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  • Writer's pictureDavid Curtin

Virtual food pantry benefits neighbors in need

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

For most of us, COVID-19 has brought uncertainty to our lives. What will it be like when we go back to work or school? Is it safe to eat in a restaurant? Will there be college football this fall? But for others, the questions are more urgent: Where will I get my next meal?

“These past few months haven’t been easy,” says one Food Forest customer. “My husband and I have both been laid off and furloughed.”

With record-breaking unemployment across Ohio, a rising number of households are having to make the choice between paying rent and paying for groceries. In communities where food insecurity is already a crisis, the pandemic is poised to have a devastating effect.

For older Ohioans or those with underlying health conditions, visiting a traditional food pantry can pose a huge risk. Nonprofits, churches and workplaces that may have been collection sites for food drives aren’t open, and many regular donors may not want to make an extra trip out to drop off food.

So amid all of this uncertainty, how can you safely make an impact and ensure that others in your community get fresh, healthy food?

As part of its mission to improve food access in the communities it serves, Food Forest has been operating a virtual food pantry that makes home deliveries along its Cincinnati-area routes -- and you can help.

Through the Food Forest app, donors can gift grocery credits to those most in need. Recipients can use the credit to choose from over 10,000 items, including fresh meat and produce, as well as locally made foods. The best part? Neither the donor nor the recipient has to leave home, making this a safe method for giving and receiving food.

There are three fast, easy ways to donate to Food Forest’s virtual pantry:

1. Give a direct gift

Donate the gift of groceries to a neighbor who could use a helping hand or a far-away loved one. simply choose the "Gift of Groceries" option in the app. enter their email and the amount you would like to send.

2. Sponsor a discount code

Email to set up your own discount code! Then share that code with the people who need a little extra spending power in their grocery budget.

3. Donate at

Click here to make a donation in any amount, and we’ll make sure your gift goes directly to bringing fresh food to Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky neighbors.

Now, more than ever, it’s up to us to support one another. No matter the size of your donation, each dollar of grocery credits brings us closer to ending food insecurity in our community.

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