Hard to fathom we are more than four weeks into our COVID-19 response efforts, it feels both shorter and longer depending on the day. Distribution ramped up the week of March 16 and through Tuesday we have moved an astonishing 1.6M LBS of food and supplies through our facility and out into the community -125% higher than last year. This article is probably one of the best explanations of what is happening at food banks, including Second Harvest across the country. It was published April 8th in The New York Times: A Wave of Hunger Hits America, and Food Banks Are Swamped https://nyti.ms/3c3hftL
Strategy & Outreach
Our two goals for our response were 1) bring food and resources to our network of food pantries, shelters and hot meal programs and 2) reach out to newly affect families in every corner of our service area. Our network of food pantries, shelters & hot meal programs meet the need in our community 365 days a year in providing nutritious food to families at-risk for hunger. Our mobile pantry distributions have aimed at helping to share the burden with our partners of those seeking assistance for the very first time.
As I sit in my office today, another semi is turning the corner and pulling into our driveway, followed by a Second Harvest truck pulling out. It’s repeated over and over each day. Our ongoing challenge is replenishing the food supply. The acute demand on the food supply will ease but for the short term there is a significant demand on the system. We continue to seek out donations of truckload quantity of foods and purchasing foods to ensure an adequate food supply for all of our food programs. If you have a donation of caseload quantity of shelf-stable, fresh or frozen food please contact Kacy Porter at (440) 444-0697 / email.
Monday found us in Crawford County at Bucyrus High School serving 789 families, read about it in the Galion Inquirer, Wednesday at Ely Stadium in Elyria serving 988 families, see it on News 5 and today at Oakwood Park in Lorain with El Centro we served 894 families. Thursday afternoon we will be with OHgo in Sandusky at Strobel Field. Next week we will be at Sheffield Schools, Black River Landing, Lorain County Fairgrounds and the Huron County Fairgrounds. Follow the link to the Upcoming Mobile Pantry Schedule for dates and times or to find a food pantry in your area use the Find Help Directory.
Donations & Funding
We estimate over the 12-week period (3/15/20 – 6/6/20), our total increase in costs will exceed $1M and beyond that over the next year at least another $750,000 as we work to maintain this level of distribution. Thank you to all of the organizations, groups, companies and individuals stepping up to donate – you are why we can continue to help so many families.
Thank you to each of you for your kind words, your support and donations of food and funds. A special thank you to our mask donors for keeping us safe: Lucky Stone Promotions, Judy Shaull, Sue Bowers and many others. And a thank you to the group who left us this on our sidewalk:
As always if you have any immediate needs reach out to myself or Kimberly Hazelgrove at (440) 444-0717 or by email.
Julie Chase-Morefield is the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.
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