For the past three years we have been working tirelessly toward the goal of building a new facility to expand our capacity and ability to help more of our neighbors in need across our 4-county service area. One of the pillars of the new Nordson Food Distribution Center is increased refrigeration capacity so we can provide more healthy and fresh foods, often seen as a luxury to families and children. Providing fresh produce to our network of over 100 partner charities is a priority we are committed to at Second Harvest. But, we cannot do it alone. We are able to provide meals to our neighbors in need from a combination of philanthropic, community, individual, corporate, and government support at the federal and state levels.
We work closely with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, which represents the 12 Feeding America food banks in Ohio to advocate for the important issues that affect our operations and ultimately the people we serve through our network.
The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is requesting $40 million from the state over the 2016-2017 biennial budget to support the continuation of a grant agreement for the purchase of food and grocery products, including produce. In just this past year Second Harvest has distributed over 2 million pounds of produce through our partner charities and at farmer’s markets. Produce choices such as beets, cabbage, eggplant, greens, corn, potatoes, and apples are available to thousands of Ohioans that would usually consider produce a luxury and outside their budget.
Providing healthy, fresh produce and foods to our network of partner charities is a priority for Second Harvest. Providing nutritious foods to our community means a chance at a healthier community and a healthier future for children that are eating nutritious meals. A healthier community means less chronic illness including diabetes and high blood pressure. This is an issue that we are committed to in partnership with The Ohio Association of Foodbanks, and we need your support.
Sign the petition today to show your support to continue this highly effective and fiscally responsible use of state dollars.
Thank you for your commitment to a healthier community for all of our neighbors.
Julie Chase-Morefield is the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.