NNEMAP was one of only eight pantries and soup kitchens served by Mid-Ohio Food Bank that has a paid staff person who works directly with Ohio Job and Family Services. Two days each week this person saw clients who needed assistance with food, utilities, Medicaid, and social secuity disablity. These services are vital to people who do not have access to computers or transportation to government offices. In addition, we began providing our mailing address for those clients who are homeless or transient.
Yoga On High donated much of the produce from their garden to NNEMAP. Their donations totalled over 2,600 pounds, having a huge impact on our ability to provide nutrition to our clients.
We started a program with the Columbus Food League to grow herbs for their restaurants as a fundraiser. We sold over 26 pounds and made $800.
We received a grant from the CareSource Foundation to partner with the Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA). This partnership is designed to train our volunteers on the basics of diabetes. The CODA staff will also provide screenings and education for our clients at the pantry. This helps us assist people with their diet to better manage diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions.
We developed a new fundraiser to celebrate our 45th anniversary at a famous Victorian Village home known as the Circus House.
We will develop a recipe library to provide cooking information to clients to encourage them to try new fresh produce or different types of meats offered at the pantry.
We will host a celebration for NNEMAP's 45th anniversary.
We will continue to pursue partnerships with other nonprofits to provide services to our neighbors that they might not have access to. We are currently exploring a partnership with LifeCare Alliance and their cancer screening program.
We will begin a process of changing the make-up of our board. Through working with the Columbus Foundation's board development program, we will develop our current board and advisory boards into a governing board of directors and a church network board. Our board of directors will be smaller and will be filled with individuals who have backgrounds and skills to move NNEMAP forward. Our network board will fill an important role of improving the communitcation to our 32 supporting churches.
We will expand our fundraising to include nearby businesses. Our fundraising is currently focused on grants, events, individual donations, and partnerships with 32 local churches.
NNEMAP traces is beginnings to 1958 with the construction of I-670. This so disrupted Flytown neighborhoods that the home values plummeted. By 1968, about a dozen churches were working together with the Godman Guild Association and had created a food pantry to serve the population that had moved to North High Street areas. On April 1, 1969, the pantry incorporated as the Near Northside Emergency Material Assistance Program. The pantry operated out of an old home on Denison Avenue for several years. In the early 1980s, NNEMAP moved to its current home in the Short North. The past several years have been challenging for NNEMAP. As the economy has worsened, the needs have grown. Since 2009, our client numbers have grown 78%. We serve over 28,000 people per year by offering a three-day supply of food twice per month and health and children's servics. Our clients are living on the edge of survival, often supporting large families and living on minimal income. NNEMAP is there to ensure families have a balanced and nutritional food supply. Our families include the homeless, mentally ill, those with drug and alcohol dependencies, as well as those who have temporary cash crises. They come from a full spectrum of backgrounds, and include the elderly on limited incomes, working poor, as well as those who are unable to work. NNEMAP provides important and necessary food to its clientele for survival. In addition, NNEMAP has expanded its services by offering free physicals and x-rays through the Breathing Association; assistance signing up for Food Stamps, Medicaid; utility assistance; and free tax services. During back-to-school time, we assist children with free backpacks and school supplies, and we provide Christmas gifts during the holidays.
NNEMAP has been serving the needs of those less fortunate for over 45 years. Our mission is to provide food and basic necessities for those under the poverty level. During the past five years, the need has dramatically increased. From 2009-13, there was a 78% increase. We first focused on making certain we were offering more nutritional food to our clients, which has meant more fresh produce. There has been a huge increase in produce available from Mid-Ohio Food Bank, and we have developed an extensive garden program that supplements our offerings. We also knew that our clients needed more than just food. We have increased our services to the children during back-to-school and Christmas. We have added health services from the Breathing Association Mobile medical van, the Central Ohio Diabetes Assn, and are able to sign clients up for Food Stamps, Medicaid, and utility assistance directly online through Franklin County Job and Family Services.
The board of directors is currently made up of 26 representatives from 20 of the 32 churches that support NNEMAP. Attendance at the bi-monthly meeting is 82% and 56% serve on standing committees or are officers. Average length of service on the board is 14 years due to a strong commitment and passion for NNEMAP’s mission. Half of the board members volunteer regularly at the food pantry and all members participate in fundraisers and are willing to step up to help whenever needed. Three members are currently participating in The Columbus Foundation board development program, working to reframe the board into two bodies: the church network board made up of representatives from all 32 supporting churches and the governance board of directors of 10-12 people from member churches as well as the greater community, tapping talent for specific roles on the board.
Currently the director of Near Northside Emergency Material Assistance Program, Mr. Clark spent 34 years with Macy's, including 23 years as a general manager. He served as the regional representative for nonprofit giving for Macy's and has served on the board of CATCO for 12 years. Roy has a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Cincinnati and is an active member of King Avenue Methodist Church where he has held several leadership positions.
Ms. Niklas has been with the Near Northside Emergency Material Assistance Program as assistant director for nine years. She was previously an administrative assistant at LifeCare Alliance for six years, where she coordinated volunteers. At NNEMAP, Yvonne handles all of the record keeping and statistics required by Mid-Ohio Foodbank. She also coordinates the activities of our over 80 volunteers.
Mr. Curtis was hired as warehouse manager of the Near Northside Emergency Material Assistance Program in 1985, when the pantry was located on Dennison Avenue. He became inventory control manager when the pantry moved to North High Street some months later. Andy is in charge of ordering food from Mid-Ohio Foodbank, receiving in-kind donations from member churches, and supervising and training volunteer workers who fill orders for clients. In February 2010, Andy celebrated his 25th anniversary with NNEMAP.
Mid-Ohio Foodbank; Kroger; Orlando Bread; HandsOn Central Ohio; Columbus area churches; Central Ohio Diabetes Assn.; Giant Eagle; Kroger's, Breathing Association; IMPACT Community Action; Local Matters; Technology For The Poor; Produce One; Community Shares of Mid Ohio; Yoga On High; Hilton Hotel Downtown.
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest) - Affiliate
Each holiday season, we distribute approximately 1,500 grooming kits. Items are donated by our supporting churches and delivered to our pantry. On the first Sunday in December, volunteers assemble the kits so they are ready for distribution the next day. The kits include nine items: soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, comb, razor, shampoo, conditioner, and a washcloth. These items are given to each family. During the year, we also work to keep these items available upon request.
Because the needs of our guests and their families are so diverse, we established relationships with area health providers to focus on client health issues. The mobile medical van from the Breathing Association comes to NNEMAP six times each year for free physicals, x-rays, and medication assistance. In addition, nurses from Columbus Public Health come twice a month to check blood pressure and sugar levels, give flu shots, and answer questions. We have also started a partnership with the Central Ohio Diabetes Association to train our volunteers, offer screenings and education to our guests, and provide individual programs for those in need.
NNEMAP is an official site for the Ohio Benefit Bank. Our trained counselor works with guests complete their taxes and evaluate eligibility for state and federal benefits. Twice a week, a staff member from Mid-Ohio Foodbank comes to our pantry and assists our guests in signing up for food stamps, Medicaid, utility assistance, and social security disability assistance. If eligible, guests are able to apply online at that time. This makes it very easy and comfortable for our guests to access much-needed financial assistance in a convenient and non-threatening environment. In addition, we work with our guests to give them direction on other needs using the HandsOn Central Ohio online information and referral service. We also provide our address for any of our guests who need it. This is particularly helpful for homeless and transient individuals.
Our food and basic necessities distribution system is focused on supplying one week of food for individuals and families in the Zip Codes of 43201, 43211, and 43215. We are supported by 32 area churches and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Our clients may visit our pantry twice a month to receive a three-day supply of food. We are supported by over 100 volunteers who work with our guests daily in a choice pantry environment. We have expanded our efforts to offer more nutritious foods, specifically fresh produce. The increased produce from Mid-Ohio Foodbank, expansion of our community gardens, and grant requests to purchase produce during winter months have been successful. We also offer an emergency homeless program for our more than 300 homeless guests. Items with poptop cans and food items that do not need refrigeration or heating are given three times each month.
Each summer, our sponsoring churches and the Junior League of Columbus donate backpacks full of back-to-school items for children of our clients. Volunteers assemble and distribute kits based on the age of each child and the suggested requirements from Columbus City Schools. We provide one backpack per child, thereby allowing as many guests as possible to be served. We typically distrubute over 500 backpacks each year. During the Christmas season, we set up a Christmas shop to allow our families to select two gifts per child. Volunteers operate the shop, and the items are donated by our supporting churches and volunteers.
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