[Dayton, OH] April 22, 2019 – One in eight Americans in communities across the U.S. struggle with hunger, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including people in the Miami Valley. To raise awareness and combat the issue, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Feeding America® and The Foodbank, Inc. are kicking off its sixth annual nationwide “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” (FHSC) campaign, which will run from April 22 to May 20.
In partnership with The Foodbank, Walmart and Sam’s Club now invite shoppers in the Miami Valley to help fight hunger in their local community. There are three ways to participate – purchasing a participating item in-store or online, donating in-store, or donating on Feeding America’s website.
With 749 million meals achieved over the last five years, Miami Valley customers and members can help the Feeding America network secure its 1 billion cumulative meals goal in three ways. They can track the number of meals by visiting www.walmart.com/fighthunger.
- For every participating product purchased at U.S. Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs or on Walmart.com during the campaign, the supplier will donate the monetary equivalent of at least one meal ($0.10) on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank, up to applicable limits.
- Donate money to your local Feeding America food bank at participating Sam’s Club and Walmart stores in the U.S.
- Donate at feedingamerica.org/Walmart.
Walmart kickstarted the campaign with a $3 million donation to Feeding America and member food banks including The Foodbank, Inc. A purchase of one of the 267 participating items helps secure the equivalent of one meal. Each Walmart and Sam’s Club will partner with at least one Feeding America local food bank, and the 18 participating suppliers include: Bush Brothers, Campbell’s, Conagra Brands, Cliff Bar, General Mills, Gold Peak Tea, Great Value, Hidden Valley, JM Smucker, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, McCormick, Motts, PepsiCo, Post, Uncle Ben’s, Nature Nate’s Honey and Unilever.
“As we go into our sixth year of the ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign, it’s exciting to approach the 1 billion mark in terms of charitable meals secured for Feeding America over the life of the program,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Food insecurity continues to affect communities across the United States. Working with Feeding America, our customers, members, associates and suppliers, Walmart and Sam’s Club aim to be part of the solution.”
Last year, The Foodbank benefited from $24,582 dollars from Walmart and Sam’s Club’s commitment to fight hunger.
Michelle L. Riley, CEO of The Foodbank, says, “Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across the Dayton area are foodbank champions. They continuously support our efforts, providing donated food items that end up in the hands of our 120,040 people who struggle with hunger locally. Fight Hunger Spark Change is another great way for the community to get involved, helping our neighbors in need.”
To learn more about the campaign visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger.
The Foodbank relieves hunger in the community through a network of partner agencies by acquiring and distributing food. Food and related supplies are distributed to a network of pantries, community kitchens, shelters and other charitable programs, all of which support the health and development of food insecure individuals in the Miami Valley. Through our over 100 member agencies, The Foodbank distributed nearly 13 million pounds of food last year. There are 120,040 food insecure individuals in our area, 34,650 of which are children.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Study shows children in Miami Valley more likely
to face hunger than overall population across America
Child food insecurity rates in The Foodbank Inc’s service area
are higher than overall food insecurity rates
(May 1, 2019 Dayton, OH) – The Foodbank, Inc. announced the release of Map the Meal Gap 2019, the latest report by Feeding America® on food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level. It is the only study that provides food insecurity data at the local level.
Map the Meal Gap 2019 reveals that food insecurity exists in every county in The Foodbank’s service area. It also shows that children are more likely to be food insecure, with the child food insecurity rate at 20.7% compared to 15.8% for the overall population for the Miami Valley.
“There isn’t a single state or county in America free from child hunger, and it is within our collective power to change that and ensure that today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Chief Executive Officer of Feeding America. “The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks is investing in our nation’s future by helping to provide over 146 million meals to children every year. Still, Map the Meal Gap highlights that more must be done. Together food banks, corporations, policymakers, donors, volunteers and advocates can solve hunger.”
“I encourage everyone to visit the website, www.map.feedingamerica.org to find out what hunger looks like in their community and get involved to be part of the solution,” Babineaux-Fontenot continued. “One way is to tell Congress to invest in kids during Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation and increase access to food for kids during the summer. Your voice matters and we can make a difference.”
Overall food insecurity in the Miami Valley ranges from a low of 12% of the population in Preble County up to 17% in Montgomery County.
The analysis also finds that 39% of residents of the Miami Valley who are food insecure are likely ineligible for federal nutrition assistance under current program requirements. This means that many households must rely even more on charitable food assistance such as the The Foodbank.
“Hunger affects the lives of many people in the Miami Valley and Map the Meal Gap sheds light on just how many are struggling,” said Michelle L. Riley, Chief Executive Officer of The Foodbank. “In the land of plenty, there should be healthy food in abundance at every table in every home. Hunger and malnutrition are simply unacceptable. Food insecurity is an ethical issue that is solvable.”
The Foodbank is a member of Feeding America’s hunger-relief network comprised of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that together provides food assistance to more than 40 million people in the U.S. struggling with hunger. Locally, The Foodbank works with over 100 food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters in Montgomery, Greene, and Preble counties. Last year, The Foodbank distributed 12.9 million pounds of food out through partners to those facing food insecurity.
Map the Meal Gap 2019 uses data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and food price data and analysis provided by Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights. The study is supported by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Conagra Brands Foundation and Nielsen.
Key local findings:
- In Montgomery County, 90,600 (17%) of the population is food insecure. 21.6% of children in the county struggle with hunger.
- In Greene County, 21,170 (12.8%) of the population is food insecure. 18.3% of children in the county struggle with hunger.
- In Preble County, 4,950 (12.0%) of the population is food insecure. 18.8% of children in the county struggle with hunger.
The study’s findings underscore the extent of need that remains in communities in the Miami Valley and across the U.S., despite national measures from the USDA that indicate overall improvement.
Dr. Craig Gundersen, Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, Executive Director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory and a member of Feeding America’s Technical Advisory Group is the lead researcher of Map the Meal Gap 2019.
This is the ninth consecutive year that Feeding America has conducted the Map the Meal Gap study.
The Map the Meal Gap 2019 interactive map allows policymakers, state agencies, corporate partners, food banks and advocates to develop integrated strategies to fight hunger on a community level.
A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report are available at map.feedingamerica.org.
Join the conversation about Map the Meal Gap 2019 on Twitter using #MealGap.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty published a condemnation of the wealth gap in the United States, citing disparities between the U.S. and other developed nations.
The U.S. has the highest rate of income inequality of Western countries, according to the May 2018 report submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Compared to other nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. also has the highest rate of youth poverty, infant mortality, and incarceration.
The report states that the framing of the U.S. as “the land of opportunity” does not match the modern day reality in which the nation has the lowest rate of social mobility of any rich country. The special Rapporteur attributes these statistics to the policy stances of government bodies, writing that “the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power.”
The Foodbank recognizes the interlocking of hunger and poverty and aims to “shorten the line” by helping people rise above the circumstances that lead them to need food assistance. We offer aid to those applying to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other public assistance programs. The Foodbank also employs former inmate: one third of our current employees were previously incarcerated.
The U.N. Report offers many suggestions to policymakers to address the income gap in the U.S. Key among them is recognizing the social and economic impact of inequality.
“The United States is alone among developed countries in insisting that, while human rights are a fundamental importance, they do not include rights that guard against dying of hunger, dying from a lack of access to affordable health care or growing up in a context of total deprivation,” the report states.
UD’s Welcome Stadium on Edwin C. Moses Boulevard is usually bustling with cars lining up to park as people gather to watch the University of Dayton Flyers’ basketball team play against other colleges. The crowd is excited to participate as their local team scores big points.
But, once a year, a different crowd shows up at the stadium’s parking lot. Cars line up in anticipation as The Foodbank and CareSource set up pallets of food that will be given away to everyone in line. This year, on September 28th, the first car got in line at 3:30 am to receive fresh produce. Volunteers hand out items like corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, and watermelon as the cars drive through the line and then head back home. The Ohio Poultry Association passes out free cartons of eggs as well.
As the cars go home, they take their fresh produce to their family, hungry and tired. In Montgomery County over 93,000 (or 1 in 6) people struggle with food insecurity. They don’t have enough money to afford a healthy meal for every member of their family. Some may be working two or three jobs just to pay bills, others may have just gotten laid off. Whatever their circumstances, events like this and food pantries in their area are there to lend a helping hand and make sure they don’t go to bed hungry.
This year, 1,702 families came to the mass food distribution at Welcome Stadium and left with food to provide a few more meals on their kitchen table.
Eligibility to Take Food Home Form
Household Eligibility Guidelines (not available)
Beginning March 5th, Kroger will give customers the chance to round up their total grocery bill to the nearest dollar. Money raised will benefit The Foodbank of Dayton in local stores.
In response to on-going community needs, Kroger is now inviting customers to help bring food to the tables of their hungry neighbors with its Round-Up fundraising campaign, which will be available in all stores beginning Monday, March 5, 2018. Shoppers will now have the option to “round up” their total grocery purchase at the cash register, with 100% of the funds benefiting Kroger Cincinnati/Dayton’s three Ohio-based food bank partners: Freestore Foodbank, Shared Harvest, and The Foodbank.
The Foodbank works with food pantries across Montgomery, Greene and Preble counties to feed people who qualify for food assistance. In this service area, nearly 124,000 people struggle to put food on their families’ dinner tables. Funds raised through Kroger’s Round Up Hunger campaign will be used by The Foodbank to provide food to local neighbors in need.
Michelle Riley, CEO of The Foodbank, says, “Kroger has been a wonderful partner in all we do. We are excited for this new opportunity as Kroger customers have been so supportive of our efforts in feeding hungry people. One in six individuals living in our community face food insecurity. With Kroger’s support we are able to work toward ensuring that our hungry neighbors in need have access to food to live healthy lives.”
“We are very excited to bring this fundraising opportunity to our customers throughout Ohio,” said Erin Rolfes, Corporate Affairs Manager for Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton Division. “One in six people in our state struggles with hunger, and Kroger’s Round-Up campaign will help ensure that fewer Ohio families go hungry throughout the year.”
|Make Your Donation Stretch Further!|
We have some exciting news to share! Through the end of the year, every $1 donated to The Foodbank through the Bank of America Give A Meal program will be matched by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation with $2! That’s right! Your donation of $50 will be matched for a total donation of $150.
|Below are instructions for making your dollar stretch to serve as many of our hungry neighbors as possible.|
|How to Give:
Step 1: Visit www.bankofamerica.com/give
Step 2: After entering your donation amount and clicking donate, enter your billing zip code
Step 3: To ensure your donation will
Step 4: After making your donation you will receive a tax receipt from Feeding America. It’s that easy!
Written by Carla Steiger, Volunteer
The leaves are finally down and frosty mornings are nipping fingers and noses. Thanksgiving is imminent and the winter holidays are in sight, which means that it is time for Holiday Aid, a yearly massive food drive in the Dayton area that runs from October through December. Holiday Aid is run by volunteers with a “dedication to engaging kids at a young age to donate to others and create a lifelong commitment to helping those who need a hand,” according to Lora Davenport of The Foodbank, the partnering organization of Holiday aid. Volunteers who work with the drive include four community philanthropists, a coordinator at every school, and Tobin Brothers Moving and Storage, which picks up and delivers the barrels. Over the course of time, the company has picked up over two million pounds of food collected by students.
This year, 74 local public and private schools will participate in the drive, which contributes food to The Foodbank. The schools are located in Dayton, Centerville, Huber Heights, Kettering, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Xenia, and Trotwood and run the gamut from preschools and elementary schools to high schools.
Non-perishable foods are collected in barrels and a record of the pounds accumulated at each site is recorded. Two trophies are awarded to the schools. One is the most pounds collected per student, and the other is awarded for the most pounds collected by the entire school.
Barbara Heck has been the Holiday Aid Secretary since 1989. She is a retired administrative assistant from the Miller-Valentine Group, which houses the food barrels in its warehouse in West Carrollton.
“When I started with Holiday Aid I did not realize how great the need is for the donated food. The drive has grown steadily over time. In 1989, there were 26 schools. Since then the program has grown to 75 to 90 schools,” she said. Seeing the participation of the students is deeply moving to this long-time volunteer. “Some of the students with a passion to help others are among those that need help themselves,” she stated.
Gary Smiga, who began as a board member in the 1990s, has served as President of Holiday Aid for the last ten years. For thirty six years, he worked in Centerville as Teacher, Principal, Central Office Administrator, and finally, as Superintendent. He retired in 2009 and became the Executive Director of the Montgomery County College Promise program in 2010. In 2015 he assumed the title of Executive Director of the Dayton-Montgomery County Scholarship Program as well.
Smiga is proud of Centerville’s 100% participation in Holiday Aid from all twelve schools. “Serving Holiday Aid was an extension of what I tried to do every day as an educator…making a positive difference in a young person’s life. Holiday Aid would not be the success that it is today without the enthusiastic support of our school children, teachers and staff. We are pleased to also partner with The Foodbank to make sure that the food that is collected gets to the dinner table of the neediest,” he added.
Megan, a Student Council Officer from Centerville High School, stated, “We always like to promote a culture of compassion by giving back through the Holiday Aid food drive.” Jackson, another Student Council Officer, seconded that opinion, saying “Doing the Food Drive around Thanksgiving is a great way to get students involved in the idea of giving and sharing with those in need.”
The students do make a huge contribution. Last year alone, Holiday Aid collected 66,679 pounds of food, which translated into 55,565 meals.
For participating schools, the race is on to top that total this year and bring home the coveted trophies.
Drive Thru Food Pantry
Written by Carla Steiger, Foodbank Volunteer
After a period of indecision and gray skies, the sun decided to come out and kiss the groundbreaking ceremony for the new drive-thru food pantry at The Foodbank. The planned opening of the drive-thru pantry will take place in January of 2018 and will serve the needs of people in the Miami Valley.
A smiling crowd of about sixty people gathered to hear the opening remarks of Foodbank CEO Michelle L. Riley. The group included donors, community leaders, and volunteers. Riley’s talk in addition to celebrating the groundbreaking of the drive-thru, covered several topics including the distribution of food from The Foodbank to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, respectively. In addition to thanking the many Foodbank sponsors that attended the event, Riley also briefly explained the metrics for measuring hunger in Montgomery County and elsewhere. Several pictures were taken of the attendees donning hard hats and plunging their shovels into a large dirt mound to celebrate the event.
Jeff King, General Manager, Dayton Office, Austin Dicke, Project Manager of Special Projects, and Project Manager Jeff Comer of Ferguson Construction, the company that built the original Foodbank building in 2013, were there to mark the event. The opening of the pantry drive-thru is a very positive development and “a great opportunity to expand what they do in serving the Dayton, Community,” according to King. Dicke commented that they really enjoyed working with Michelle Riley in the planning of current building and look forward to working with her on the creation of the addition.
The Foodbank staff was pleased that Walmart Executive Stan Miller was on hand to celebrate the day, since Walmart is a major sponsor of The Foodbank. Miller, who began his career as an associate in the garden center of the store in Morgantown, West Virginia, is now the Store Manager of the Franklin, Ohio Walmart.
According to Miller, Walmart has partnered with Feeding America for nine years and working with The Foodbank of Dayton fills him with joy. “I love the reason for this institution. It’s so simple. We don’t believe that anyone should go hungry,” he exclaimed.
New Aquaponics System
Proud teacher Robb Fogg was at the groundbreaking with a cohort of eight students from Kettering Alternative School Program. They had just completed an aquaponics system for The Foodbank. The students explained that the process at its most basic level has the waste from the fish being captured by bacteria and converted into fertilizer for the plants in the system. The project was conceptualized one year ago, and the proposal to build a system was presented to an enthusiastic Riley. The students spent several months building the prototype and making adjustments on the black pipe and barrel array according to Riley’s specifications.
The grant to complete the project at the Foodbank was provided by the Ardmore Institute of Health and the Montgomery County Solid Waste District. Assistance was also provided by University of Dayton engineering professors Dr. Kellie Schneider and Dr. Felix Fernando, stated Fogg. Justin Moore, an aquaponics professional, helped inspire the students to build a new kind of bio filter for the system.
Robust green lettuce leaves shimmied in the slight breeze and were proof of the success of the endeavor. According to Fogg, who has been an artist and teacher for ov
er 25 years, this was a best case of hands-on learning that combined both engineering and biology. According to Fogg, “We love to solve real life problems and even now are trying to find ways to improve the system at The Foodbank. We also have already started on a project to help make the products from the aquaponics system be utilized more effectively in our food desert.”