Author: Olivia Foltz Buyniski

NEEDS Still Serving in Crisis

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!

Amazon Smile – Help NEEDS by Shopping Online!

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 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 instead of 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!

Current Pantry Needs

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.

Tomato sauce
Beef stew
Canned potatoes
Canned greens
Canned sweet potatoes
Baked beans
Canned salmon
Vienna sausages
Rice mixes
Potato side dishes (mashed, au gratin, etc)
Hamburger Helper
Pasta sauce
Dessert items

Paper towels
Body wash

Pantry donations can be dropped off at Kenwood Baptist Church (8341 Kenwood Rd) Monday-Thursday from 9:00-4:00. NEEDS volunteers are on site every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00-1:00. Thank you!

Community Dental Day: March 6

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.

For more information about UC Blue Ash Dental Hygiene Clinic and community dental day, call 513-936-1668 or visit

Fill the Truck

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!

Current Pantry Needs

Our pantry has been very active lately – it’s not uncommon for us to serve over a dozen families each day! Here are the items we currently need most:

Canned beef stew
Canned chili
Canned Beefaroni / macaroni and beef
Canned pasta without meat / original Spaghettios
Canned chicken

Personal Care Items:
Shaving cream or gel
Diapers in all sizes
Depends in all sizes

Pantry donations can be dropped off at Kenwood Baptist Church (8341 Kenwood Rd) Monday-Thursday from 9:00-4:00. NEEDS volunteers are on site every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00-1:00. Thank you!

Local Schools Partner with NEEDS

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.

Coming Up: Giving Tuesday

The weather is getting colder. The holiday season is just a few weeks away. Many of us are making plans to celebrate Thanksgiving with family…and then celebrate all of the great shopping deals available on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

This year, why not keep the fun going on Tuesday?

Mark your calendar for December 3, 2019 – Giving Tuesday!

Launched in 2012, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for individuals and groups around the world to join in giving back to their communities. And investing in our community is exactly what we do at NEEDS – whether we’re providing food to the less fortunate, or offering financial assistance to keep local families in warm homes.

Please partner with NEEDS this Giving Tuesday!

How you can help:

1. Donate food and supplies to our pantry. We are always in need of nonperishable food, as well as personal care items like shampoo, deodorant, and feminine care products. You can drop off your donation on Giving Tuesday from 9:00-4:00. (Can’t make it that day? No problem – donations can be dropped off at Kenwood Baptist Church any Monday-Thursday.)

2. Share your time. NEEDS is open to serve our community every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00-1:00. We need volunteers to staff our pantry and desk each week, greeting our clients and fulfilling requests.

3. Make a financial donation. Your contribution on Giving Tuesday will help us to support our community throughout the year.

For more information about giving to NEEDS, visit our volunteer page:

For more information about Giving Tuesday, check out