Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry

Providing vital services support to individuals experiencing financial difficulties and supporting their efforts to attain self-sufficiency

What is our Heldman Family Food Pantry?

Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry is the source for free kosher and non-kosher food, fresh produce, personal care, and household care items for individuals in the Greater Cincinnati Jewish community experiencing financial difficulties as well as anyone in need living in the Clifton neighborhood.


With the generous support of the George and Anne Heldman Family our new food pantry is now located in the Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center.  

Why does our food pantry have a kosher food section?

Based on federal poverty statistics and studies of poverty within Jewish communities, we realize that as many as 9% of Jewish households in the Cincinnati area could be in need of food assistance. Many are isolated from their families and the community. Shame of their situation, mental illness and other physical disabilities hold them back from seeking help. When they do come forward, it is vital that this community provide a safety net for them.

How does the food pantry operate?

Jewish Family Service staff and community volunteers maintain the food pantry now located in Jewish Family Service's Barbash Family Vital Support Center conveniently and discreetly located in Clifton on the campus of Hebrew Union College. Food is donated to the pantry through congregations and other Jewish-affiliated groups. We also purchase kosher and non-kosher food in bulk from the warehouse of the Freestore Foodbank and maintain an inventory of non-perishables, fresh produce, eggs, milk powder, meat, chicken and fish, bread, snack foods and household and personal care items. Clients “shop” at scheduled times choosing their items in the same manner as shopping in a grocery store. If a pantry recipient cannot come to the pantry to shop, we have volunteers available to deliver.

The food pantry helps people when they are in need and strives to serve everyone in a confidential and dignified manner. In addition, Jewish Family Service (JFS) provides coaching and support for clients of the pantry. Each client speaks directly with a JFS case manager who works to empower the client to make improvements in his or her situation. Support may include referral to JFS Counseling or Senior Adult Programs, JFS Career Services, Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services, Legal Aid, and other resources in the community.

How is the Pantry Funded?

We receive funding from Jewish Federation, Mazon: The Jewish Response to Hunger, and donations from many individual contributors, congregations, B’nai Mitzvah families (through our Centerpiece for Tzedakah program), and food retailers including Remke Market, Meijer, and Marx Bagels. Jewish Family Service Food Pantry is also supported, in part, by the generosity and support of individuals and businesses that give annually to the Freestore Foodbank.  We actively seek additional long term funding for this project.

How Can You Get Involved?

Involvement in Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry takes many forms. If you need our assistance, please call 513-469-1188.  We will be happy to help you with any additional details and all inquiries and support are strictly confidential.


If you would like to volunteer to make deliveries, pick up food, sort and stock inventory, donate food or money, or work on any of the fundraising opportunities to keep the pantry in operation, please contact Beth Kotzin at 513-766-3322 or


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