Cam­paign sets goal of 1M meals

Do­na­tions can be given at Gi­ant Ea­gle, Heinen’s check­out lines

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Richard Pay­erchin rpay­erchin@morn­ingjour­nal.com @MJ_Jour­nalRick on Twit­ter

Do­na­tions of money, food and time from lo­cal res­i­dents will help those in need around Lo­rain County and its neigh­bor­ing coun­ties, ac­cord­ing to Se­cond Har­vest Food Bank of North Cen­tral Ohio.

About 100 lo­cal of­fi­cials, vol­un­teers and Se­cond Har­vest staff gath­ered Feb. 13 for the kick­off of Har­vest for Hunger, the an­nual cam­paign to raise fund­ing and food­stuffs for the food bank.

Work­ing with do­nated food and money, Se­cond Har­vest can

sup­ply five meals for ev­ery $1 do­nated. The goal this year is to top 1 mil­lion meals, the record set in 2016, said Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Julie Chase-More­field and Har­vest for Hunger Hon­orary Chair­woman Lori Kokoski, who is a Lo­rain County com­mis­sioner.

Lo­cal res­i­dents can do­nate money at the check­out coun­ters of Gi­ant Ea­gle and Heinen’s Gro­cery Stores. Lo­cal cashiers will ask for do­na­tions in the “Check Out Hunger” cam­paign at the stores, run­ning to April 1.

“A lit­tle bit goes a long way,” Kokoski said. “For ev­ery dol­lar that they do­nate, that’s five meals for peo­ple that may be go­ing hun­gry that day. Open your wal­lets, give a help­ing hand to peo­ple in need.”

Guest speak­ers in­cluded Paul Adair, chair­man of the food bank’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, and Chris­tine Boesch and Ken­dra Faulkner, co-founders of OHgo, a San­dusky-based mo­bile food pantry.

Se­cond Har­vest serves Lo­rain, Erie, Huron and Craw­ford coun­ties. OHgo, started in 2016, re­ceives its food from Se­cond Har­vest and takes it on the road to set up food pantries in three lo­ca­tions in San­dusky, twice a month, in any weather.

“We hon­estly couldn’t do it with­out all your help,” Boesch said.

In their ex­pe­ri­ence, Boesch said she had just one con­fronta­tion, when a woman wanted grape juice, but there was none avail­able.

“She started to go off on us be­cause all she wanted was grape juice,” Boesch said. “She was re­ally let­ting us have it.

“I re­mem­ber think­ing for a se­cond, holy mo­ley, like, se­ri­ously, she’s this des­per­ate for juice,” Boesch said.

An­other vol­un­teer of­fered to drive the woman to an­other food pantry to find the juice – and calm re­turned, she said.

“It’s like, yes, they’re des­per­ate for the food, but they’re even more des­per­ate for love,” Boesch said. “She wasn’t re­ally des­per­ate for the juice, she was des­per­ate for love and com­pas­sion.”

Se­cond Har­vest has done two mo­bile pantries in Lo­rain County, ChaseMore­field said. Kokoski added she liked the con­cept and would like to see it done more.

“It’s needed,” Kokoski said.

“There’s food desserts through­out Lo­rain County. You wouldn’t think so, but there are peo­ple that are not able to put food on their table,” Kokoski said.

She re­ferred to ar­eas where it is dif­fi­cult to buy fresh fruit, veg­eta­bles and healthy whole foods, of­ten in im­pov­er­ished ar­eas, as de­fined by the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture.

Adair also praised the work by OHgo and said he was hum­bled by the ef­forts.

“They’re grow­ing hope and they’re do­ing it at a level that is where it needs to hap­pen, right in their own com­mu­ni­ties, right in their own parks, right with their own fam­i­lies, bring­ing food to peo­ple that can’t get to the food,” Adair said.

He noted do­na­tions to the Har­vest for Hunger stay in Se­cond Har­vest’s four-county ser­vice area.

For the 2018 Har­vest for Hunger cam­paign, Se­cond Har­vest pub­lished its “Su­per Six” most needed food items. They are: break­fast ce­real; peanut but­ter; canned veg­eta­bles; canned tuna or chicken; canned soups or stews; and canned en­trees.

Nearly 40 per­cent of peo­ple served are chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to Se­cond Har­vest

“A lit­tle bit goes a long way.” — Har­vest for Hunger Hon­orary Chair­woman Lori Kokoski

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