Inter Parish Ministry, a Freestore Foodbank community partner agency, operates out of a 100 year-old building in Newtown and is a cornerstone not only of this small town, but the entire outlying county. Described as ‘A Christian ministry that provides food pantry, clothing, and communal support to improve the lives of the needy in Clermont County and the East Side of Cincinnati,’ Inter Parish Ministry is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. The organization is many things to many people. Not only are they a hub for emergency food, clothing, and benefit enrollment, Inter Parish Ministry is also a popular choice of the more than 300 volunteers each year who serve in many different capacities.
“Our volunteers are given the opportunity to interact with our families,” says Lindsey Ein, Executive Director. “We like to make sure that we provide meaningful ways for them to serve, so they feel valued and connected.”
The Ministry offers programs that meet the needs of a wide-spectrum of people in the rural community. In partnership with the Freestore Foodbank, they regularly arrange for mobile pantries throughout Clermont County, as well as provide clothes, furniture, shoes and more. Before school starts back up for the year, they facilitate a program that allows participating children to choose a backpack of their choice, along with school supplies. In early December, the Ministry hosts a ‘Toy Store’ event, in which kids can select their own Christmas gifts, as well as an ‘Adopt a Family’ program that matches volunteers with clients and their families to provide holiday presents.
Approximately 80% of the Ministries clients are located in Clermont County; most are willing to drive the extra distance, Lyn feels, because of the excellent customer service that they receive. All donations primarily come from local churches, businesses, and individuals as well as several school districts. The items that seem to be most needed are regular, day-to-day necessities – pots, pants, towels, Reynolds Wrap and other essential household items.
“The Freestore provides resources that we cannot,” said Lindsey Ein,.“Now more than ever, our relationship is a respectful, collaborative effort.”