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

Julie's Notes

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The rhythm of summer is everywhere…the rattling cicadas on hot sunny days, the distant laughter of kids playing on the local ball diamond and the lapping of the waves on Lake Erie’s beaches. August offers us the long and last chance to take in what’s left of summer in north central Ohio. At Second Harvest, we, too, are still trying to fit in vacations and summer fun, but the drum beat of hunger does not take a vacation and we have been on-task with rolling out programs to curb its force. 

We recently announced our partnership with the United Way of Greater Lorain County. Both organizations serve low-income individuals and families who need assistance meeting their basic needs. The new partnership will provide a mutually supportive relationship that advances the ability of both partners to meet the overlying needs of their clients. We are two separate organizations that will work together when appropriate, each bringing our own strengths, to help to solve a problem or lend a hand for the betterment of the community. Click here to learn more.

In July, we conducted our first direct-distribution Farmer’s Market. Second Harvest staff and volunteers put on the distribution. And because together we can do more – we had a little help from our friends - United Way supplied volunteers and Lorain County Health & Dentistry offered their site.

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Our Own Farmer's Market

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Second Harvest served nearly 120 first-time families at our first direct-distribution Farmer’s Market in late July. There were about 40 other families served who were already in our system. One of our goals is to serve people who live in underserved areas.

The site for this first of four Farmer’s Markets is the parking lot of Lorain County Health & Dentistry at 1205 Broadway Ave., Lorain. Other dates include: August 19, September 30 and October 21. It is located in an area were the food insecurity rate is at 30.4%, meaning that about 3,887 people in just the immediate area alone does not know where their next meal is coming from. The location is also close to and easily accessible to the areas in Lorain where the poverty rate, food insecurity and unemployment rates are high. Our goal is to set up a Farmer’s Market distribution once per month for the four months of the growing season to offer fresh produce and nutrition education for low income families in Lorain. We estimate that as the Farmer’s Market season progresses, we could serve up to 400 families each time. This Farmer’s Market is being put on to help moderate to low-income families. Recipients must register so they will have to bring a photo ID and be income eligible.

The Farmer's Market program is a proven, successful trend in the food banking community that utilizes a mobile distribution network in the manner of a traditional farmer's market. Second Harvest Food Bank is in our tenth year of running Farmer's Markets throughout our region.

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Our Warehouse Warriors

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Our unsung, often unknown heroes do most of their work behind the scenes. You never see them, you don’t even know they exist. But without their help, the load bread from Giant Eagle would not ever get to the dock for Grace’s Kitchen to pick-up or on our delivery trucks headed for Plymouth-Shiloh. Phil Simulcik, Director of Operations, relies on their steady work to move product into the warehouse and move it out as quickly as possible for those who are food insecure. “I count on this crew to keep things moving. People need this food and each man and woman knows it. They work hard to make sure that can happen,” says Phil.

We thought we’d shine some light on a few of our warehouse staff who work behind the scenes:

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Delicious Generous Helpings!

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Get your discount tickets now to Generous Helpings. Sunday, September 24th from 5-8PM is the date for this premier event this year. Join us for an evening of great food and fun as we celebrate our favorite and most delicious event at the Nordson Food Distribution Center. The event will feature tastings of local restaurants’ signature dishes, wine and ale parings and a raffle and silent auction – all set in our beautiful new facility. Live music will be provided by Swamp Boogie Band. We are expecting a fun crowd and a large number of tasters this year, so hurry and purchase your tickets at our discounted early bird price. Click here to purchase your Early Bird Ticket.

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Julie's Notes

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New [Fiscal] Year: First of Many Firsts

This is our first time experiencing a July 1st start to our fiscal year. For our first 35 years, we would have already been one quarter into our new year by now. There’s many reasons why this change makes so much sense and this was the year to do it. It aligns with many of our partners at the local, state and national level, allows funding campaigns can start and finish in the same fiscal year, and streamlines tracking and reporting of all of our activities.

As part of our Growing Hope initiatives, in a few short weeks we will undertake another first - a large-scale direct distribution Farmer’s Market in Lorain. Second Harvest’s staff and truck will be at the Lorain County Health & Dentistry’s site on Broadway where we will distribute produce to an estimated 300+ families. Volunteers from United Way of Lorain County and HandsOn Northeast Ohio will be helping and other services will be available for those attending. We are targeting Lorain to help address the loss of food pantries in the city in recent months.

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