Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about being a Second Harvest partner charity, becoming a partner charity, or your experience as a partner charity, you're not alone.  Click on one of the following questions to see the answer.  If you have a question that isn't answered, please feel free to contact the Program & Member Services Assistant.

What are Emergency Food Providers?

Emergency Food Providers are non-profit programs with IRS tax exempt status 501(c)3 and have established an ongoing food assistance program distributing food at a minimum of once per month, each month. Most of our partner charities serve more often than the minimum requirement of once per month. Pantry programs are usually “choice pantries” where the clients choose the groceries to take home. Some programs, “Soup Kitchens” or Hot Meal Sites serve prepared meals on-site to their clients. These programs also provide food assistance on an emergency basis to anyone in need.

There are three classifications of Emergency Food Providers:

Emergency Food Pantry

 

  • Provides groceries, at least monthly, to those in need of one-time emergency or occasional food assistance for home preparation and consumption.
  • Does not charge a fee or require service from participants in exchange for food.
  • Must only require participants to self-declare need.

 

Emergency Soup Kitchen

 

  • Prepares and serves on site meals regularly to those in need.
  • Does not charge a fee or require service from participants in exchange for food.
  • Serves all those who present themselves for a meal.

 

Emergency Shelter

 

  • Regularly provides shelter where those who are homeless are temporarily housed.
  • Length of residency is no more than 6 months.
  • Does not charge a fee to participants in exchange for food.

 

How do I sign up to become a partner of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio?

Your program must be in existence for a minimum of 6 months prior to applying for membership. Potential partners must fill out an application, submit the required documentation and have an on-site monitoring by a member of Second Harvest's staff. If you have additional questions, please contact the Program & Member Services Assistant.

How do I sign up for Orientation?

Please call Cathy Sheetz, Program and Member Services Assistant at (440) 960-2316 to learn of available dates and times. You will come to Second Harvest for orientation after you have completed an application, received a visit to your site and your program has been approved to partner with us.  All partners must complete orientation.  Partners also receive  food safety training and civil rights training.

Does Second Harvest deliver?

Yes. We currently have a delivery program to our partner charities for a nominal $30 fee. Please contact the Customer Service Coordinator at 

Can I come to Second Harvest to pick-up my food order?

Yes. Partner charity appointments are available from 8:00AM – 11:30AM and 1PM until 2:30PM, Monday through Friday. 

When can I pick up bread and produce?

Highly perishable items like bread and produce can be picked up without an appointment from 9:00AM – 12:00PM, Monday through Friday. First come, first serve. Please be aware that scheduled appointments have our first priority. 

Are fees assessed for product from Second Harvest?

Nearly half of the food from Second Harvest is available for free to qualified partner programs. For the remaining portion, there is a shared maintenance fee of sixteen cents per pound. This is an assessed handling cost regardless of product type which helps pay for transportation and storage. Value-Priced (VP) items are purchased for agencies by Second Harvest and distributed to agencies at cost, plus a handling fee of sixteen cents per pound. Items available at no shared maintenance fee include bread, fresh produce, and some perishable items, as well as USDA, OFPACP food. (See USDA, OFPACP descriptions below.) 

What if I don't know what a product is, or don't understand the product description on the shopping list?

Ask. Call the Customer Service Coordinator at (440) 960-2265, x-322 and we'll be happy to describe any product for you.

How do I place a food order?

The Partner Shopping List is available in the Partner Charity Zone under Food Orders. E-mail your completed order to  . If you have any questions about ordering, contact the Customer Service Coordinator at (440) 960-2265, x-322. 

What is USDA? How do I get it? Am I eligible?

The term "USDA" refers to the type of foods available through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). TEFAP is a federal food distribution program sponsored by The United States Department of Agriculture. USDA-donated foods are provided at no charge to approved distribution sites in our region by the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio. To be eligible you must be one of the following emergency food providers: food pantry, soup kitchen/hot meal site, transitional houses and shelters. New partners are eligible to receive these products after a 90-day waiting period. 

What is OFP and OACP?

The Ohio Food Program and Agricultural Clearance Program (OFPACP) is operated by the Ohio Association of Foodbanks through funding from the Ohio General Assembly and the Governor of Ohio. It is made up of two equally important emergency food programs.

  • Ohio Food Program:  This program provides shelf-stable and protein items to Ohio’s 12 Feeding America food banks as a supplement to the USDA federal commodity programs.
  • Ohio Agricultural Clearance Program: Through our partnerships with more than 100 Ohio agricultural producers and growers, this program directs surplus vegetables, fruits, and other produce to Ohio’s 12 Feeding America food banks

New partners are eligible to receive these products from Second Harvest after a 90-day waiting period. 

What is Soup to Nuts?

Soup to Nuts is our partner newsletter, sent to all partner charities. Its' purpose is to provide anti-hunger resources, such as: important information, changes in regulations and forms, events, nutrition resources, best practices, data and other helpful information.  

What is Feeding America?

Feeding America is a network of food banks across the United States. The Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio is a Feeding America affiliate and follows the rules and regulations set forth by Feeding America for a food bank operation. www.feedingamerica.org

What is Ohio Association of Food Banks?

The mission of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks (OAF) is to assist Ohio’s 12 Feeding American Food Banks in providing food and other resources to people in need and to pursue areas of common interest for the benefit of people in need. The Association is made up of the state's 12 regional Feeding America food banks OAF manages several programs including the OFPACP Ohio Food Program and Agricultural Clearance Program. www.ohiofoodbanks.org