Phone 513-857-2006 to get the registration login. For more information, go to www.ButlerCountyREIA.com. CONTRIBUTED
Church cancels fried chicken dinner and silent auction
McGonigle-Millville United Methodist Church has postponed the Fried Chicken Dinner & Silent Auction Benefit that was scheduled for May 2 due to COVID-19.
Proceeds from the event were to benefit Open Hands Food Pantry. The pantry is accepting donations of non-perishable items from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays at 2143 Millville Oxford Road.
For more information, call 513-205-3356. STAFF REPORT
School board to hold a virtual meeting
A Monroe Local School District Board of Education special meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. today.
In an effort to protect the community and the school officials from the spread of coronavirus and in response to the governor’s orders, this meeting will be held remotely. The public may attend the meeting by using this Internet link: https://monroelocalschools.zoom.us/j/273857257. CONTRIBUTED
School to serve meals to students in a drive-up manner
Mason City Schools Child Nutrition Department serves meals on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mason Intermediate School, 6307 Mason-Montgomery Road; and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. Vincent DePaul, 1065 Reading Road, and Western Row Elementary, 755 Western Row Road.
Remain in the cars and meals will be distributed in a “drive-up” manner. Student name and/or ID will be needed and people will be provided a display tag for the car to record that information. To limit contact, meals will be placed in the trunk of each vehicle.
If a person is having a hard time getting to the pick up location, call 513-336-6526 option 3 or email Molly Schmidt at email@example.com.
Community partners, Comet Cupboard and Joshua’s Place, are providing additional food and personal care items to families in need. Families may pick up meal kits at Mason Intermediate on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Christ’s Church of Mason, 5165 Western Row Rd, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Mondays. CONTRIBUTED
Fill the Truck for Seniors announced
The Council on Aging along with Frame USA, announced Fill The Truck for Seniors. Frame USA’s long time successful charity initiative, Fillthetruck.org is doing its part to help seniors who have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Personal care items will be distributed by Council on Aging to seniors in Southwestern Ohio. The goal is to collect enough supplies to give 7,500 individuals a 4-pack of toilet paper and household and personal items to help them through this crisis.
#FillTheTruck For Seniors is a charity and initiative of Frame USA and Council on Aging is classified as a 501c3 organization dedicated to serving our senior neighbors and individuals with disabilities in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. FillTheTruck.org is proud to partner with organizations to provide personal care, hygiene items, household items, pet food and much more. FilltheTruck.org is collecting donations online and at our sponsor locations now through April 30.
Seniors and individuals with disabilities who may be in need, can contact Council on Aging’s Aging and Disability Resource Center at 513-721-1025 or toll free at 800 252-0155.
Donate online at http://www.fillthetruck.org/.
Donate in person at:
- Frame USA Inc., 225 Northland Blvd., Springdale, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
- Lakota Hills Baptist Church, 6300 Tylersville Road, West Chester, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon Fridays, and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sundays.
- St. James of the Valley, 411 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays.
Historical society to offer historical driving tours
Butler County Historical Society has the first section of the new Butler County Historical Driving Tours available. To discover and learn about the historical markers on the west side of Butler County, go to https://bchistoricalsociety.com.
For more information, call 513-896-9930. STAFF REPORT
Students sews masks for local doctors and nurses
Allie Lunt, a Springboro High School (SHS) Senior, has been spending a lot of time at home sewing together medical masks for local doctors and nurses working directly with contagious patients, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Allie is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS), an organization for high school students in grades 10-12 that promotes leadership, service, character, and scholarship.
As part of the requirements for NHS, students must meet certain service goals that involves voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, without compensation. Allie was originally scheduled to work the Hometown EXPO (“That Spring Thing”) in March at Springboro High School, however the event was postponed until Sept. 26, as a result of the state’s stay-at-home orders. Instead, Allie found a way to serve her community while at home.
Working more than 20 hours so far, Allie is providing much needed supplies to first responders, and those working in the medical field to combat COVID-19. CONTRIBUTED
SELF continues to adapt to COVID-19 crisis
Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF) has been offering energy assistance application pick-up and drop off at its Hamilton location since Governor Mike DeWine announced the Stay-at-Home Order for all Ohioans. SELF is now offering the same option at its Middletown office, located at 930 9th Ave. The Winter Crisis program and the regular Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) have been extended by the Ohio Development Services Agency until May 1 and June 1, respectively. Anyone in need of energy assistance can find paper applications at the front of the building, where there is also a secure drop box for completed forms. Additionally, applications may also be downloaded from www.selfhelps.org.
SELF’s HEAP and Winter Crisis programs are federally-funded utility assistance programs which help qualifying Ohioans who are at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, meet the high cost of home heating.
Completed applications and copies of required documents for the Winter Crisis Program or HEAP can also be submitted in the following ways:
• Dropped off outside SELF’s Hamilton office, located at 1790 S. Erie Hwy, Hamilton. There is a secure lock box located there.
• Mailed to SELF at: PO Box 1322, Hamilton, OH 45012
• Emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Faxed to 513-737-3889
A list of documents required to receive assistance can be found at www.selfhelps.org. For questions about HEAP, call 513-820-5012 or email email@example.com.
Upon careful consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, SELF has decided to cancel its 24th Annual Celebration and Awards Banquet. The event, which was originally set for May 1, had been postponed to May 22 before this latest decision. The Annual Celebration and Awards Banquet is SELF’s largest fundraiser each year. If a person would like to support Butler County’s Community Action Agency as it navigates assisting the community during this crisis, donations may be made at www.selfhelps.org or mailed to PO Box 1322, Hamilton, OH, 45012. CONTRIBUTED
Updated application process for energy assistance programs
The Ohio Development Services Agency (Development) and Warren County Community Services, Inc., are working to help keep Ohioans safe during this time of emergency.
Effective immediately, Ohioans who are enrolling in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP) for the first time, applying for Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program, or have limited income, are no longer required to visit a local Energy Assistance Provider in order to complete an application. If a person needs assistance with a disconnection, bulk fuel or PIPP, call 513-695-2286. At this time there will be no walk-ins available.
Ohioans can visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov to start their application and upload the required documents prior to their appointment. If a person does not have access to the internet and/or cannot upload their documentation, the local Energy Assistance Provider can complete the application over the phone.
Development will also extend the Winter Crisis Program (WCP) until May 1, to align with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s extended Winter Reconnect Order and the regular Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will be extended until June 1.
Development’s Interactive Voice Response phone lines will not be available, however Ohioans may continue to call 800-282-0880 and select option 2, to be transferred to their local Energy Assistance Provider.
The Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program helps income-eligible Ohioans pay their heating bills and can assist with fuel tank placement, fuel tank testing and furnace repair. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for WCP and HEAP assistance. Ohioans that have a regulated utility and have been issued a disconnect notice are eligible for a one-time WCP benefit if they have not already received a WCP or regular HEAP benefit.
For more information about the features of the Winter Crisis Program locally and what is needed to apply, contact Warren County Community Services, Inc at 513-695-2286. CONTRIBUTED
School district providing meals for students
Beginning Monday, the Fairfield City School District will provide students with a week’s worth of free meals every Monday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the following locations:
- Compass Elementary, 8801 Holden Blvd.
- Central Elementary, 5054 Dixie Hwy.
- West Elementary, 4700 River Road
- East Elementary, 6711 Morris Road, Fairfield Twp.
- Pinnacle on Pleasant, 5001 Pleasant Ave.
- Camelot East Apartments, 1400 Sherwood Drive
- Fairfield Acres (Debbie Park), 94 Sammy Drive
- Pater Worship Center, 2104 Pater Ave.
- Tyler's Creek Apartments, 7777 Wildbranch Road
Meals will be available to all children ages 1-18 and will include breakfast and lunch.
Shared Harvest Food Bank will be providing meals on the following days at the locations listed:
- Camden ELC, 8263 U.S. 127, Camden
- Faith Community United Methodist Church 8230 Cox Road, West Chester
- Grant ELC, 415 Campbell Ave., Hamilton
- Middletown ELC, 1516 1st St., Middletown
- Fairfield Church of Nazarene (Rethreads), 1425 Nilles Road, Fairfield
Food distribution will be from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 3 p.m. It is first come-first served as you drive up. There are no qualifications, simply show up to one of the locations. CONTRIBUTED
Kroger adds ‘hero bonus’ for employees working during coronavirus concerns
Kroger has announced a bonus for all hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates at its family of stores.
The grocery chain said it will add $2 an hour “hero bonus” to their base pay for hours worked March 29 through April 18. The premium will be disbursed weekly to ensure associates have access to additional cash.
The hourly bonus is in addition to a one-time $300 bonus that will be paid out to all full-time employees today and a one-time $150 bonus that will be paid out to all part-time employees the same day.
“Our associates have displayed the true actions of a hero, working tirelessly on the frontlines to ensure everyone has access to affordable, fresh food and essentials during this national emergency,” Kroger chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said in a statement issued late Tuesday evening.
“The Hero Bonus is just one more way we continue to convey our thanks and gratitude not only to our existing associates but also to the more than 30,000 new hires who have joined in the past two weeks and those who will soon join the Kroger Family of Companies.”
In addition to the bonuses, Kroger said it is taking several additional actions:
• Ensuring associates who are affected by COVID-19 — whether experiencing symptoms and self-isolating, diagnosed or placed in quarantine – can recover with the support of emergency paid leave.
• Starting next week, the Kroger Family of Companies is adding ExpressPay, a new benefit that allows most hourly associates to access some of their pay faster, putting money in their pockets sooner than usual.
• Making $5 million available for those facing hardship, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered higher-risk, due to COVID-19 through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund.
• Offering an associate hotline to answer benefit questions quickly.
• Providing access to mental health services and other benefits to support associates’ mental and physical well-being during this stressful time.
• Supporting associates by onboarding more than 30,600 new hires in the last two weeks, including workers from the hardest-hit sectors like restaurants, hotels and food service distributors. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG
Board offices remain closed through May 1
In accordance with the order announced April 2 by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton and Governor Mike DeWine, the offices of Mental Health Recovery Board Serving Warren & Clinton Counties (MHRBWCC) will remain closed through May 1.
MHRBWCC staff are working remotely and can still be reached by phone and email. The baord has also created a Coronavirus Resources page on the website at www.mhrbwcc.org that is updated regularly.
Additionally, the following are helpful contact phone numbers for agencies that are contracted through the board to deliver crisis, mental health and addiction services. Most are still serving Warren and Clinton County residents by phone or telehealth options. Contact them directly to determine if they may also be offering in-person counseling services:
- Local Crisis Hotline, 877-695-6333 (including Mobile Response Stabilization Services requests)
- Crisis Text Line text "4hope" to 741741
- Ohio MHAS Helpline, 877-275-6364
- Disaster Distress Line, 800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746
- Solutions all locations, 513-228-7800
- Talbert House: Lebanon 513-932-4337, Franklin 937-723-0883, Wilmington 937-414-2016
- Butler Behavioral Health, 513-896-7887
- New Housing Ohio, 513-554-4567
- Beech Acres Parenting Ctr., Lebanon, 513-231-6630
- Mental Health America of Northern Ky. & Southwest Oh., 513-721-2910
- NAMI of Southwest Ohio, 513-351-3500
To have a community news item included, email information to ButlerCountyNews@coxohio.com.