TIPP CITY — As one of the largest non-profit organizations in Miami County, The New Path, Inc. is often seen as an indicator of how the entire non-profit environment is fairing throughout the community. If that is the case, there has been a tremendous need for human services that the community is stepping up to fill.
“Last year was a busy year for New Path in all of our ministry areas,” said William Lutz, executive director of the organization. “The pandemic had really impacted our service delivery in 2020 and 2021, but things rebounded quickly last year.”
His report on The New Path continues:
And while this rebound might be nice for New Path, it shows that there are still concerns when it comes to families living in poverty. “Most of our work in the human services world is counter of what we see. When things are economically going well for families, things get quiet. When things aren’t going well, things get busy. That really plays out because when we come into difficult times for families, raising funds can be a challenge and this is a time when our neighbors need the most help,” said Lutz.
From 2021 to 2022, the organization saw increases in many service areas. Over 11,000 visits were made to the two agency’s two food pantries in Tipp City and in Piqua. “Our pantries saw a 37% increase in visits over the past year, that is a big for our agency. People might be interested in knowing that the average family visits one of our food pantries about three times per year,” said Sherry Loschi, the organization’s director of Compassion Ministries.
Another popular service that the agency offers is emergency financial assistance to households needing help to pay a rent or utility bill. In 2021, the organization assisted 1,376 individuals and paid out over $54,000 in assistance.
“This assistance has been a lifeline during and after the pandemic,” said Lutz. “We had many organizations and local churches reach out to us and provide significant support for rent and utility assistance. These churches and organizations realized that this was the most pressing need many families in poverty had need.”
As it comes to the future, this activity will not go away according to Lutz, “Many of our families are still feeling their way in a post-pandemic world in this assistance helps. We only provide help to folks once per year and only four times per lifetime.”
As New Path looks ahead to 2023, the agency is looking towards the future. “As we look forward, I think our food pantry delivery service will continue to grow,” said Lutz. “We were able to get financial support for this activity from the Board of County Commissioners and this has been a popular service for many of our seniors and home-bound neighbors. As our population gets older, we will see this activity get more and more utilized.”
When it comes to needs, the agency can always use donations and volunteers. “We have a great core group of volunteers and we are always willing to welcome more people into our effort,” said Loschi. “We benefit from having locations throughout Miami County; places like GIVE in Covington, Anna’s Closet in Troy, the Gleaning Place in West Milton, our food pantries. All these places need volunteers and all strongly contribute to our mission of loving our neighbors.”
Individuals and organizations wanting to learn more about The New Path, Inc. are encouraged to check out the New Path website at www.newpathserves.org.