The Foodbank and CareSource Partner up in Mass Food Distributions

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.


Bank of America 2:1 Matching Campaign

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
come directly to us here at The Foodbank,
select “Your Local Food Bank”
when prompted to select a location
to designate a gift. Otherwise,
your donation will be designated
to Feeding America.

Step 4: After making your donation you will receive a tax receipt from Feeding America. It’s that easy!

www.bankofamerica.com/give


Students Lend a Helping Hand through Holiday Aid

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

Members of The Foodbank’s Board helped break ground during the ceremony on September 8th

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.

Kettering teacher, Robb Fogg, and students helped build the aquaponics system

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

Kettering student checks the aquaponics system and the plants it feeds

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.”


Do I Qualify for Food Assistance?

To see if you qualify to receive food from The Foodbank or one of its member agencies, please follow the link below:

Household Eligibility Guidelines 2016