For the past 55 years Neighborhood Services Inc has been tempering the negative effects of poverty in the Ohio State University area by providing food, emergency assistance and other services. Together with partner foodbanks, local grocers and other organizations that stock their pantry, they offer a 5-day supply of food to each family that visits. Normally NSI assists over 10,000 families annually.
St. Stephen’s, Columbus congregants are regular volunteers at the NSI resource center; supply specific monthly requests for food, household items, or clothing; and contribute monetary support. St. Stephen’s, an inclusive, progressive congregation on the OSU campus, has a robust community outreach program guided by this philosophy:
Carolyn Vander Stouw, explains how NSI has adapted their procedures to Covid-19 restrictions:
NSI is still up and running, helping about 60 families Monday through Thursday (usual days open). Usually NSI is a choice pantry where the “neighbors” come in and pick which items they want. Now everything is done curb side. Neighbors are given prepackaged bags/boxes of food at the curb.
Covid-19 Procedural Updates
There will not be Easter food baskets this year since that involves a lot of close contact distributing them. Any food that already came in for Easter baskets will be used for regular food pickups.
Carolyn Vander Stouw 3.31.20