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Fresh Thoughts is the monthly on-line newsletter of Second Harvest

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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Fitting Kick-Off for HFH 2018

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Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Paczki Day…. The day has many names. We call it Harvest for Hunger Kick-Off Day! And what a day it was! About 100 local officials, volunteers and Second Harvest staff gathered Feb. 13 for the kickoff of Harvest for Hunger, the annual campaign to raise funding and food for the food bank.

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Julie's Notes

Poster

Our largest fundraising initiative of the year is kicking-off this week.  Harvest for Hunger is almost under way and we count on you to join in helping us meet our goal of over ONE MILLION MEALS to families in our area.  This year we are thrilled to have Honorary Harvest for Hunger Chair, Lorain County Commissioner Lori Kokoski to Kick-Off the Campaign on Tuesday, February 13  from4-6 PM at Second Harvest.   All are welcome and I hope will consider stopping by.  Say YES and be part of the most successful food and funds drive in the nation – Click Here. 

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Moving Forward with Technology

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Today, technology is taking on a much larger role in our world and at Second Harvest. This technology that is revolutionizing the way we communicate and do business is what we are relying on to help us do our work quicker and with more efficiency. 

At Second Harvest, we are upgrading our accounting and inventory software which is a critical component across our organization and give us room for growth. CERES 4.5 software is designed for Food Bank and will allow us to more easily track product donations, grants, food drives and integrate these functions in a more streamline fashion.  Every department has members who rely on the CERES system for tracking and managing to some degree, so integration is key. According to Tami Kluding, Business Services Manager, “It has been over ten years since we’ve been able to upgrade this system. We are really excited about what we’ll be able to do going forward.”

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