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

A Note from Julie

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As we stand at the foot of a brand-new year, the need for food still outpaces pre-pandemic levels across our region and we remain steadfastly focused on moving families back to stability. We anticipate this being the case throughout the winter months. If volunteering and giving back are on your new year resolution list now may be a great time to get involved. While we always meet the need in front of us, we step into the future applying the lessons learned and planning strategically to make life better for those who rely on us to be here.

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Full Hearts and Plates for the Holidays

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This past holiday season brought many chances to help those in our four-county region get food they needed to bring their families together around the table. For the second year in a row, we conducted the largest distributions of the year just before Thanksgiving. To improve the experience for our community members, we scheduled three separate events, one each in Crawford, Huron, and Lorain counties. We also required pre-registration. Our goal was to shorten the distance needed to travel to a distribution and shorten the wait time in line. For the Lorain County distribution, we partnered with Lorain County Community College and moved the distribution to their campus off of Abbe Road in Elyria.

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From Campus to Classroom

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Data shows that nearly three in five college students experience basic needs insecurity with food insecurity affecting 39% of students at two-year institutions and 29% of students at four-year institutions. With this in mind, we began a partnership with LCCC through their Commodore Cupboard several years ago and continued to pursue other opportunities to help young adults and the community through other higher education affiliations.

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A Time For Planning

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Proper planning for an organization’s growth and needs requires that all facets of the organization have access to one source of truth — one vision, one plan, and one set of numbers from which to plan. After the last 18 months, it is time to really take a look at every facet of the Second Harvest operation. Time to review our goals, visions and hopes.

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Second Harvest Awards

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The work has not let up this year and much of the effort even goes unseen. But there are always a few bright stars to celebrate while on the journey. These efforts have been recognized, and Second Harvest staff received the following nominations: Samantha Flores, Director of Program and Partner Services was honored with the Crain’s Cleveland Business 40 Under Forty Award. This award spotlights the best and the brightest of Northeast Ohio’s professionals who have yet to reach their 40th birthday. Sam and the 39 other nominees were honored for making a difference in a wide range of industries who are leaders in their fields. Sam is instrumental in creating new programs and ways to reach those community members who need our services. Congratulations to Samantha Flores!

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