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

Julie's Notes

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One out of five children in our region are food insecure meaning they don’t know where there next meal is coming. Bringing nutritious food to children is always a priority but the summer is a critical time when school is out and the breakfast and lunch they receive at school is out too.

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PRODUCE Season is almost here!

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We will soon be filling out coolers and trucks with local fresh produce for distribution. Second Harvest is embarking on the 14th year of this program. We are fortunate to be partnered with local growers and farmers who can provide the fresh produce. These just-picked items come to us and are sent out to the scheduled Mobile Produce Pantries in a very timely manner.

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Summer Feeding Programs

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Every summer when school ends, millions of kids and teens are at risk of going hungry. Without access to the free or reduced-price meals children receive in school, many families in poverty struggle to feed their children during the summer months.

With the help of numerous sponsoring agencies and stakeholders, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)works to feed thousands of children in Ohio. Despite these numbers, many Ohio parents and caregivers are forced to make difficult decisions daily to provide for their families. In many cases, this leaves Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens, our children and youth, struggling with hunger daily.

The program is offered in many locations such as parks, playgrounds, housing authorities, day camps, churches, community centers, etc. Often the SFSP meal service is combined with learning and recreational activities for the children.

However, the SFSP is among the most underutilized government programs. As few as 1 in 10 eligible Ohio students receive food through the SFSP. An alarming number of kids may have inadequate access to this food during the summer. When school is out, these kids also lack the other support school offers, including engagement, learning, supervision, a safe and temperature-controlled environment.

Some of the SFSP sites selected by the state in our area include: Three Lorain City School sites, Family Fellowship Church on Cooper Foster Park Rd. in Amherst, South Elyria Horizon on Louden Court in Elyria, Avon Lake Parks and Rec, Elyria City Parks and Rec, Oberlin Community Services, East Park, South Park, Heise Park, Galion Public Library and the Galion Church of the Nazarene, all in Galion, Ohio, Nehemiah Partners in Sandusky and Salvation Army in Huron. There is a list of the 53 sites named in our region so far.. Click here to view the current list. The Ohio Department of Education will continue to add sites as they are assigned.

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Save the Date!

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Generous Helpings is right around the corner! Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 29th from 5-8PM. Join us for an evening of great food and fun as we celebrate our favorite and most delicious event at the Nordson Food Distribution Center. The event will feature tastings of local restaurants’ signature dishes, wine and ale parings, live music by the ever-popular Swamp Boogie Band and raffles and silent auctions – all set in our beautiful new facility. We are expecting a fun crowd and a large number of tasters this year, so hurry and purchase your tickets here! We have opportunities for sponsorship as Hunger Heroes as well! Promote your business or organization while raising funds and awareness for those struggling with hunger. Sponsors will receive placement on event advertisements and an opportunity to be seen by thousands of people from across the region. There are a number of sponsorship levels available, visit our website for more information.

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Julie's Notes

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During National Older Americans Month, we focus on sharing the stories of those who go unnoticed, seniors struggle with hunger and may lack adequate nutrition. Just as it is necessary for young children to receive proper nutrition, it is also imperative for their grandparents to eat enough healthy foods to remain strong and healthy. Each month we pack and distribute 1,400 food-filled box through Senior Food Box Program in our region. With the help of a generous local donor we are able to provide seniors with healthy produce like zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes and tomatoes along with the box.

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