of food and dry goods that clients can pick up and take home. Our local Trader Joe’s has donated the paper bags that volunteers use for packing groceries. Thank you to Trader Joe’s for helping to keep the pantry running smoothly!
JB Meats (36 Clinton Springs Ave, Cincinnati OH 45217): Even those of us who aren’t in financial straits may struggle to buy what we need during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s especially challenging for the NEEDS pantry to stock fresh food for our clients – so we are extremely grateful to JB Meats for providing delivery service! JB Meats is flexible and responsive to our changing needs, and they deliver regularly at a reasonable price. Thank you to JB Meats for being a strong and reliable partner!
Pet Supplies Plus (https://www.petsuppliesplus.com/Store/OH/Blue-Ash/Blue-Ash/218, https://www.petsuppliesplus.com/Store/OH/Cincinnati/Symmes/234): As unemployment rates skyrocket, many people are struggling to feed their families – not to mention their pets. Luckily, Pet Supplies Plus is here to help. In March, the Blue Ash store made NEEDS their charity of the month, donating enough pet food, treats, and toys to fill several SUVs. Meanwhile, the Harper’s Point store has invited NEEDS to stop by every two weeks to pick up whatever they have available to donate to our clients – and again, SUVs have been filled with donated pet supplies. Thank you to Pet Supplies Plus for meeting an often-overlooked need!
According to a recent Cincinnati Business Courier article, Ohio food banks are struggling to meet the increase in demand caused by pandemic-driven unemployment – while simultaneously coping with logistical challenges and rising costs. The NEEDS food pantry is one of many organizations that rely on dedicated volunteers to keep serving our community in the midst of unprecedented challenges. Since opening drive-through pantry service three weeks ago, NEEDS has served 50 families – over 200 people! NEEDS volunteers also provided over two dozen bags of food to Deer Park students during the first week of school closure, helping to fill the gap between school food programs and government assistance.
NEEDS is so grateful to Kenwood Baptist Church volunteer coordinator Melody Hamilton, who is doing a wonderful job of directing drive-through traffic and supervising outdoor staff (including several student volunteers). Safety remains a top priority, and Barb Davis and the Sycamore Presbyterian Sewciables have kindly provided face masks to keep our volunteers protected – and stylish!
Of course, the NEEDS drive-through pantry would not be possible without community support. At this time, NEEDS is only accepting financial donations, in order to minimize handling of food and ensure safe shopping. During her last trip to the Freestore Foodbank (one of NEEDS’ main suppliers), pantry coordinator Maureen Flanagan discovered that the Freestore is now being staffed by the National Guard. The Guardsmen help to load boxes into cars, as well as assemble orders for distribution across Cincinnati. It is so encouraging to see that those in our city who need help are being reached. We know that many families will need continued support over the coming weeks and months.
NEEDS deeply appreciates financial support as we do our best to keep pantry shelves stocked. A donation of $60 is enough to feed a family for a week. If you would like to give to NEEDS, please visit https://cincyneeds.org/donate-volunteer/.