Advocate for Second Harvest Food Bank

IT'S TIME TO ADVOCATE FOR SECOND HARVEST AND ALL OHIO FOOD BANKS!

Advocacy can seem intimidating. What does it mean to advocate for an organization or a cause that you care about? We can help make it simple so that together, we can make positive changes in the lives of our neighbors. Whether it is writing a letter, sending an email, making a phone call, or sharing something on social media, each action will help us meet our goal of alleviating hunger in our region.

Sign our Petition

We know you care deeply about our community and have supported Second Harvest as we’ve worked to provide food to families across our region. We need your help!

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress last year provides the state with $5.36 billion, separated into two allocations, to promote an equitable recovery from the pandemic for all Ohioans. The administration and the Ohio General Assembly have not invested any of this money into the health and human services sector.

A COVID cliff will hit at the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) and affect families in our region. Several COVID-related enhanced benefits and flexibilities tied to the PHE have made it possible for families to weather rising costs for basic needs and maintain stability during uncertain times.

Families will soon face the end of enhanced SNAP benefits, the redetermination of Medicaid cases, and resumed federal student loan payments, all within a few months. These pandemic flexibilities were intended to be temporary. Yet, these support's sudden and significant loss - without investments in the remaining safety net and the organizations that help these families - will increase food and economic hardship causing more confusion and stress.

Become an Advocate
Sign Our Petition

Sign onto our petition to support Advocates for Ohio's Future request for the Ohio government to use a portion of these funds to support:
  • $183 million for Ohio food banks to maintain and build a resilient local and regional basic needs infrastructure, including $50 million in immediate support to purchase essential food and non-food items.

Why is this important to Second Harvest?

Second Harvest experienced a 30% decline in food received over the past three months. The declines affect our food bank and sister food banks across the state. In isolation, these issues are manageable but taken together; they are deeply concerning. Demand for food assistance remains 35% higher than pre-pandemic, with nearly 100K people receiving help since July in our 4-county region.

  • Federal foods are down over 54.7% from last year and 20% from pre-pandemic. USDA food loads are being canceled or delayed regularly due to supply chain issues.
  • In February, donated food dropped by 18% and in March by 45%. Food processors and manufacturers have few donations, and grocery store donations have declined dramatically.
  • 20 million birds have died as a result of the avian (bird) flu, affecting chicken and egg prices. Eggs increased by 60 cents a dozen in just one week. Eggs have always been a critical and low-cost source of protein for families.
  • With less food coming in, our only solution is purchasing food and grocery products. The cost per LB is currently 90 cents, up from 77 cents last year, an increase of 16.8%.
  • Food manufacturing is down across the country, and likely you’ve witnessed empty shelves at grocery stores.
  • Farm production costs (feed, fertilizer, and seed) are increasing dramatically. The war in Ukraine is disrupting the US’s fertilizer supply with both Russia and Ukraine being significant suppliers of key fertilizer components.
  • Shipping costs have tripled due to the rising cost of diesel fuel & CDL driver shortages. Our monthly fuel bill to keep our trucks on the road has doubled.
  • Extended lead times from suppliers, often without notice, make it challenging to plan and have the food we need. Typically food orders arrive in approximately 14 days.

As we inch closer to the end of the Public Health Emergency and the end of additional SNAP benefits to families with children and seniors, we fear we will not be able to respond to the increased need.

We ask our friends and supporters to sign our petition to bring necessary and approved funding to Second Harvest and our sister food banks in Ohio.Learn more about the request on our ARPA web page and Advocates for Ohio's Future's request summary.