CINCINNATI — Patrick Chavis was facing an impossible decision: Would he pay his April rent or put food on the table for the month.
Chavis is not alone. Thousands across the Tri-State are facing dilemmas like his as economic uncertainty persists through the coronavirus pandemic.
The University of Cincinnati student said he was able to avoid having to make the tough choice, though, when he learned about Findlay Market’s grocery relief program.
“I remember receiving an email saying I won a $50 gift card to Findlay Market to be able to shop there and shop their vendors that partner with Findlay market. Honestly, I was shocked,” Chavis said.
A fellow classmate nominated Chavis as one of eight people chosen each week to get $50 in free groceries from Findlay Market.
Due a contribution from Procter & Gamble, the grocery program will extend throughout the month of May.
That means 32 people or families will receive $50 to shop at Findlay Market. That’s a total of $400 a week going back into the community during the pandemic.
It’s a benefit not only to people who are facing financial hardship; it’s also important to keeping Findlay Market open and available to the community, said director of communications, Kelly Lanser.
“It’s been really important for us to keep the doors open the same way that other grocery stores are open and have all of the foods available for the people to continue shopping,” she said.
Chavis said he hopes the program that helped him will stick around even longer.
“I encourage them to continue to do this even after the pandemic is over because we are going to continue to struggle months even years after the current crisis that we’re in right now,” he said.
Lanser suggests that people eligible for the program include someone in the health care field, a person in the restaurant industry that was recently laid off, a first responder, a parent juggling childcare issues or anyone who could use a little extra help. People can also nominate themselves.
To nominate someone to receive free groceries, fill out this online form.