the Fall 2022 Loveland Interfaith Effort (LIFE) Newsletter

Courtesy LIFE Food Pantry (NOTE: Pantry Update by Linda Bergholz)

LOVELAND, OH (September 28, 2022) – LIFE is a faith and community supported organization that provides food, financial assistance, and programs to those experiencing hardship.

Linda Bergholz, Executive Director LIFE Food Pantry NOTE: Cee Cee Collins and David Kennedy can be seen in the background (Photo Chuck Gibson)

Now, here’s a word from LIFE Food Pantry Executive Director Linda Bergholz:

PANTRY UPDATE

School is back in session, and we had a successful Back to School Event with lots of happy kids (see story that follows). We know that kids are growing and constantly hungry, so this time of year we focus on the importance of nutrition for bodies and minds that need energy and focus. While our families qualify for the free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs, what happens when the kids are home for the weekend or have days off? That’s where LIFE comes in! We supply Tiger Pantry Weekend Bags to supplement the household for those days when the kids aren’t in school.

Kids can be picky eaters, so we fill the bags with kid-friendly food, and we ALWAYS need donations!  If you’re shopping for your kids, please consider an extra or two for “our” kids as well. Some favorites:

  • Fruit cups
  • Breakfast/granola bars
  • Snack items; chips, mini cookies, cheese crackers
  • Individual serving cereals
  • Individual serving mac and cheese, ravioli, Spaghetti O’s
  • Single serving juice boxes
  • Single serving shelf stable milk
  • Chicken and crackers packs
  • Squeezable fruit/veggies: GoGo Fruit, Simple Truth, Kirkland, etc.

We are so grateful to our donors and volunteers for supporting our programs. Thank you for the blessings!

Sincerely,                                                                

Linda Bergholz, Executive Director, LIFE Food Pantry

www.lifefoodpantry.org

LIFE STATS

Because of generous donations from the community, for the month of August, we were able to serve 459 households with 725 individuals in the 45140 area. The amount of product given to these families equals 15,225 meals. We also provided non-consumable items such as personal care, household products, paper products and over the counter medications – all in addition to food!

Thank you for helping our neighbors in need!

 

DID YOU KNOW?

LIFE Has a New Coats for Kids Program

Thanks to Girl Scout Allison Spitzley, children of clients can receive winter gear including coats, hats, mittens/gloves, scarves, warm socks, and boots through a new program called LIFE Coats for Kids. While Allison designed this program as part of her Girl Scout Gold Project, it will now be an annual program for our clients. Clients signed up during the back-to-school pickup in August and will receive items during Thanksgiving box pickup in November.

Please help us keep our clients’ children warm during the winter by donating.   Please check the Amazon wish list to purchase a needed item or two. Items can be shipped directly to LIFE by choosing Chris Spitzley/Coats for Kids under shipping address options. Thank you!

PANTRY HAPPENINGS

Food Drives

We are so thankful to those who organize food drives to help us fill our shelves.

Prince of Peace (POP) collected over 150 grocery bags on Sunday, September 11th during their God’s Work Our Hands food drive. POP members sorted and date checked the donations, which helps us get food on the shelves quicker. Thank you for these wonderful donations!

The Loveland Youth Soccer Association (LYSA) provides programs for ages 3 to eighteen. They recently held a food drive during picture day and collected over 500 items for the food pantry.  Thank you to the organizers Bruce Jones and Dan Bergmann, and all the LYSA families for filling our van with much needed items for our clients! 

Interested in running a food drive in your neighborhood or church? View the list of food drive ideas, then send an email to LIFE to arrange a drop off date.

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CORPORATE DONOR SPOTLIGHT

Loveland Sweet Shoppe – Gloria Wilson owner – 124 West Loveland Avenue

lovelandsweets.com

For as long as she can remember, Gloria Wilson dreamed of owning a candy store. On her travels over the years, she sought out local candy stores to visit and enjoy a sweet. She loved how a simple pleasure of a treat made people so happy. Years later, when the perfect location in historic downtown Loveland became available, she knew it was time to make her dream of owning a candy store a reality!

She grew up with a family who liked to bake but didn’t know much about candy making. As her store was going through pre-opening renovations, she searched out and attended classes in Vermont to learn the art of working with chocolate to make decadent sweets.

When the doors to Loveland Sweet Shoppe opened on December 1, 2006, she quickly realized this was a perfect business for Loveland. On the day of Christmas in Loveland a few weeks later, a long line formed outside the shop even before the doors opened! Between the Christmas in Loveland event and holiday shoppers, her inventory flew off the shelves.

Today the store carries a wide variety of items, including many variations of chocolate, gummies, nostalgic candy, cards, and gifts. Homemade ice cream, milk shakes, malts, coffee, and hot chocolate are also on the menu.

Loveland Sweet Shoppe’s number of employees vary from seven to 15 during the year, due to the seasonal nature of the business. For Gloria, employees are more like family. Many who worked for the business during high school stay in touch and come back during college breaks to help in the store.

You may have seen Loveland Sweets on a television segment during the height of Covid, when masked chocolate bunnies became a popular Easter treat. The idea came from a customer, but once she created the unique treat, everyone wanted them! It was a creative way to give the  business a boost and brought smiles to many faces. Loveland Sweet Shoppe also started Curbside delivery during the pandemic, to allow customers to shop online and pick up their order without leaving their car. This service continues to be available today.

Next time you find yourself in downtown, stop by Loveland Sweet Shoppe to say hello to Gloria, and grab a treat for yourself. It’s sure to bring a smile toyour face.

*LIFE is so thankful for our Life Preserver sustaining donors like Loveland Sweet Shoppe, who provide an ongoing monthly contribution to help our neighbors in need. If you’d like to learn more about being a Life Preserver, visit our website.

NEW SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR CLIENTS

LIFE developed a new scholarship program to help our clients working toward a degree or technical/trade program. We are thrilled to announce our first scholarship of $1,500 has been awarded to a LIFE client who is working on her nursing degree. A young mother of two, she had previously started her nursing degree but needed to put it on hold. She is excited about returning to school and earning her degree. We are so happy to help, and wish her all the best!

BACK TO SCHOOL LIFE PROGRAMS HELP STUDENTS

Student backpacks

Thanks to everyone who helped with our Back-to-School backpack mission this year! A total of 159 backpacks were distributed. Each child received a backpack with supplies specifically for their grade, and we will have some additional supplies on hand in case a need arises. We couldn’t have done it without help from our congregations and the community.

Spirit Wear and Shoes

Clients who registered for backpacks were also provided an opportunity to order a Loveland Spirit Wear item, purchased by LIFE through our partner RP Diamond Screen Printing & Embroidery. A pair of shoes was also ordered for each child, through the Shoes for the Shoeless Program.  

Tiger Bags

Tiger Bags provide weekend meals for kids that receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school. They are particularly important on long weekends and through the holidays. We are now providing 45 bags per week to Loveland schools, and will continue to take sign-ups during the school year. We are very thankful to be working with Sycamore Presbyterian Church who provides the bags on alternating weeks to ensure Loveland kids get their Tiger Bags every week. If you would like to donate items for the bags, we need macaroni and cheese and individual shelf milk. Donations can be dropped off during pantry hours (see Pantry Wish List article for hours), or in our convenient drop off box located outside our front door.

PANTRY PALS

We have thirteen clients who are part of LIFE’s Pantry Pal Program, overseen by volunteer Nancy Grant. Clients in this program are seniors and/or those with temporary or permanent disabilities, who are unable to shop for themselves. They are assigned a Pantry Pal to works with them on their needs. The Pantry Pal provides a shopping list to the client they can use to keep track of items they need. Every month, the Pantry Pal will pick up the shopping list and reusable bags from the client to shop for them at the pantry, and then delivers the food back to the client. This program is efficient by providing the client with the food they want and need, and fosters friendship between both parties and combats loneliness.

If you are interested in being a Pantry Pal, or know of someone who needs our help, please reach out to Nancy via her email and she’ll be in touch.

PASS IT ON EVENT IS APPROACHING     NOVEMBER 17

Our Pass It On food drive will take place on November 17.This annual food drive is 21 years strong. The drive is organized by Loveland Schools with cooperation between LIFE Food Pantry, Northstar Church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (POP), and Epiphany United Methodist Church.

Students from the Intermediate and Middle School walk donations down to POP, where volunteers check product dates and sort donations. High School students will collate the boxes and bags with everything families need to make holiday meals.

Families must register with LIFE to receive holiday bags and pick up their Thanksgiving meal box on Saturday 11/19/22 at POP and holiday meal bag from the pantry the week before Christmas.

Support from Loveland Schools and the community helped us create 500 meal bags in 2021, and we expect the need to be greater this year. Please help your churches and neighborhoods when donations are requested or drop off donations to LIFE (see pantry hours in article below). Thank you in advance for your support of this program that makes holidays brighter for our clients!

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PANTRY WISH LIST

Due to increased activity at the pantry, our stock is getting low on popular items. We are in current need of the following:

  • Baked Beans
  • Cake Mix/Frosting
  • Flour
  • Hearty Soups
  • Jelly
  • Juice Family Size
  • Manwich/Sloppy Jo
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pinto beans
  • Refried Beans
  • Salad Dressing
  • Spaghetti Pasta
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable soup

Cleaning Products

  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Sponges/Scouring pads
  • Cleaning Products
  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Sponges/Scouring pads

Personal items

  • Conditioner
  • Individual Toothbrushes
  • Liquid Hand Soap
  • Razors
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving Cream
  • Tampons
  • Toothpaste
  • Diapers Sizes 5 or 6
  • Kleenex
  • Paper Towels
  • Pull-ups (all sizes)
  • Toilet Paper

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A donation box is located outside for easy drop off anytime. We can also accept donations during regular operating hours:

  • Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am – noon
  • Tuesday and Thursday 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Saturday 10:00 am – noon

ADDITIONAL WAYS TO SUPPORT THE PANTRY

Kroger Rewards

Kroger Community Rewards really add up for donations to LIFE! There are currently 124 households registered for this program, for which Kroger donates a portion of their cumulative purchases to LIFE on a quarterly basis. Thanks to these 124 households, we received over $640 last quarter! This program is available at no cost to you, just sign up and Kroger will donate a portion of your grocery purchases to LIFE. Learn more and sign up at www.Kroger.com or through the Kroger app on your phone.

Amazon Smile

Have an Amazon account? When you shop at smile.amazon.com and choose LIFE Food Pantry as your charitable organization, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to LIFE no extra cost to you. Visit smile.amazon.com for details.   

VOLUNTEER      

LIFE is looking for volunteers! We especially need Personal Shoppers to help clients shop for their items in the pantry. If you are volunteering to be a Personal Shopper, you will be trained by the Lead and will shadow another personal shopper before helping clients on your own. Use our online LIFE Food Pantry sign up to view available positions, dates, and times, and register to volunteer.

Upcoming Events

  • Oct 1 – Empty Bowls, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church; register now
  • Oct 6 – Homecoming Parade; dine at Paxton’s, they are giving back part of the evening proceeds to LIFE
  • Oct 9 – Congregation Beth Adam Food Drive
  • Nov 17 – Pass It On food drive
  • Nov 29 – Giving Tuesday
  • Dec 17 – Christmas in Loveland

Loveland InterFaith Effort is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization and your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.