Fresh Thoughts is the monthly on-line newsletter of Second Harvest

Julie's Notes

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During the month of May, we celebrate Older American’s Month. In the United States, 1 in 12 seniors struggle with hunger and don’t have the nutrition they need to stay in good health. Just as it’s necessary for young children to receive proper nutrition, it’s also imperative seniors eat enough healthy foods to remain strong and healthy. In our region, over 10,000 seniors struggle with hunger and receive help through our network of food pantries, hot meal programs, Senior Box Program and Farmer’s Markets. We are always looking for opportunities to reach more seniors in need.

The 2018 Map the Meal Gap numbers have been released and we see steady numbers for our region. The most telling numbers are those in all categories that show the percentage of food insecure people who are not eligible for help other than through food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. These people fall in the 130%-200% of the poverty guidelines and are just under half of those who are food insecure in our region. To access the data and interactive map, click here. With future cuts to SNAP and Farm bill changes in the greater conversation, we could be facing a major surge in those having nowhere else to turn but to our network of partner charities. We urge everyone to follow the conversation and urge our lawmakers to preserve those safety nets that are in place.

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YOU Save Us!

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Second Harvest celebrated our volunteers at our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner where volunteers gathered in celebration of their hard work & dedication in 2017. Thank YOU to all of our volunteers who dedicate their time & talents to help #growhope for those struggling with hunger. You SAVE us, indeed.

Highlight of the evening, Jimmy L. Davis Spirit of Community Award given out in honor of an individual who represents the same qualities as Jimmy L. Davis and a sincere desire to enhance the quality of life in our community. The 2018 recipient is Shirley Nain! Thank you for all you do, Shirley!

*2018 Harvesters Award – Landing Point Financial Group
*25 Years of Service – Nordson Corporation & Northwood Middle School in Elyria

Some impressive numbers were posted last year by our volunteers. They include:

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National Older Americans Month

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Our national spotlight is on seniors this month. From our perspective, their issues and how it affects hunger and nutrition will have an impact on all of us.The Senior Citizen population nationally is growing by 10,000 each day thanks to a healthy Baby-Boomer population and is expected to reach 84 million, almost doubling from its current size. During that time, the proportion that this older population represents is also expected to grow, representing more than 20 percent of the total population by 2050, compared to approximately 15 percent in 2014.

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2018 Map the Meal Gap Released

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Map the Meal Gap 2018, the latest report by Feeding America® on food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level, was released this month. Map the Meal Gap 2018 reveals that food insecurity exists in every county in Second Harvest’s service area. Additionally, 47% of residents of Second Harvest who are food insecure are likely ineligible for federal nutrition assistance under current program requirements just as Congress looks at further restricting eligibility for these programs through the Farm Bill. Overall food insecurity in Second Harvest’s ranges from a low of 12.9% of the population in Huron County up to 14.3% in Crawford County. Lorain County has the largest population overall and has a 13.2% food insecurity rate.

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Julie's Notes

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Stand Up for Families Struggling with Food Insecurity

Growing season is just around the corner and soon our coolers will be full of healthy, nutritious and locally-grown produce ready to go to families struggling with hunger. While the core of our work is food distribution, we’re also a voice for those same families we bring fresh produce. As advocates, we are urging Congress to oppose any cuts and changes to SNAP and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) in the Farm Bill which helps so many low-income families in our region.

SNAP is a cornerstone federal program helping hardworking families during difficult times. Serving more than 43 million Americans, SNAP is the largest anti-hunger program in the United States and creates food security for children, seniors and families. CSFP provides seniors living below 130% of poverty with a box of nutritious food each month to supplement their food.

As part of our efforts, Second Harvest worked in partnership with the Lorain County Board of Commissioners on a resolution

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