On May 7, a steady stream of families made their way to a Mobile Pop-up Pantry at Greenbriar Estates, a 452-unit mobile home park in Clermont County. UWGC’s Eastern Area office organized the event, and volunteers from American Modern Insurance Group and the Clermont Family YMCA helped make it a success.
About once a month since late last year, Mobile Pop-up Pantries have been held at sites where the need is greatest, said Marcie Langendorfer, Relationship Manager at UWGC’s Eastern Area office. With many low-income families continuing to struggle to afford food, United Way is committed to helping them meet basic needs.
The Mobile Pop-up Pantries evolved from what started early in the pandemic as weekly “food hubs.” That endeavor involved UWGC’s Eastern Area office, Clermont Family YMCA, Inter Parish Ministry food pantry, and representatives from more than a dozen Clermont County agencies. They delivered food to agencies, and families drove there to pick it up.
Through that work, organizers identified locations where the need was particularly high, Langendorfer said. Organizers also worked with school officials, who suggested it would be beneficial to bring mobile pantries to families at Greenbriar Estates, which is home to an estimated 800 children.
“It’s about meeting people where they are,” Langendorfer said. “We know people have barriers. Sometimes it's just hard to get out because it's about feeling safe.”
At Greenbriar Estates, families drove up and stopped briefly as volunteers loaded boxes into trunks and back seats. Each family received a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers to Families food box containing meat, fruit, eggs, vegetables, and milk. A second box from Freestore Foodbank contained shelf-stable items such as spaghetti and peanut butter.
“Do you need cleaning supplies?” volunteers asked. Those were available thanks to a product drive organized by American Modern. Families also received hand sanitizer donated by Cintas.
“Do you have young children?” representatives from Child Focus asked. They were on hand to pass out information about Head Start preschool, as well as activity books for children.
About 100 Greenbriar Estates families went home with food and supplies.