Category: Stories

Amazing Gift from Montgomery Community Church

Happy Thanksgiving! This year, NEEDS is especially thankful for a generous gift from Montgomery Community Church.

NEEDs serves our community by providing both food and emergency financial assistance. Local food drives and individual donations help us to keep the pantry stocked, but it’s often necessary to dip into our funds to shop for groceries to fill the shelves. This means that we have less money available for clients in need of financial assistance.

Montgomery Community Church has stepped in with an amazing offer: they will underwrite up to $1000 worth of grocery purchases. But it gets even better! MCC has extended this offer for a whole nine months, from October through June! NEEDS is so grateful to MCC for a wonderful gift that will help us to reach more people in need.

Thank You, Good Shepherd!

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church has been a faithful NEEDS partner for years – but sometimes they still surprise us with their generosity!

Recently, Good Shepherd held a food drive to benefit NEEDS. Three vehicles were soon filled with some of the pantry’s most-needed items. The drive was so successful that it took six volunteers all of four hours to organize and shelve the donations.

Thank you, Good Shepherd!



Soccer Teams Help NEEDS

Soccer players at All Saints School and Saint Vincent Ferrer School were sad to learn that there would be no contact sports this fall. Luckily, they were still able to put their teamwork skills to good use!

Coach Bill Keehn organized a food drive for NEEDS (combined with a greeting card drive for a senior living facility). Together, the soccer teams collected a full van load of food and personal care items to donate to the pantry. What a win!

Three Thank Yous

Harlow-HRK’s Jason poses with NEEDS volunteers.

Sometimes the best gift is an item that would otherwise go to waste, as three recent donations to the NEEDs pantry show.

Last week, NEEDS volunteers received a visit from Jason of Harlow-HRK, a food broker that represents a variety of consumer products to the Kroger grocery company. Jason stopped by to unload a trunkful of specialty items for the pantry, including flours, grains, baking mixes, coffee, and snack foods. This wasn’t Jason’s first visit – and NEEDS is so grateful that he thinks of us when he has leftover products to share.

Harlow-HRK isn’t the only organization to share extras with NEEDS. The Mason Food Pantry, located on the Grace Chapel campus in Mason, recently donated two crates of chunky soup to the NEEDS pantry. Another donation came from Operation Give Back in Blue Ash: OGB regularly receives leftover bread from local Panera restaurants, and they have generously decided to share the extra bread with NEEDS.

When it comes to helping our community, we’re all in this together!

NEEDS Fall Drives – Thank You!

Over the past several weeks, NEEDS volunteers have been getting ready to restock the pantry to meet the increased need that our clients experience during the colder months. To our excitement, several individuals and groups have recently stepped up to help by hosting food drives.

First up: Maggie Albers, who began volunteering with NEEDS this summer as part of her high school capstone project. Maggie’s “Do What You CAN” drive brought in two full carloads of food and personal care items for the pantry!

But Maggie wasn’t the only student eager to help. Inspired by WLWT’s Day of Giving, the Madeira High School Key Club hosted a food drive to benefit NEEDS – and when two more vehicles loaded with donations arrived at the pantry, it was clear that the drive had been a success!

Among NEEDS’ most faithful supporters are our member churches, including Church of the Saviour United Methodist. Recently, Church of the Saviour held a hugely successful food drive that benefited not only NEEDS but five other organizations. Thanks to this drive, NEEDS volunteers were able to fill several gaps on the pantry shelves with much-needed nonperishables.

Finally, NEEDS held a two-day food drive that attracted donors from 10 different churches and civic organizations. A big thank you to the volunteers who staffed this event, including Moeller High School senior Kyler Graves!

A NEEDS Client Story

Recently, pantry volunteers received a handwritten card from one of our regular clients. “We very much thank you for your free food pantry donation to our family today,” she wrote. The client enclosed a single dollar bill and signed the card with the names of everyone in the family.

It turns out that whenever this client visits the pantry, she hands our volunteers a few dollar bills – the most she can offer. She had no money during her last visit, but still wanted to offer something for what she had received. The NEEDS pantry volunteers are always so touched by this client’s attitude – she may not have much, but she always does her best to give back!

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!

All Saints Church and School collect over 3000 items for NEEDS

In keeping with the tradition of the last few years, All Saints Church and School held their annual Bob Meyer Memorial Food Drive for NEEDS and collected over 3000 non-perishable food items, personal hygiene and household cleaning supplies. The collection was held October 7-13, 2019 and students who participated earned community service/confirmation hours. The items were delivered to the NEEDS pantry on October 14, 2019.

Seventh grade students, teachers, parents and NEEDS volunteers  helped carry items into the pantry and sort them.

The collection is held each year in memory of Bob Meyer who took a special interest in this project by distributing signs, collecting, organizing and delivering the items collected. He died in 2017.

The shelves at NEEDS run low this time of year and we are all extremely grateful for this wonderful outpouring of love.

If you would like to organize a collection drive for NEEDS, please email us via our Contact Us page. We appreciate it!

NEEDS volunteer takes a gamble!

I worked the NEEDS front desk for many years. Each church represented on the Board was responsible for finding volunteers from their church, helping with pantry duties, and filling the pantry with fresh items. It was my church’s turn and I was serving as a pantry volunteer.

A wonderful young man came in. He had walked from the bus stop a few blocks away and he needed food.  My fellow-volunteer knew that we could not give him all the food he needed because there was no way he could carry all the food with him onto the bus.

We took a gamble. She had a cell phone which she gave me and I kept it on while I walked the man and his boxes and bags of food to my car to drive him home.  She called her cell phone from the NEEDS phone line and kept the line open in case I was a fool and needed help!

Would you do this today? Probably not.

This young man turned out to be a wonderful husband and father. He eventually became a friend too!

Sometimes trusting and taking a gamble (with a helpful cell phone) is what NEEDS volunteers do!

Susan Young,
Long time NEEDS volunteer

Grateful tears

We had an elderly gentleman come to the food pantry for the first time. He was nicely dressed, so nicely dressed, in fact, I thought he had come to the food pantry to donate food rather than because he needed help.

He was very proud that he had never needed this kind of help before, but an emergency had happened and his family needed help.  We registered him and packed the food for his family.

When he saw all the food being wheeled out on the cart for him, you could see the tears welling up in his eyes.  It was all he could do to keep the tears under control.  He was EXTREMELY grateful!



NEEDS food pantry is open Tuesday and Thursdays from 9 am- 1 pm at the lower level of Kenwood Baptist Church, 8341 Kenwood Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45236.


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