Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry

The Heldman Family Food Pantry is an oasis of hope and support for families and individuals dealing with food and financial insecurity. Free to all of our clients, the food pantry offers kosher and non-kosher foods, personal and household care products, and fresh produce to those in need throughout our Greater Cincinnati Jewish community, as well as those similarly struggling in our Clifton neighborhood. The food pantry is located on the campus of Hebrew Union College in our Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center, and is made possible by the generous support of our donors, most notably the George and Anne Heldman Family.

11 percent of Jewish households in the Cincinnati area describe their standard of living as "just getting by," and less than 2 percent say they are either poor or nearly poor.  Regardless of how we choose to interpret these numbers, what they equate to is real people with real needs. Part of our community is clearly hurting and could benefit from a helping hand (or many). It is precisely for this mission and purpose that the Heldman Family Food Pantry exists: we REACH, SERVE, and HELP our most vulnerable community members.

Jewish Family Service staff and community volunteers work diligently to maintain an environment that is clean, safe, and healthy. The food we distribute is donated to the pantry through congregations and other Jewish-affiliated groups. In addition, we purchase kosher and non-kosher food in bulk from the Freestore Foodbank, and daily maintain an inventory of fresh produce, eggs, milk powder, meat, chicken and fish, bread, snack foods, non-perishables, and household and personal care items. Clients visit at scheduled times and choose their items in much the same manner they would if shopping in a grocery store. When a client is unable to come shop in person at the food pantry, our generous volunteers are available to make home deliveries.

Our food pantry strives to serve everyone in a confidential and dignified manner. In addition to food assistance, Jewish Family Service (JFS) provides our pantry clients with valuable coaching and support. Each client will speak directly with a dedicated JFS care manager, who works to empower the client towards a goal of improving their 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.

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.

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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