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Donald’s Story

Donald“I worked as a plumber for over fifty-five years to provide for my family; back then, times were easier. My wife and I, we could raise our three kids on one salary. We didn’t have everything, but we had what we needed…” Donald is a proud man; he’s lived in the Miami Valley all his life. Now at 76, his body worn down from years of hard work, his bones ache and he admits—with a laugh—that he doesn’t get around as easily as he once did. Oh, but don’t let him fool you! As we were spending the afternoon at the senior living facility Donald now lives at, he volunteered more than once to help fix a leaking pipe in his neighbor’s small kitchenette.

Donald is much like many other seniors in our community, they’ve worked hard all their lives, saved their money, raised their kids right. But today many seniors are facing tough decisions; living on a fixed income isn’t easy. Although Donald saved all his life for retirement, unexpected life occurrences happen. Donald’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 51, she passed two years later. Donald never remarried, “Barb was the love of my life, and let me tell you, she kept me in line!” he said with a mischievous grin. Once his wife was diagnosed with cancer, much of Donald’s life savings went to paying for trips back and forth to the doctor, and for a caretaker to help her out at home when Donald was at work and when the kids, with jobs and little ones of their own were unable to stop by. What was left is now paying for Donald to stay in the facility.

For a man like Donald it’s hard to lose your independence. Now unable to drive, it is difficult to get to the grocery as often as he wishes. The facility in which Donald lives makes one trip a week with him to the store. “The grocery can charge whatever they want for food, the good stuff, like green beans, watermelon, and even frozen chicken are expensive.” Pride keeps Donald from applying for food stamps, though he would be eligible, but he will visit The Foodbank Mobile Farmers Market with his neighbors each month to get fresh produce.  The Mobile Farmers Market visits Donald’s living facility once a month, where nearly all 90 residents come to get fresh food such as cabbage, ears of corn, collard and mustard greens (a favorite!), and zucchini.

The Foodbank and its 88 member agencies served 4500 seniors last year. Food insecure seniors who do not get the nutrient-rich foods they need are 40% more likely to experience heart-related illnesses and 60% more likely to suffer from depression. Looking at Donald, it’s easy to see the impact that good nutrition makes during the golden years.

As we were leaving, Donald shook the hand of our team, his grip as tight as a twenty-year old man’s, and said he’d see us next month. Walking out the door of the facility we heard Donald ask one more time if the staff needed help fixing that leaking pipe.

If you would like to donate to help people like Donald, click here.

Good Neighbor House

Good Neighbor HouseThis year, Good Neighbor House is celebrating 20 years of service, “Empowering Healthier Communities” across Montgomery County. In 1994, Good Neighbor House opened its doors, providing food, clothing, and household items to those in need. In 1996, they expanded their services to provide dental, medical, and optometry services to local underserved families. A little more than a year ago, after outgrowing their building, Good Neighbor House relocated to a new location on First Street in Downtown Dayton.

Not just a place to get food and supplies, Good Neighbor House takes a holistic approach to improving the lives of those they serve. In addition to offering food and medical assistance, clients are linked to a dietician for guidance, counseling, and advice, as well as the opportunity to participate in cooking and exercise classes. Good Neighbor House has both a food pantry and a special needs pantry designed to meet the nutritional needs of clients with various diseases that can be controlled through good nutrition. Items like no-salt added vegetables and given to those with diabetes, and gluten-free items are given to individuals who are gluten intolerant.

Starting in July, Good Neighbor House’s general pantry turned into a choice pantry! This means when a family walks in to receive food, instead of getting a bag of items, they are able to walk around and pick the items they want. “At first, we weren’t sure how well it was going to work,” said Marcia Ehlers, Assistant Director of Human Services and Outreach. “But we found that people are making healthier choices and our clients feel more at ease with coming in to receive assistance. We are neighbors helping neighbors and the choice pantry has given us a way to connect more with those we serve.”

Good Neighbor House is run by six staff members and a large group of dedicated volunteers. Dieticians and the medical team take no pay to offer their knowledge and treasure to those who, otherwise, would be unable to afford the help.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about Good Neighbor House, visit their website at http://www.goodneighborhouse.org/

Upcoming Events for Good Neighbor House include:

1st Street Family Fun Day – August 24, 2014

Take 6 Concert – September 14, 2014

GNH Golf Tournament at Sugar Valley Country Club – October 6, 2014

Donate Fruits and Vegetables From Your Garden

Zucchini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found that you planted too many zucchini or green beans for your family to eat?

The Foodbank accepts fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden!

You can drop it off anytime between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

We are at:

56 Armor Place
Dayton, OH 45417

Mobile Market at The Foodbank

Mobile Market at the Foodbank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we moved into our new warehouse last December, we knew we wanted to give back to our new neighborhood. Each month this summer we are holding a Farmers Market, right here at our warehouse, to serve our neighbors in West Dayton.

 

The Foodbank held its first Farmers Market on location at the end of July. All hands were on deck, and volunteers were called in to provide our neighborhood with over 3400 pounds of fresh produce including corn, watermelon, green beans, and onions. Access to fresh foods is limited for many of our neighbors. We know that many families in our community do not have adequate transportation to and from the grocery, and others simply do not have the funds available to purchase costly fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of our neighbors were able to walk or carpool just a short distance to our warehouse. Our staff is looking forward to hosting another Farmers Market at the end of August where our neighbors will once again be welcome to receive fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Kelly’s Story

Young adult woman half smileKelly is just like every other 20-something; working towards her bachelor’s degree in medical administration, while working a part-time job when she is not in class. Kelly has three children and a husband who is recently disabled after having heart surgery this past spring. She knows that hefty medical bills are coming.

Fortunately, the family receives $407 each month in food stamps. During the school year, this is enough to get her family through, but during the summer months when the kids are out of school and not receiving free breakfast and lunch, money gets tight.

When we met Kelly this past June, she was hopeful and bright-eyed, drinking a cup of free coffee that a volunteer at the pantry was passing out. She told us that this was her first time asking for help from a food pantry in nine months. She is grateful for the support she receives from the Wesley Center, a local community service agency and she told us how her children would be most excited for the apples she saw in the bags of others at the pantry that evening. Although Kelly is embarrassed to be asking for help, she knows that she is not alone.

Looking around the loud room it was hard to ignore the dozens of families, many with small children shyly hiding behind their mothers. Many of the mothers and fathers were still dressed in their clothes from a long day at work. We both noticed the large number of elderly, silently sitting, patiently waiting for their number to be called.

For the first time in the history of The Foodbank, many middle-class working families are turning to local food pantries for help in making ends meet each month. The summer months can be particularly difficult for many of these families as the parents work to ensure their children receive three square meals each day. You can help families like Kelly’s by donating to The Foodbank. Every dollar you give provides 4 meals!

To donate, click here.

Summer Crate Garden

2014 June Crate GardenOur priority as a foodbank is to acquire and distribute food to hungry people throughout the Miami Valley. Each day we strive to stay true to our mission, while also ensuring that the food we distribute to those in need is filling and nutritious. So how do we do this?

The Foodbank’s new warehouse is located on a seven-acre lot, purchased from the City of Dayton for $5.00. Currently, only three of the seven acres are being used for our warehouse and parking lots. When looking at the possibilities available for the remaining four acres, the idea of a community garden began to form. However, one problem stood in the way: to safely grow fresh produce, our soil needs to first be tested. After much research the idea of a milk-crate garden came to us, crate gardens are a great way to test our “green thumb” while we wait to have our soil tested. Soon thereafter, with the support and dedication or our Board and many volunteers, our first crate garden was born!

This spring, The Foodbank planted tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, kale, eggplant, summer squash, and green beans among other items. We look forward to harvesting the produce and giving it out through our pantries!

Widows Home of Dayton – Our Newest Member Agency

Widows Home logoThe Widows Home of Dayton is a nonprofit skilled nursing long term care and rehab facility whose mission is “carrying forward the benevolence of its founders, since 1872, to meet the needs of its residents.”  This past June, The Foodbank welcomed Widows Home of Dayton as a member agency, receiving food and support to provide healthy meals to their residents.

Founded in 1872, the Widows Home originally cared for the widows of Civil War soldiers and, in subsequent decades, widows or destitute women “of good moral character” who needed shelter.  The Home operated out of several different buildings over the years, the most grand of which was a three story Victorian home built in 1883 at its current address on S. Findlay Street in East Dayton on land donated by Dayton banker, William Huffman.

In 1999, the Home became Medicare and Medicaid certified, transforming the Home to a fully certified, skilled nursing facility and, in year 2000, became home to men as well as women. With 50 long term care residents and 25 short term rehab patients, the Widows Home continues to serve the community as a 501c3 non-profit organization and is operated by a volunteer board of directors comprised of local men and women with a variety of backgrounds, including physicians, nurses, bankers, business and nonprofit leaders.

Jenny Warner, Executive Director of Widows Home, says, “The Widows Home is thrilled to have the support of the Foodbank for our ‘Fresh Fare’ program to enhance our resident’s diets with fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods.”

The Foodbank is happy to have Widows Home of Dayton as a partner in solving hunger in the Miami Valley!

 

Movie Night at The Greene

On June 29th of 2014, Olshan Properties hosted a Family Movie Night at The Greene, encouraging participants to donate canned goods. Altogether, 1,072 meals were donated to The Foodbank! Thank you to everyone who gave! It was a great evening of fun, food, games, and The Lego Movie!The Greene Olshan Food Drive

DLM Dash 5K Run/Walk

Dorothy Lane Market is having the 5th annual DLM Dash 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, June 22 at 8:30 a.m. The proceeds go to the Dayton Foodbank and the Warren County food bank. If you would like to join in on the fun, register here!

Groupon to Host Fundraiser for The Foodbank

The Foodbank and Groupon Grassroots (http://grassroots.groupon.com), the philanthropic arm of Groupon, is launching a local campaign to provide nutritious meals to hungry families in the Miami Valley.

The Foodbank Groupon Grassroots campaign will be available on the Dayton Groupon Grassroots page beginning on Thursday, May 15th and running through Thursday, May 22nd. Utilizing Groupon Grassroots’ collective action model, Groupon subscribers can pledge support for The Foodbank Groupon Grassroots campaign initiative in increments of $10 with each $10 donation providing 40 meals.

Every dollar donated to The Foodbank translates in to 4 meals. The Foodbank is committed to relieving hunger through the acquisition and distribution of food to hungry people throughout the Miami Valley.

“We’re excited to leverage the collective action model of Groupon Grassroots to raise support to provide food to those in need,” said Michelle Riley, CEO of The Foodbank. “We look forward to creating new awareness for The Foodbank as one of the local organizations in Dayton to be featured on Groupon Grassroots.”

One hundred percent of the Groupon Grassroots campaign proceeds will be used to provide support to furthering the mission of The Foodbank.