BY ANDREA TORTORA
The Cincinnati Enquirer
ERLANGER - The cupboard is bare at the Erlanger-Elsmere United Ministries, emptied in the emergencies created by the Flood of '97.
Now the group is hoping the spirit of volunteerism, so strong a month ago can help replenish its stock.
''We have no medium and large diapers, only a few tubes of toothpaste and are very low on all the basic food items,'' director Linda Baynum said Sunday.
United Ministries provides food, clothing, furniture and financial help to Northern Kentucky's needy on a daily basis.
The group - run with monetary and volunteer support from 17 churches - now finds itself in an emergency situation.
Shelves at the center's Erlanger offices are completely out of cereal, sugar, flour, sweetened powder drinks, large cans of juice and diapers.
Items in low supply include dish detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent, toilet paper, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti, crackers, and canned meats, vegetables and beans.
United Ministries sent truckloads of food, clothing and cleaning supplies to Falmouth, Sparta and Carrollton last month for flood relief.
Started in 1982 as a food pantry, United Ministries has evolved into an emergency assistance program.
Mrs. Baynum is the only paid staff member. All other work is done by 30 volunteers.
A spaghetti dinner set for 5 p.m. on April 24 at the Erlanger Baptist Church is a fund-raiser. The Olive Garden will provide the meals, which cost $7 for adults and $4.50 for children 6 and under.
For information about the Erlanger-Elsmere United Ministries, call Linda Baynum at 727-0300. Yard sales are held on the last Thursday and Friday of the month, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its Graves Avenue offices.