Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Scramble is on to aid poor

Charities expect long food lines on Thanksgiving

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With the economy taking a downturn and with much of the money usually donated to local charities going to national disaster funds, Tristate charities say they're facing a challenge to accommodate the long food lines expected Thanksgiving Day.

[photo] Eric Ball, former Bengals running back, reaches for a box of food as current Bengals halfback Brandon Bennett mans the counter at the FreeStore/FoodBank on Tuesday.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
        Nevertheless, thanks to local largesse and more than enough volunteers, thousands of needy families can expect a free, hot meal for the holiday.

        Some current and former Bengals players got in on the act a few days early Tuesday, helping the FreeStore/FoodBank distribute boxes of food.

        Last year the FreeStore/FoodBank served a record number, close to 20,000 people, during the holidays. This year, the agency is expecting a 10 to 15 percent increase, said Bob Rankin, head of the agency's direct client services division.

        Other agencies and organizations are also pitching in.

        For the fourth straight year, the Association of Indian Physicians has paid for and is volunteering at a catered, sit-down meal for the poor, the homeless, the mentally disabled and others in need, said Ed Ritchy, volunteer CEO of the Homeless Hotline of Greater Cincinnati.

        He said he expects 350 people or more to be served. They'll enjoy tablecloths, menus and servers who will dole out hot rolls, fresh fruit and beverages.

        The group of about 125 doctors and their families has plenty of servers, he said.

        Their generosity comes at an important time, he said.

        “This group been supportive of us for years.... We can take heart that there are people from foreign communities who do care about and sponsor these things.”

        The Bankers Club will host a free Thanksgiving dinner for 100 members of Cincinnati Works, a poverty-to-self-sufficiency program. Its members include people who came through the nonprofit program and their immediate families. Volunteers from the Bankers Club and Cincinnati Works will prepare and serve the dinner.

        The Bankers Club is owned by ClubCorp, which owns and operates more than 230 private business clubs, golf clubs and resorts in the United States and internationally.

        Mount Healthy School District teacher Emily Harman, at South Middle School, spearheaded a drive to collect cans of pumpkin and evaporated milk from students. Then she and some students and teachers turned the 70 or so cans and other donations of sugar, spices, eggs and crust into 40 pumpkin pies, which are being given to needy families in Mount Healthy.

       For more information on Thanksgiving meals for needy

       Programs that feed the needy on Thanksgiving Day:

       • The Salvation Army's downtown worship and service center, 120 E. Central Parkway, will serve an open holiday meal for those in need from noon to 1:30 p.m. Call 762-5649.

       • Butterfield Senior Center, 22 Garfield Place. Meal served at noon. Call at 797-4344.

• A Feast of Love, College Hill Presbyterian Church, 5742 Hamilton Ave. (Metro Bus 17). Meal will be served from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Call 681-1256 or 242-9574 for meal delivery or transportation.

• City Gospel Mission, 1419 Elm St. Meal will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call 241-5525 for information.

       • Our Daily Bread serves from 10 a.m. to noon, 1730 Race St., corner of Race and Elder streets at Findlay Market. Call 621-6364 for information.

       • In Hamilton, dinner will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fenmont Center, 229 N. Third St. It is sponsored by St. Julie Billiart Roman Catholic Church, New Life Baptist Mission and the Princeton Pike Church of God. For information: Shared Harvest at (513) 874-0114.

       In Northern Kentucky:

       • The Parish Kitchen, in the rear of 141 Pike St., Covington, serves a meal from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call (859) 581-7745 for information.

       • The Storehouse Ministries Jacob's Well Soup Kitchen, 222 Pike St., Covington. Meal served from 3 to 7 p.m. Call (859) 431-0500 for information.

       • Fairhaven Rescue Mission, 260 W. Pike St., Covington. Meal will be served at 6 p.m. Call (859) 491-1027 for information.

       • Northern Kentucky Community Center, 824 Greenup St., Covington. Meal will be served from noon to 3 p.m. Call (859) 431-5700 for information.


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