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!