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

Make the Holidays Brighter with Holiday Cheer

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Since its inception 34 years ago, the Holiday Cheer campaign has raised over $900,000 for Second Harvest, equaling over a millions of meals for families struggling with hunger. A community effort led by Burger King, WOBL 1320 AM, and WDLW 1380 AM, Holiday Cheer raises money for Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio each holiday season.

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Veterans

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In time for Veteran’s Day, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs launched a screening initiative that will be implemented at all its facilities which is aimed at tackling food insecurity for veterans. Under this first-ever program, VA health-care providers will ask all patients whether they have run out of food or struggled to pay for it within the past three months. If they say yes, VA staff will connect them to a local food pantry or community program, share information on enrolling in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) or refer them to follow-up care with a dietary counselor, if needed.

This is a critical step toward addressing hunger in a vulnerable — and often unreachable — population. Veterans frequently suffer from conditions, such as disability or mental illness that can stop them from seeking help. Some may shy away from the stigma against accepting handouts and this can also be a common deterrent from getting much needed help.

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Julie’s Notes

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Turning the calendar pages to a new month means cooler weather and falling leaves. While there was much to celebrate in September, we also dealt with very serious news. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria created devastation in distinct areas of our country and we were all called to help. We, along with the other Feeding America food banks remains dedicated to supporting network members impacted by these disasters. Collectively, we have shipped more than 19 million pounds of food, water and supplies (approximately 616 truckloads) and are currently processing over 30 additional truckloads. There are more than 75 temporary staff placements for impacted food banks.

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Your Generosity Made the 12th Annual Generous Helpings a Success!

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Your Generosity Made the 12th Annual Generous Helpings a Success!

Celebration was in the air at the 12th Annual Generous Helpings event. Over 500 people helped us raise over $65,000 for our neighbors in need. The weather was picture-perfect. Swamp Boogie Band had the place rocking and the food was never better. Guests dined on tasty dishes ranging from 18 local chefs and restaurants, making the competition tough for the judges and guests to select their favorites. This year’s Critic Choice winner was from Sodexo (UH-at Elyria Medical Center) The People’s Choice Award went to the Jailhouse Tavern.

Check out some of the photos from the memorable evening here.

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Dialing Down Hunger

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A new study released shows that Ohio’s average rate of food insecurity is on the decline thanks to safety-net programs available to those who need it. Last month, the USDA Economic Research Service released its Household Food Security in the U.S. in 2016. in 2016 report. The report revealed that, while the prevalence of food insecurity in Ohio remains higher than the national average, we have made some modest progress toward increased food security for vulnerable people in our state. From 2011-13 to 2014-16, Ohio’s average rate of food insecurity declined from 16.0 percent to 14.8 percent. It’s a small change, and not a statistically significant one. There’s much more work to do, and to keep doing.

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