As we approach the holiday season that is only a few weeks away (hard to believe!), we enter the season where food banks like Second Harvest are the fortunate recipients of generous donations, food drives, and volunteer outings. We are grateful that we are able to do more during the holiday season for our neighbors in need because of the commitment of so many.
This particular issue of Fresh Thoughts focuses on what is possible because of our community stepping up to serve others. We see this in our network of over 100 partner charities that distribute the millions of pounds of food that we work to purchase and acquire for our four county service area. Nehemiah Partners Kid’s Cafe in Sandusky is just one example of the Kids Cafe program that is able to serve healthier and more nutritious foods to children that depend on their cafe for a warm meal in a safe place.
And in a month where we honor veterans of military service, we must remember that some of the same courageous and brave soldiers that fought for our country are facing another battle: hunger here at home. The Hunger in America 2014 study found that among the more than 46 million people who turn to agencies and programs of the Feeding America network of food banks every year were many veterans; nationally, as well as locally, 25% of families seeking assistance contained a member of the military. We are grateful to the veterans who volunteer their time with us here at Second Harvest, and to be able to serve our veterans in need in our community.
As you begin your holiday season, I hope you will take the time to reflect on what you are grateful for and how you can make a contribution to our neighbors in need during the holiday season and beyond.
Julie Chase-Morefield is the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.