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One Northern Kentucky Food Assistance Agency Just Acquired Another

Be Concerned, the Covington-based food assistance agency, announced Friday that it has acquired United Ministries, which also provided food assistance to residents of Erlanger, Boone County, and southern Kenton County since 1983.

The boards of both organizations ratified an agreement that will allow Be Concerned to take control of all United Ministries assets and to be responsible for its programs and staff management.

United Ministries provided services to nearly 300 households in 2018 with most getting help from the organization's free pantry. UM also provided case work services and operated a payee program and thrift store, offering free clothes and housewares to people especially in need.

In a news release, Be Concerned said that UM customers should see little change in its program offerings.

“Our expectation is to provide the same quality of service at the Erlanger site as United Ministries did the past 35 years,” Be Concerned executive director Andy Brunsman said. “We are happy to carry on this tradition.”

United Ministries started in 1983 and moved into its current site on Graves Avenue in Erlanger in 1998. Its pantry addressed a critical need, particularly for the 55 percent of its client household located in Boone County, an area that has traditionally been short of food resources, a news release said.

Leaders of the two organizations have been in talks for almost a year. Be Concerned got involved after UM leaders saw in it the opportunity “to serve more people in more places with more of the things they need,” said Becky Ewing, who’s been UM director the last twelve years.

Be Concerned, which started as a Christmas program in 1968, has operated one of the largest food assistance programs in the region since its pantry opened in 1987. In 2018, its free pantry and Senior Food Delivery programs helped nearly 1,500 distinct families encompassing 2,955 residents of Kenton, Campbell, and Boone counties.

-Staff report
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