Campaign sets goal of 1M meals
Donations can be given at Giant Eagle, Heinen’s checkout lines
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