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IPM Food Pantry and Newtown UMC collaborate to feed families

With nearly one in seven households in Cincinnati reporting they don’t have enough food, IPM Food Pantry recently collaborated with Newtown United Methodist Church to add a Giving Box onsite at the church to ensure no one would go hungry this winter.

Inspired by a former Turpin High School student, Jessie Pierce, IPM Food Pantry installed the church’s second Giving Box in their parking lot. These boxes can be stocked with food and personal care items by anyone in the area, and the contents are freely available for anyone in need.

A group of church volunteers, affectionately labeled “The Pantry Patrol,” keep the little pantry stocked, and they say the box is emptied almost every day.

Back in 2017, then high-schooler Jessie Pierce had an idea to construct a mini-pantry that could be stocked with food for anyone to take what they need. She explained, “I was working on a project for Future Business Leaders and was surprised to learn that at the time Cincinnati was the second leading city in childhood poverty in America. I had seen the Little Free Libraries around town and had heard about the free pantry concept, but I hadn’t seen one in our area.”

Pierce, now an entrepreneurial business student at Indiana University focusing on poverty alleviation, was excited to hear that another Giving Box was recently added, “Hunger is invisible. You never know who needs extra food to get them through the day.”

Today, families in and around Newtown know the little free pantry is available for them at any time. Even though IPM Food Pantry is a few blocks away, the Giving Box allows those in need to have access to food 24 hours a day. Recently, a note was left in the Giving Box from a local resident, which read, “I love you. I would have starved to death if it weren’t for you. God bless you!”

If you are interested in building or filling a Giving Box for your community, contact IPM Food Pantry at (513) 561-3932 for more information.

Jessica Hartley, IPM Food Pantry

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