It’s now been over a year since the pandemic began. In those early days when we first pulled our team together we focused on what we knew, what we needed, and what our response would be to the rising need. Like the first hill of a roller coaster, sometimes it’s better to not know what’s coming. Our ability to meet the need is tied closely to our partnerships with our school systems and the Educational Service Center of Lorain County (ESC), which grew out of conversations following the 2019 Child Hunger Summit. With the team of ESC social workers, a food pantry was established to provide another service to their families. When the pandemic hit, they reached out and we quickly scaled a response covering nearly every district in Lorain County.
We are grateful too to our long-time partners — Elyria City Schools, Lorain City Schools, Clearview Local Schools, Sheffield / Sheffield Lake Local Schools and Midview Local Schools — who helped us establish our School Pantry Program before the pandemic and worked with us to dramatically ramp up those programs from serving 100-150 families each distribution to 400-600 families. Moving forward, we are committed to expanding our work with schools and other partners to meet the need for food assistance across our region.
Julie Chase-Morefield is the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.
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5510 Baumhart Rd., Lorain, OH 44053
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