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Thank You, St. Ursula Academy!

For many high school students, summer vacation is an eagerly awaited opportunity to fulfill community service requirements. This is especially true for students at St. Ursula Academy, an East Walnut Hills school that champions service as a core value. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Ursula staff recently found creative ways to continue honoring the school’s commitment to service.

St. Ursula Academy usually provides funding to support a variety of student service activities. This summer, the academy generously donated a portion of those funds to supply the NEEDS pantry with its most urgently needed items. In addition, St. Ursula has placed NEEDS on their summer service list, encouraging students to meet service requirements by donating to NEEDS.

NEEDS is so grateful for the support of St. Ursula Academy this summer. Thank you!

For more information about supporting NEEDS, please visit http://cincyneeds.org/donate-volunteer/.

NEEDS Helps Tamar’s Center Serve the Homeless

For the past few months, most of us have done our best to protect our families by staying safely at home – only venturing out for essentials like food and medication. But what about the people in our community who don’t have safe homes?

Tamar’s Center, a shelter that cares for women struggling with addiction and exploitation, recently took action by installing a free hand washing center in Over the Rhine (https://www.wlwt.com/article/hand-washing-station-installed-in-over-the-rhine-to-keep-cincinnatis-homeless-safe-during-pandemic/32588058). Many Tamar’s Center clients are homeless and often go without basic toiletry items. To help support these clients, NEEDS has donated a large number of individual toiletries for Tamar’s Center to distribute. NEEDS donors generously share personal care items of all sizes; while large sizes are ideal for the families we serve, smaller sizes are perfect for the women who are served by Tamar’s Center. NEEDS is so grateful to be able to share with another wonderful organization.

For more information about Tamar’s Center, visit https://www.franciscanministriesinc.org/tamar-s-center.html.

Thank You, Moeller High School!

As any parent can attest, the last few months of the school year were a chaotic time. Isolated from friends, and with routines totally disrupted, many students struggled to focus on schoolwork – especially as the year dwindled to a close, with no return to normalcy in sight. Impressively, the students of Archbishop Moeller High School made an effort to help others before wrapping up school for the summer, by organizing a multi-day food drive to benefit NEEDS and other organizations.

Under Moeller’s House System, students from all four grades are divided into communities that promote mentoring and leadership development. House System director Karen Matuszek challenged the houses to see which community could contribute the most food and personal care items. A convenient drive-through setup enabled Moeller families to drop off donations easily and safely. The results were phenomenal: several tables were completely covered with essential supplies!

NEEDS is so grateful to the Moeller House System for helping us to meet the needs of our clients during an incredibly stressful time. Thank you!

Serving Our Community Together

“A bucket brigade on a five-alarm fire.” According to a recent Time article (https://time.com/5825944/food-banks-coronavirus/), that’s how the Ohio Association of Foodbanks’ executive director describes the plight of food pantries across our state. Hit hard by the economic repercussions of COVID-19, countless people who never dreamed of seeking aid are turning to organizations like NEEDS in order to feed their families. It’s a challenge to keep pantry shelves stocked – and that’s why NEEDS is so grateful to the local businesses, churches, and individuals who are helping our pantry to stay open during crisis.

Recently, NEEDS received a generous donation of frozen meat from La Soupe (https://lasoupe.org/) – a Cincinnati organization that fights both waste and hunger by rescuing perishable food. The NEEDS freezer didn’t have enough space for the donation, so pantry coordinators Janie and Maureen reached out to the Community of the Good Shepherd for assistance. Less than an hour later, the donated meat was safely stored in the Good Shepherd parish’s industrial freezer. What a wonderful example of different groups each doing their part to support our community! Thanks to La Soupe’s generosity and Good Shepherd’s loan of freezer space, NEEDS can supply clients with much-needed food that would otherwise be wasted.

If you would like to support NEEDS, we welcome financial donations! Simply mail a check payable to NEEDS to:
NEEDS c/o Kenwood Baptist Church
8341 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45236 

Donations can also be made through your bank’s online payment service or Zelle. Just use CincyNeedsTreasurer@gmail.com as the recipient email. For more information about supporting NEEDS, please visit http://cincyneeds.org/donate-volunteer/.

Thank You to New Partners!

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!

NEEDS now serving clients every 30 days.

paper bag with groceries

NEEDS recently joined the Freestore Foodbank ‘s The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) program.

This program allows NEEDS to purchase more food at no cost or very low cost including dairy, meat, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

This also means that NEEDS will be serving clients every 30 days (instead of every 60 days) during the COVID-19 crisis, and possibly beyond.

We are thrilled to offer our neighbors in North East Cincinnati food and personal care items on a more frequent basis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since opening drive-through pantry service three weeks ago, NEEDS has served 50 families – over 200 people!

NEEDS still appreciates financial donations of any amount. We hope to resume emergency financial assistance in the near future as Stay-at-Home restrictions in Ohio are released.

Or mail a check payable to NEEDS to:

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

NEEDS is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity. All contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Drive-Through Pantry Update April 8, 2020

Pantry shelves are quickly depleted as we operate our new drive-through service.

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/.

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!

NEEDS Pantry will be reopening on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The NEEDS Pantry will be reopening on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 to provide emergency food assistance during this difficult time. We will not be providing financial assistance. 

As before, we will be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, serving each family every 60 days.  UPDATE April 15, 2020: NEEDS is now serving clients every 30 days during the COVID-19 crisis, and possibly beyond (to be determined as the situation develops).

We serve residents in the following zip codes:  45236, 45241, 45242, 45243 and 45249.

When you arrive at NEEDS (8341 Kenwood Rd, Cincinnati at Kenwood Baptist Church), please remain in your car and follow posted signage. 

You will be asked to call our desk at 891-0850 and provide:

  • your name
  • whether you have been here before
  • your family size
  • car license plate number.

We will serve clients in order of their arrival, providing pre-packed bags with dry goods, meat and limited perishables.

NEEDS closed until further notice.

Sorry we are closed.

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.

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