New [Fiscal] Year: First of Many Firsts
This is our first time experiencing a July 1st start to our fiscal year. For our first 35 years, we would have already been one quarter into our new year by now. There’s many reasons why this change makes so much sense and this was the year to do it. It aligns with many of our partners at the local, state and national level, allows funding campaigns can start and finish in the same fiscal year, and streamlines tracking and reporting of all of our activities.
As part of our Growing Hope initiatives, in a few short weeks we will undertake another first - a large-scale direct distribution Farmer’s Market in Lorain. Second Harvest’s staff and truck will be at the Lorain County Health & Dentistry’s site on Broadway where we will distribute produce to an estimated 300+ families. Volunteers from United Way of Lorain County and HandsOn Northeast Ohio will be helping and other services will be available for those attending. We are targeting Lorain to help address the loss of food pantries in the city in recent months.
Our regional Farmer’s Markets will begin in mid-July and provide produce throughout the growing season at our food pantry partners. Check our website for more details. The Farmer’s Market program is funded through the state’s biennial budget. It’s critical for us to be a voice for the families we serve and educate our elected leaders and community partners about hunger, food insecurity, the growing demand of our network and the importance of the Ohio Food Program and Agriculture Clearance Program.
Many thanks to the our elected officials who recognized the important partnership we have with Ohio farmers in getting Ohio grown produce to those who struggle with hunger throughout our state including Rep. Nathan Manning, Rep. Dan Ramos, Rep. Dick Stein, Rep. Steve Arndt, Rep. Wes Goodman, Senator Dave Burke, Senator Gayle Manning and Senator Randy Gardner.
And another first, we’re pleased to announce we’ve concluded our most successful Harvest for Hunger campaign ever thanks to your generosity. For the first time we reach our goal of collecting enough food and funds to provide 1 Million Meals. Because of your help, we will able to restock pantry and soup kitchen shelves through the region for months to come.
Julie Chase-Morefield is the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.