Author: Olivia Foltz Buyniski

New Evening Hours

Here at NEEDS, we’re always looking for ways to better serve our clients – from offering wider choice in the pantry to upgrading to a more efficient records system. We’re especially excited about our most recent improvement: evening hours!

For the past several years, the NEEDS pantry has been open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-1:00. While this schedule works well for many clients, it’s not ideal for potential clients who work during the day. All too often, individuals and families in our community work hard yet struggle to make ends meet. In order to support more of these families, the NEEDS pantry is now offering appointments on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, from 5:30-7:30 in the evening. Clients who are unable to visit the pantry during the day can simply call the main desk (513-891-0850) to schedule an evening appointment.

Expanding the pantry hours is just one way that NEEDS is pursuing our mission of sharing resources with our community. Thank you to the volunteers who make evening operations possible!

4th Annual Bob Meyer Collection

NEEDS relies on the support of numerous churches and civic groups to provide food and emergency assistance to our clients. One of our member organizations, All Saints Church, has found a wonderful way to honor a beloved church associate: each year, All Saints hosts a food drive in Bob Meyer’s name! Check out the flyer below, which includes details about the drive, as well as an uplifting story about a NEEDS client who is taking care of his granddaughters with help from the pantry.

Do What You CAN

NEEDS is excited to introduce Maggie Albers! A senior at Mt. Notre Dame Academy, Maggie began working on a capstone project to benefit NEEDS this summer. Her first task: helping to restock the pantry after its recent renovation. After working behind the scenes, Maggie began serving clients directly by volunteering in the pantry drive-through, screening clients, and taking food orders. Now she has a new goal: to support NEEDS by hosting a food drive. Maggie’s “Do What You CAN” drive will be held at Hospice of Cincinnati this Saturday. Check out the flyer below for more details!

August Impact

During the last month, NEEDS’ largest impact has been through a very successful school supply drive. Of course, our volunteers are still busy serving clients who visit the food pantry, as well as providing emergency financial assistance.

In August, the NEEDS pantry served 75 families – for a total of almost 300 people!

NEEDS also distributed $1720 between six families in need of emergency assistance. These funds were used to cover rent, energy and water bills, and medical expenses.

As we move into September, NEEDS volunteers will continue working hard to support our clients. Stay tuned for an update on our new evening hours!

School Supplies Update

Earlier this summer, NEEDS kicked off our annual school supply drive. Whether students are attending class in person or online, this school year is sure to be challenging – and we are thrilled to be able to help families in need!

So far, NEEDS has collected:

– $1990 in gift cards
– $1600 in checks
– 63 full backpacks donated by Montgomery Community Church
– Erasers and scissors donated by St. Paul United Methodist Church
– 350 disposable masks, thanks to a donor who specified “masks” on their check
– 23 sets of earbuds purchased by St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church

Gift cards, funds, and supplies have been distributed to the Deer Park, Princeton, Sycamore, and Madeira schools according to need. Since this year’s drive has focused on financial donations, school officials are able to purchase exactly what their students need – from traditional supplies, like notebooks and calculators, to COVID safety supplies and resources for virtual learning. NEEDS is so grateful to the individuals and churches who have contributed!

If you would like to help, it’s not too late! NEEDS will continue to accept donations for the school supply drive through the end of September.

Simply mail a check (with “school supplies” in the memo line) to our address below. Gift cards for Kroger, Meijer, Walmart, Target, Staples, and Amazon are also welcome.   

You can also drop off your check or gift cards any time NEEDS is open in August and September (Tuesday and Thursdays 9 am to 1 pm) at Kenwood Baptist Church.

NEEDS c/o Kenwood Baptist Church
8341 Kenwood Rd
Cincinnati OH 45236

If you belong to a NEEDS member church, please include the church’s name with your donation. Thank you! 

Current Pantry Needs

The NEEDS pantry is currently running low on nonperishable food and other dry goods. The following items would be especially welcome!

Food:
Canned vegetables (except green beans – we have plenty of these!)
Canned fruit
Canned soup
Macaroni and cheese
Peanut butter
Packaged side dishes (rice/pasta mixes, potato dishes, stuffing, etc.)
Pasta
Pasta sauce
Boxed cereal

Toiletries and Household Supplies:
Dish soap
Laundry soap
Shaving cream
Body lotion
Disposable razors

Donations can be dropped off at Kenwood Baptist Church Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. NEEDS volunteers are at the church on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Thank you!

Local Churches Help NEEDS

NEEDS has had great success operating a drive-up pantry service for the last few months. All volunteers wear masks and take safety precautions in order to protect our clients. But what about clients who don’t have masks of their own? Luckily, NEEDS partner churches are here to help! Members of Kenwood Baptist Church (where NEEDS is based), as well as the Sewciables group from Sycamore Presbyterian Church, have provided an assortment of fabric masks to distribute to our clients. These masks come in a wide range of styles and sizes for children and adults. Thank you to KBC and the Sewciables for helping to keep our clients and their families safe!

NEEDS is also grateful to churches like Saint Vincent Ferrer, All Saints Catholic Church, and Blue Ash Presbyterian Church for their faithful support. All three have helped to keep the NEEDS pantry shelves stocked this summer. Recently, Blue Ash Presbyterian volunteers delivered a full cartload of food – arriving just in time to replenish our dwindling supply of canned meals. The donation also included many “extras” our clients usually have to do without – including coffee, tea, soda, salad dressing, and even hair conditioner. Thank you!

July Impact

The NEEDS drive-up pantry has been busy! During the month of July, pantry volunteers served 76 families – for a total of 311 individuals!

NEEDS has also resumed offering emergency financial assistance. Over the past month, we have distributed $2,100 – helping seven families to pay rent and utility bills. 

 Finally, the NEEDS school supply drive kicked off in July and will continue through August. We are excited for this opportunity to provide crucial supplies to local students. For more details, check out our blog post: https://cincyneeds.org/2020/07/15/help-needs-provide-school-supplies/.

We’re in Need at NEEDS!

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the NEEDS food pantry is able to obtain many food items from the Freestore Foodbank at no charge. But for others, we must rely on donations. We’re currently most in need of:

Canned soup of all kinds
Packaged side dishes (rice mixes, pasta dishes, stuffing, potato mixes)
Canned pineapple
Tomato (not pasta) sauce
Paper towels
Dish and laundry detergent
Pump hand soap
Deodorant (men’s and women’s)

Donations can be dropped off at Kenwood Baptist Church Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. NEEDS volunteers are at the church on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

NEEDS also welcomes financial donations, which enable us to purchase both dry goods and perishable items like eggs, milk, cheese, butter, and vegetables. If you would like to support NEEDS with a donation, you can simply mail a check to the address below:

NEEDS
c/o Kenwood Baptist Church
8341 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45236

Thank you!

We Only Know His First Name

In order to provide food and emergency assistance to our clients, NEEDS relies heavily on donations from churches and other organizations. But as one regular donor demonstrates, individual contributors can also make a tremendous impact!

One of our most faithful donors is named Will. We don’t know his last name (he chooses not to share it), but we do know that he is an expert at maximizing discounts with coupons! Every few weeks, Will loads up his car with food for the NEEDS pantry, from cases of canned tomatoes and potatoes to more hot sauce than the average restaurant keeps on hand. And Will doesn’t just donate food – he also helps to supply personal care items like shampoo. Will even donates cases of feminine hygiene products, which are among the most expensive (and essential) items for the NEEDS pantry to stock. Will often says “This is the last time,” but he keeps coming back with much-needed food and supplies.

NEEDS is incredibly grateful to Will and the other donors who support us in meeting the needs of our community. Thank you!

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