With the holiday season almost here, our work to bring nutritious food to our community is top-of-mind and we feel fortunate to be the recipient of so many generous donations, food drives, and volunteer outings. We are able to do more during this special time of year for our neighbors in need because of your commitment.
It’s also a good time to share with you all we have in store. Our second annual Elected Officials Volunteer Day will be on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Federal, state and local officials will get a chance to assemble Senior Food Boxes at Second Harvest to go out to 725 low-income seniors. Packing boxes and engaging the conversation will go a long way in helping our officials understand senior hunger. Our 110 partner charities, who distribute millions of pounds of food, are gearing up for the two busiest months of their year. Be sure to read about one of them, Helping Hands Ministry Food Pantry in Castalia, where Makala Weaver and her group of volunteers work hard so families can count on them when in need.
And in the month where we honor veterans of military service, we remember some of the same courageous and brave soldiers who fought for our country who are facing another battle: hunger at home. As a first step, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is now asking veterans seeking services at the VA about food availability for them and offering information about getting help. We know locally 25% of families seeking assistance contained a member of the military. Information is one key to making the connection to solving hunger for so many veterans.
As your own holiday season begins, I hope you will take the time to pause and reflect on what you are most grateful for and how you can help our neighbors in need during the holiday season and beyond. As we actively engage in the Growing Hope initiative to create a hunger-free community, we are so thankful to have you joining us on this journey.
In gratitude and service,
Julie Chase-Morefield is the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.