Happy August! Here is a list of this month’s most-needed pantry items.
Donations can be dropped off during NEEDS’ open hours (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-1:00). If you would like to contribute but can’t drop off your donation during these hours, please contact Maureen Flanagan at 513-378-8767. Thank you!
In just a few weeks, students all over Cincinnati will begin a new school year. Unfortunately, many families can’t afford to purchase expensive supplies or provide their growing children with new, warm clothes for the coming winter. You can help by participating in the NEEDS Student Assistance Drive!
This year’s drive combines two NEEDS traditions: the annual fall school supply drive, and the HUGSS (Hats, Underwear, Gloves, Socks, Sweats) event that usually takes place in the winter. By combining these two drives, NEEDS hopes to get students started with everything they need for the new school year – from crayons to coats.
For the Student Assistance Drive, NEEDS is requesting financial donations (gift cards and checks) rather than physical items. Not only is this convenient for givers – it also helps to ensure that students receive the most crucial items. Donations will be distributed to over a dozen schools, and school staff will purchase the classroom supplies and warm winter clothing their students need most.
If you would like to help, please send your gift card or check (with “Student Assistance Drive” in the memo) to the address below by August 15. Gift cards from Target, Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, and Kohl’s are all welcome.
Crystal Dahlmeier (above in pink jacket) – a new member of the NEEDS board – both surprised and delighted us with the news that her church would be holding a month-long drive to benefit the NEEDS pantry in May. Pastor Russell of Madeira Silverwood Presbyterian Church planned to collect items all month, pray over the donations on the last Sunday of May, and then caravan them over to the pantry.
The drive was a great success! At the end of the month, four carloads of donations were delivered – including much-needed items like laundry and dish detergent, paper towels, toilet paper and other personal care items, and nonperishable food.
Crystal, who also volunteers in the NEEDS pantry, provided updates on the church’s collections each week. As an extra surprise, two carloads of potatoes, onions, and apples were delivered during the last week of the drive.
NEEDS is so grateful to Madeira Silverwood not only for these generous donations, but for the congregation’s prayers and concern for their needy neighbors. Thank you!
The NEEDS pantry is usually stocked with nonperishable food – but it can be difficult to provide our clients with fresh fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, the pantry has a new partner to help meet this need!
Sue Plummer, Ohio Program Coordinator for the Society of St. Andrew – an organization that brings fresh produce to the hungry – recently emailed NEEDS to see if our pantry could benefit from produce donations collected from growers at the end of the weekly Montgomery Farmers Market. Sue didn’t have to ask twice! NEEDS’ first pickup was on May 1, the day the market opened for the 2021 season. In rotation with a few other pantries, NEEDS will continue to pick up donations from the market through October.
A big thank you to the Society of St. Andrew and the Montgomery Farmers Market for sharing fresh fruits and vegetables with our clients!
NEEDS is grateful for the support of a variety of local organizations – including churches, schools, businesses, and more.
The Madeira High School Key Club recently organized a food drive to benefit NEEDS, and soon filled an SUV with some of the pantry’s most-needed items. This is not the first time the Key Club has collected donations for NEEDS. Thank you to the Key Club for your ongoing support!
Another drive was held at the Twin Lakes Senior Living Community. This drive was so successful that the overflow of donations had to be stored in a vacant unit at Twin Lakes! As pantry coordinators Maureen and Janie point out, quite a few of NEEDS’ clients are the same age as the residents at Twin Lakes. Instead of enjoying retirement, many clients are now housing and feeding their adult children who have lost jobs and moved back home, as well as grandchildren. Others, with no family nearby, are struggling alone to make ends meet. The donations shared by Twin Lakes will help many of these individuals and families.
Finally, Montgomery Community Church selected NEEDS as one of several local pantries to benefit from their monthly food drive. MCC often provides financial support to NEEDS as well, and we are very happy to have MCC as a partner.
Last month, we shared a story about Victoria, who celebrated her birthday by holding a food drive for the NEEDS pantry. Thanks to a generous donation of “birthday bags” from the Birthday Giving Program, NEEDS can now help clients’ children celebrate their birthdays too! NEEDS is giving a bag to each family with a child aged 6-12 who has an upcoming birthday. The bags are a wonderful surprise for the children and their parents, who usually can’t afford large parties and gifts.
The Birthday Giving Program was launched in 2017 as a way to brighten the lives of children and adults affected by poverty, addiction, abuse, physical and mental challenges, and old age. The program is now active in 36 states, and NEEDS is thrilled to be one of the 90 organizations to benefit!