Columbus Competition
Aetna Voices of Health Competition

NNEMAP Food Pantry

4,875
- TOTAL VOTES -
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NNEMAP Food Pantry

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NNEMAP Food Pantry, Inc. will be celebrating 50 years of service to the Columbus, Ohio, community in 2019. NNEMAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation organized and operated for the benefit of people in need of food and other assistance. Our client service area includes the near north side of Columbus, Ohio, and specifically includes the 43201, 43211, 43215, 43224 ZIP codes.

NNEMAP's primary activity is distributing food to families who reside within our service area ZIP codes and who meet financial eligibility requirements. Pantry clients are provided with a 3-day supply of food per visit. Clients may visit the pantry two times each month.

NNEMAP Food Pantry operates as a full choice pantry, which means clients can choose the foods they want rather than having groceries pre-selected and given to them. Our pantry offers a wide variety of fresh produce, dairy, and shelf-stable foods that provide healthful choices to our client base.

NNEMAP Food Pantry is a partner agency of the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. The organization relies on this partnership for almost all of the food distributed to clients. NNEMAP Food Pantry uses the Pantry-Trak database system offered through the Mid-Ohio Food Bank to register and serve clients. That data-gathering tool provides the opportunity to cite several units of service. Service incidents logged through the Pantry-Trak database system are tracked and monitored by the Executive Director and Assistant Director. Data gathered through this system is used to ensure that clients adhere to pantry visitation guidelines; to project costs and inventory needs; and to support decisions regarding pantry service policies.

NNEMAP Food Pantry is on the front lines of the fight against poverty in the low-income Linden neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. NNEMAP has served over 30 percent of South Linden residents. Because of the need and the increased numbers of families we are serving, NNEMAP plans to open a second location in the North Linden area in 2019.

NNEMAP has seen steady double digit growth every year since moving to South Linden. The first year we relocated, we served 28,000 family members. This year, 2018, we are on target to serve almost 50,000 family members. The reason for our growth is access to fresh produce every day; a wonderful group of volunteers from our supporting churches, our neighbors and students; and a wide variety of services we offer besides food distribution. Those include:

*Expert counselors to help eligible clients apply for Food Stamps, Medicaid, and other benefits

*Nurses from Columbus Public Health for preventive care

*Employment services

*Distribution of backpacks and school supplies

*Holiday gifts for our families

As a participant in The Emergency Food Access Program, NNEMAP Food Pantry must adhere to federal, state and local laws regarding determining eligibility and access. Clients must reside in the ZIP codes 43201, 43211, 43215 or 43224 and claim income at or below 200 percent of the federally designated poverty level. Adult clients are required to show current, government-issued photo identification and proof of address in the form of a utility bill or other current documentation. Eligibility of minor children can be verified by showing a birth certificate, healthcare card, custody paperwork, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services documentation, or school identification.

NNEMAP Food Pantry was established by a coalition of local churches to address a spike in homelessness, unemployment and poverty that coincided with the construction of the interstate highway system through the central city. What started as a cooperative ministry shared by a few congregations has grown to include over 25 churches and dozens of corporate and individual supporters.

NNEMAP has seen a tremendous increase in demand since moving to its new location in 2015. This has translated directly into higher costs in terms of food costs, increased operating hours, and greater staffing requirements. Funding received through Aetna's Voices of Health Program will help NNEMAP Food Pantry continue to provide exceptional service to area neighbors in need.

NNEMAP's broad base of volunteer, material and financial support has allowed the organization to continue to expand its service area and client service numbers. In the past 3 years, NNEMAP Food Pantry has seen its annual client service totals double. With additional support from Aetna's Voices of Health Program, we can continue to meet the needs of the greater Columbus community.

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