Columbus food pantry expecting rise in at-home delivery requests as COVID-19 cases rise


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With COVID-19 cases on the rise again in central Ohio, some people who need food assistance are requesting at-home deliveries, and NNEMAP Food Pantry expects the need to hit a record-breaking demand this year.

NNEMAP Executive Director Roy Clark said July was a busy month for the pantry.

Volunteers and employees distributed close to 200 at-home food deliveries so far this year, with Clark saying August is already surpassing July’s demand.

“It’s sad that we need to be here,” said pantry manager Jim Hamberg. “I’d rather have no food insecurity.”

Clark said those deliveries do not even begin to include those who use the pantry’s curbside service, which started at the beginning of the pandemic last year.

“Right now, we deliver to 19 zip codes,” Clark said.

He’s hoping to reach everyone in Franklin County in the months ahead as evidence is showing the need is there. One way he’s hoping to help tackle that need is by purchasing a cargo van to help get to and from places a lot faster.

Clark said before the recent spike in cases, the pantry was leaning towards letting the underserved back inside their doors to pick their food, but with the delta variant causing concern, they may have to reconsider opening their doors to people and sticking with home deliveries and drive-thru.

“I think people are going to get more and more afraid to getting out,” Clark said.

Clark says they could use more volunteers at this time. To help out, click here.

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