Food insecurity is one factor in an exceedingly complex equation. A family experiencing food insecurity is often struggling to pay for rent, utilities, medical care and other essential needs—and making difficult trade offs that compromise their health while perpetuating a vicious cycle of instability.
The true face of hunger is a mother working two jobs, children struggling to learn on an empty stomach, a father skipping a meal so his children can eat. Hunger is not a problem that we can easily see, perhaps because its stigma causes people to hide their need. But research shows that many hardworking individuals are increasingly relying on food banks as a part of their long-term strategies to put food on the table. Food-insecure individuals do not have regular access to enough nutritious food for a healthy, active life. These families, employees, veterans, students, children and senior citizens are the people the West Ohio Food Bank serves.
The West Ohio Food Bank is the largest food distribution system in West Ohio coordinating, collecting, warehousing and distributing food. The process of getting food to individuals in need requires a dynamic infrastructure and sophisticated management. The West Ohio Food Bank secures donations from national food and grocery manufacturers, retailers, shippers, packers and growers and from government agencies, individuals and other organizations. They in turn distribute food and grocery items, ensuring the safe storage and reliable distribution of goods to local food pantries and meal programs that served over 5 million meals to children, families, seniors and other groups at risk of hunger.
Together with partner agencies, the West Ohio Food Bank is making progress in helping people overcome food insecurity trying to find their way to self-sufficiency. Distributing food and grocery items to people in need through food pantries and meal programs that serve children, adults, families, and seniors enables the client to take dollars that would be used to purchase food, to be put toward paying rent/mortgages, utilities, and strengthening our economy.
We are one unified network – working together, learning from each other and helping people in need. We maximize the depth and breadth of our staff, volunteers, board members and partner agencies by sharing information and lessons learned to solve similar challenges and expand our knowledge and skill sets.
West Ohio Food Bank is addressing hunger by increasing awareness and educating the public about hunger; connecting clients with federal benefits; collaborating with charitable partners at the local level to increase client stability; and, advocating for federal and state programs and policies that support low-income individuals.