IPM has been helping families and children in need since 1964. The organization began when a group of concerned individuals who attended St. Thomas Episcopal Church saw a need in their community. Three other churches (Armstrong Chapel, Indian Hill Episcopal Church, and St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church) joined them to assist families who were living in stilt homes along the Little Miami River near Newtown, Ohio. Laying down their theological differences, this ecumenical array of churches developed a non-profit called Inter Parish Ministry, designed to help their neighbors during times of economic crisis.
Today, over 40 churches, organizations and businesses form a partnership to support IPM Food Pantry as it provides food, clothing, emergency assistance and other support programs to clients. The agency employs specialized staff and works with a vast array of volunteers to provide a variety of services, all overseen by a Board of Trustees.
In its early years IPM hosted a variety of programs including senior programs, children’s summer programs, a thrift and furniture store, holiday programs, and a food and clothing pantry. However, as time went on, the targeted focus of IPM became building food security for families in need. IPM adopted a choice food pantry model, providing a sense of dignity and respect to pantry guests as they could select foods their families needed and enjoyed.
Over the past few years, several changes have been instituted to increase food access for families facing food insecurity. These changes allowed IPM to access USDA-sourced food and offer pantry visits every 30 days. In addition, IPM has expanded its reach in the community, providing mobile and pop-up food pantries in locations where clients live, learn, play and pray. In addition, these changes allowed IPM to expand the amount of fresh foods provided, including eggs, milk, meat and produce. IPM also maintains a commitment to offer personal care and cleaning products to pantry guests.
Each and every client who walks through the doors of IPM Food Pantry can expect to be treated with dignity, respect and kindness. Other programs offered by IPM are designed to strengthen this experience. Individuals visiting IPM can access holiday gifts and meals, select produce from one of four community gardens, learn about healthy eating in IPM’s cooking classes, shop for quality clothing, select school supplies and obtain emergency assistance on a referral basis.