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

2019 School Supply Drive another success

Faithful volunteers line up to sort, pack and distribute school items to at least 16 schools

August 12, 2019 found more than 20 faithful NEEDS volunteers gathered at 8 a.m. to unpack, sort, repack and deliver school supplies to the Deer Park, Sycamore, Princeton and Madeira school districts. 

The annual event provides basic school supplies i.e. binders, backpacks, pencils, pens and crayons to students in those districts.  Approximately 16 schools are reached. 

The items are collected from the participating churches in the NEEDS (North East Distribution  Services) organization  which is housed in Kenwood Baptist Church.

Loyal Deer Park  school district residents came out to help with the drive. Chris Huster (left) worked for 32 years in the Deer Park District and is now on the school board.  Masha Huster (10 years old) and Jeff Pfohl (right), also on the school board, came out to lend a hand.
NEEDS Board President Ann Barfels sorts piles of donated school supplies.

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.


NEEDS is a partner with the Freestore Foodbank

NEEDS is a Community Partner with Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank
Emergency feeding organizations such as NEEDS are working with Freestore Foodbank to help give hope to those who need it most.

This partnership allows NEEDS to purchase food, produce, dairy and meat items for free or at greatly reduced cost. This means that our donation dollars get stretched further and we can offer more emergency financial assistance to families in Northeast Cincinnati.

Together, NEEDS and the Freestore Foodbank fight hunger and help bring hope to those who need it most.


NEEDS provides food, personal care items and emergency financial assistance to individuals and families in northeast Cincinnati.

Our office hours and pantry are open Tuesday and Thursday 9 am -1 pm. at

Kenwood Baptist Church.
8341 Kenwood Rd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45236

If you need food or emergency financial assistance call the NEEDS hotline at (513) 891-0850. One of our volunteers will be in touch.

Client becomes volunteer at NEEDS food pantry

Many years ago we helped a family. The mom and dad worked full time and their grandchildren needed special care.  Finances were tight, so NEEDS helped with food and emergency financial assistance.

The mom said when she retired she would pay it back by volunteering at the NEEDS pantry and she kept that promise!  A week after retirement she was trained as a Desk Volunteer and worked this position for over 10 years.  Her husband had health issues that needed her so she had to end her commitment to volunteer at NEEDS.
 
Her children are fine and her grandchildren have grown to be wonderful people.

As Mother Teresa said. “ Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you”— and NEEDS did this.

If you would like to volunteer at NEEDS, please contact us by email or phone 513- 891-0850.

August School Supplies Drive

NEEDS collects school supplies and distributes the supplies to area schools.

This year our school supply drive will be 8:00 am on Monday, August 12, 2019 at Kenwood Baptist Church

Besides providing food for our needing neighbors, each year NEEDS also provides an assortment of school supplies to some schools in the Sycamore, Princeton, Madeira and Deer Park Districts.  The participating churches and organizations of NEEDS generously provide the supplies and one day in mid August, some eager volunteers gather to sort and pack boxes for each of the 15 or 16 schools that receive the supplies.

Although we will have an abundant supply of items to donate and eager volunteers to sort them.

We need:

  • Volunteers to sort, pick and pack the supplies for each school.
  • Drivers to deliver the school supplies.

If you are available at 8 am on Monday, August 12, 2019 please contact NEEDS by email or phone 513-891-0850.


Pantry Needs July 11, 2019

Our current needs in our food pantry include:

Canned chicken
Canned vegetables of all kinds other than corn and beans (of any kind)
Packaged side dishes (stuffing, rice and noodle mixes; mashed and au gratin potatoes, etc.)
Canned meals (hash, ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, spaghettios, beef stew, etc.)
Packaged dinner mixed (Hamburger Helper, add-meat baked dishes, etc.) Individual toothbrushes
Laundry detergent

Please drop off these donations at NEEDS during business hours:
Monday-Thursday 9 am – 4 pm
and Friday 9 am -12 noon
at Kenwood Baptist Church 8241 Kenwood Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45241

NEEDS has volunteers at the church on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9 am -1 pm.

Call 513-891-0850 to let us know you are dropping off a donation.

New Logo for NEEDS

Like our new logo? The NEEDS board really did!

It reflects the helping hand that NEEDS gives to our neighbors with food, personal care items and emergency financial assistance.

It also reflects our support by many churches in the shape of the dove, the universal symbol of God’s Holy Spirit.

It represents God’s love being shown though the caring hands of our volunteers and donors.

North East Emergency Distribution Services (NEEDS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to do God’s work of caring for our neighbors in northeast Cincinnati by providing basic emergency assistance.

NEEDS is located in the lower level of Kenwood Baptist Church
8341 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45236

Phone: (513) 891-0850



Ken Gast, long time volunteer, retires from NEEDS Board

Husband, father, grandfather, veteran, golfer, longtime Kroger employee and volunteer – these all describe Kenton Gast.

Ken Gast

Born August 15, 1926 in Logansport IN, Kenton had one brother and a sister Karen, who still lives in Bloomington IN.  He joined the Naval Air corps and served in the South Pacific during the last two years of World War II on the USS Shangri-La, but says he “never saw any action.”

On June 7, 1953, Ken married Betty Paulin and they began their 66 year marriage. The couple went on to have five children: Charlie (who lives in Mason), Andy (Leesburg, OH), Mike (Greenhills) and Tony (Finneytown).  They lost a daughter to cancer a few years ago.

Kenton (or Ken, as most of us know him) started with Kroger in a six month manager trainee program.  He went on to become Assistant Manager in Indianapolis for 1 ½ years.  Still in Indianapolis he became Produce Trainer and then Produce Buyer, then Assistant Grocery Merchandiser.  In 1965 he came to Cincinnati as Vice President of Manufacturing Procurement where he retired after a 32 year career.

Kenton and his wife Betty have lived in Kenwood for 50 years.  During that time he served as a deacon at Trinity United Church of Christ and in the early ‘80’s he began volunteering at NEEDS where he has served as vice president and as Director of Pantry Operations and Volunteers, and Director of Desk Operations.

He remembers that at that time Sycamore Jr. high school was the biggest donor to NEEDS followed by Greenhills schools.  He remembers that what was left over was always given to the Freestore Food Bank in Cincinnati. When asked what he sees as the biggest change in NEEDS he says the number of clients we serve.

As far as hobbies, Kenton always enjoyed playing golf.  Now his 11 grandchildren take up has spare time.

When asked what he would like to be remember for, Kent replies with no hesitation ”being kind to others.”

Ken, you’ve got your wish.

Thank you for your long years of service to NEEDS and the families of Cincinnati.

Ann Barfels
NEEDS President

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