When we initially began our response to the COVID-19 pandemic it was a struggle to understand the magnitude of what we were facing and in hindsight it was likely better that way. Those first few frenetic weeks were a rapid series of failures and successes as our team discovered the best ways to respond to the need. Each day at our situation meeting both the challenges and the mission were more focused.
But the events of recent weeks have reminded us the acute pain of the pandemic on families in our community is just one the serious issues facing us and our nation. Last week we released the following statement but are sharing again here in part:
“The Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio condemns acts of violence and discrimination against our family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors who are Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) in our communities and in our country. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, and too many others have left us and our community mourning and outraged. As an organization we serve a diverse population, we understand hunger, violence, and racism do not exist in insolation. We stand with our community during this difficult time to call out structural racism and injustice and to work together in order to advance equity, not just in food, but in all things.” Read the entire statement here.
Over these past weeks and months as we responded to the COVID-19 crisis, Second Harvest demonstrated we are an organization of action as we met the needs of families in our community. In recommitting ourselves to our work around diversity and equity, our focus is in taking action.
Our entire service area and much of the northern part of Ohio were hit especially hard in April with new unemployment claims. In county rankings: #2 Lorain – 25.6%; #3 Erie County – 25.5%; #4 Crawford County – 24%; and #6 Huron County – 21.5%. Northern Ohio and the lakeshore region were hit especially hard across the state – see the map here.
Rise in Need:
Prior to the pandemic, Second Harvest along with our network of food pantries served, on average approximately 88,000 unduplicated people throughout our 4-county service area, roughly 19% of all people in our service area. The unduplicated number of people in our service area receiving help at a food pantry has risen by 38.7% to over 122,000 people.
Drive-Thru Mobile Pantries continue in June with shelf-stable, produce, dairy & frozen foods on:
• Saturday, June 13 in partnership with Mother Cabrini’s food pantry at St. Francis Cabrini Church in Lorain from 8:30 am – Noon.
• Monday, June 15, at Lorain County Fairgrounds from 3:00PM until 5:00PM.
• Wednesday, June 17 at Clearview Schools (Durling Middle School) from 3:30PM – 5:30PM
• Thursday, June 18 at Oakwood Park in Lorain in partnership with El Centro from Noon – 3:00PM
• Thursday, June 18 at Strobel Field in Sandusky with OHgo from 4:00PM-6:00PM
• For upcoming Mobile Pantry dates visit our Facebook page for all the event listings.
Food pantries and hot meals programs continue to serve in the neighborhoods and ready to help, find food assistance using the Find Help Directory.
We want to take a moment to thank our local foundations for stepping up to support us and make our response possible. Thank you to the Community Foundation of Lorain County, The Nord Family Foundation, The Eric & Jane Nord Foundation, The Stocker Foundation, Sidney Frohman Foundation, NOPEC Foundation, Christ Foundation, Kroger Company Foundation, Lubrizol Foundation, the Miller Family Charitable Foundation, First Energy Foundation and so many more. We couldn’t do it with you!
Please reach out to myself or Kimberly Hazelgrove at (440) 444-0717 / email with questions.
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