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Hunger Hero

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Second Harvest is fueled by selfless individuals and groups who join in our mission to grow hope in our region by ensuring our neighbors in need have the food necessary to work, learn, and thrive. We like to call them “Hunger Heroes” here at Second Harvest. We’re proud to spotlight individuals and groups who are fighting hunger in our neighborhoods. Today’s spotlight: Northwestern Mutual’s Giardini, Zavodny, & Associates.

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Walmart to Help Fight Hunger

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Walmart and Feeding America have teamed up for a nationwide campaign this spring that runs from April 17 through May 15. Fight Hunger. Spark Change. gives Walmart customers simple ways to make a real contribution to Second Harvest Food Bank.

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Spend a Month in Poverty

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It is difficult for those of us who have enough to truly understand the situation that individuals and families living in poverty experience every day – the decisions they have to make and the fears and frustrations they feel. That is why Second Harvest was happy to host a Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) this past October. Thirty-five people including donors, corporate partners, partner charity representatives, Board members and community leaders gathered to learn more deeply about the struggles of low-income families and individuals by assuming a given role and trying to work through a maze of options to get through the month.

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Mobile Pantry

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Second Harvest debuted a new mobile food pantry in January at the Lorain VFW. The purpose of the mobile food pantry is to expand efforts of to tackle food insecurity in North Central Ohio. A second Mobile Pantry at this site attracted nearly double the number of families at the one in February.

About 123 families who met income guidelines were able to take one box of nonperishables and a collection of produce provided by some of the local retail partners. “For our mobile pantries, we always try to bring produce from our retail partners,” Flores said. “This time, we were able to bring s variety of item for clients to choose from. The most popular were the coffee and tea items. A close second were the baking supplies. We plan to offer more and more choice items as we go forward with this Mobile Pantry.”

Second Harvest said the second mobile pantry site was an opportunity to reach more people in need by building on its summer farmer’s markets and bringing the services to a more central location.
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The Lorain VFW is the second location in the city of Lorain with the mobile food pantry. El Centro de Servicios Sociales in the city’s south side is the site of the first. The partnership between Second Harvest and El Centro began in 2012. The groups are able to help feed more than 300 families each month.

“I still think that the need is a little bit overlooked, and you’d be surprised at the atmosphere coming out to one of these,” said Samantha Flores, Second Harvest program coordinator. “We just try to be as open and as friendly as possible to make it a good experience.”

Second Harvest plans to hold a monthly mobile food pantry at the VFW on the fourth Wednesday of every month. 

The new addition addresses the year-round needs of Second Harvest clients along with families who need assistance at the end of the month, Flores said.

“We’ve been doing a mobile pantry at El Centro for years, but we wanted to sort of scout out another location and we had targeted this area for a while,” she said. “The VFW graciously let us use their space.”

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Food On The Move!

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OHgo’s mobile food pantry takes food on the move. They set up a choice style pantry serving twice a month (every month) for income eligible families, literally on the go. Their mobile units can be spotted at McArthur Park and Orlando Pace Park in Sandusky or in neighborhoods that have been underserved for years. They are serving close to 1000 people a month since launching this program in June of 2016. Families can come to all pantries each month and will receive food for up to 4 days!

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