Encouraging Someone to Help Others

Encouraging Someone to Help Others

An Interview with Megan Broom

Written By: Aniqa Ahmed, Advocacy Intern of The Foodbank, Inc.

Megan Broom began volunteering at The Foodbank, Inc. in 2018 as part of a school project that helped fulfill a 25 hour volunteer credit requirement.  One year and over 100 hours later, Megan is still giving her time by helping out in the warehouse and for off-site events. What stood out to Megan there was a real feeling of “good” surrounding the culture of the organization. When she says that, she not only means the act of community service, but also that the staff and volunteers are welcoming, encouraging, and knowledgeable, noting, “No organization is perfect, but it’s hard to find flaws in their operation.”

Growing up in the middle-class suburb of Kettering, Megan was fortunate enough to have an amazing support system where food insecurity had never been an issue. However, she was encouraged to help someone who needed a meal. In her own words, Megan believes, “Eating together builds trust. Cooking together creates bonds. I’m happy to have spent time with an organization which helps to provide the means to such outcomes.”

Megan is currently working for Patchwork Gardens, a local chemical-free farm in Trotwood. She has always been interested in learning how to grow her own food and what it takes to do so on a larger scale. When Megan first started volunteering with The Foodbank, Inc., she was informed that Patchwork Gardens donates excess produce to The Foodbank, Inc. She then started volunteering on the farm and was hired on for the 2019 growing season.  She states, “The connection between the two organizations means a great deal to me,” thus influencing her decision to take the position at Patchwork Gardens.

Megan exclaims, “I don’t believe people can be expected to perform if they are hungry – children can’t learn; adults can’t work. So, for me, The Foodbank, Inc. is an example of the community helping itself to thrive.”

September is Hunger Action Month, Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks’ awareness campaign designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Hunger is a reality for 1 in 6 of our Miami Valley neighbors. Together, we can end hunger one helping at a time. Every action counts, so visit us on social media @thefoodbankinc to learn how you can get started.

 

 

 


The Aftermath of the Dayton Tornadoes

The Aftermath of the Dayton Tornadoes

by Aniqa Ahmed, Advocacy Intern

The night of May 27, over a dozen tornadoes ripped through the Dayton Area. The storm, with winds reaching 140 mph, left many families displaced and without electricity, water, and food.

The Foodbank, Inc.’s response began at 5:30 am the following day with Charles Martin III, Service Center Manager, and Michelle Riley, CEO, strategizing how they would get mass amounts of water to the areas most affected. The organization, already flooded with donations from the community, opened its doors by 8:00 am for water distribution. The next day, The Foodbank, Inc.’s onsite drive thru stayed open the entire day to distribute emergency food and water. The heavy traffic flow would continue through mid-July.

The week after the disaster, The Foodbank, Inc. hosted over 1,000 volunteers to help with various aspects of food and water distribution. In the aftermath, the organization provided millions of bottles of water and hundreds of thousands of pounds of food and personal supplies to the community. The team worked days on end distributing these products to Dayton residents in need of relief.

This was not the first time The Foodbank, Inc. helped with disaster relief. The organization was originally a Red Cross operation called the Emergency Resource Bank. And, since becoming a stand-alone nonprofit in 2004, The Foodbank, Inc. has provided aid across the nation in response to disasters. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August 2017, the organization jumped into action, collecting and sending water and supplies to foodbanks in the affected area. This experience with disaster relief helped the team as they worked to make sure every individual’s needs, from water to food and hygiene products, were met. To learn more about The Foodbank, Inc.’s work in disaster relief, click here.

September is Hunger Action Month, Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks’ awareness campaign designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Hunger is a reality for 1 in 6 of our Miami Valley neighbors. Together, we can end hunger one helping at a time. Every action counts, so visit us on social media @thefoodbankinc to learn how you can get started.

 


Volunteering for Hunger Action Month and Beyond

Volunteering for Hunger Action Month and Beyond

Written By: Aniqa Ahmed, Advocacy Intern for The Foodbank, Inc.

 

It is no doubt that volunteers are the backbone of The Foodbank, Inc. Because of their consistent dedication and their enduring passion, The Foodbank, Inc. is able to fulfill its mission of relieving hunger in the community through a network of partner agencies by acquiring and distributing food.

Sean Mitchell has been The Foodbank’s Volunteer and Marketing Manager for two years. Each year, with the help of our volunteers, we are able to send 1,500 kids weekend meals each  week, provide 1,100 seniors a box of food each month, and participate in 30 mobile food distributions a month, just to name a few. After 14 devastating tornadoes hit the Miami Valley this past May, a whopping 1,018 Daytonians responded immediately, volunteering their time and efforts. These volunteers did everything from packing and sorting food donations, to assisting in the drive thru pantry, and writing love notes to those affected by the tornadoes. Last year, The Foodbank distributed 16 million pounds of food with nearly 8,400 volunteers assisting us.

The Foodbank, Inc.’s vision is that no one should go hungry. Volunteers give The Foodbank, Inc. the confidence to start new projects, because the community always seems to step up and help make vision a reality. The Foodbank, Inc. strives to educate our community and make volunteering as easy and efficient as possible. By having the number of volunteers we do, we are able to stay on top of our hunger relief efforts as well as say “yes” to new opportunities. To learn more about volunteering or how to get involved, click here!

September is Hunger Action Month, Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks’ awareness campaign designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Hunger is a reality for 1 in 6 of our Miami Valley neighbors. Together, we can end hunger one helping at a time. Every action counts, so visit us on social media @thefoodbankinc to learn how you can get started.


Hunger in the Miami Valley

Hunger in the Miami Valley

Written by: Aniqa Ahmed, Advocacy Intern for The Foodbank, Inc.

 

According to the USDA, an estimated 41 million Americans go hungry every day; this statistic includes up to 13 million children. Many of these families are from areas that are food insecure, such as food deserts located in the Dayton area. A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food, in contrast to an area with higher access to supermarkets or vegetable shops with fresh foods. The USDA defines food insecurity as “access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life”. Food insecurity and food access, while different, many times go hand in hand.

In the Dayton area alone, over 116,000 people suffer from food insecurity, including 33,770 children. The Foodbank, Inc. works to serve those impacted by these conditions by operating a drive thru food pantry, a monthly senior food box, distributing food through our many partner agencies, and advocating to elected officials on the importance of funding hunger relief programs.

As well as serving those in need, The Foodbank, Inc. is constantly advocating for hunger awareness. Lora Davenport, our Advocacy and Programs Manager helps advocate for food security on the local, state, and federal levels. The Foodbank, Inc. also shares numerous hunger relief related messages through social media, and educates and encourages volunteers to also raise awareness of food insecurity.

If you would like to learn more about The Foodbank’s advocacy efforts, reach out to Lora Davenport at ldavenport@thefoodbankdayton.org.


September is Hunger Action Month, Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks’ awareness campaign designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Hunger is a reality for 1 in 6 of our Miami Valley neighbors. Together, we can end hunger one helping at a time. Every action counts, so visit us on social media @thefoodbankinc to learn how you can get started.

 


August 23rd – Greene County Mass Distribution

The Foodbank to hold mass food distribution for Greene County

 

Dayton, OH (8/16/2019): The Foodbank will be hosting a mass distribution on Friday, August 23rd for people in need of food assistance in Greene County in the parking lot of the Nutter Center from 9am to 11am.

 

The Foodbank works with food pantries across Montgomery, Greene, and Preble counties to feed people who qualify for food assistance. On August 23rd, The Foodbank will be giving out food to individuals through a mass distribution at the Wright State University’s Nutter Center. Individuals are welcome to come to the Nutter Center at 9am where they will receive fresh produce and other products at no cost. CareSource is sponsoring the event and will be volunteering their time to help pass out the food.

 

Michelle Riley, CEO of The Foodbank, says, “There are 21,170 individuals in Greene County alone who do not know where their next meal is coming from and we don’t want to see anyone go hungry in the Miami Valley. With support from CareSource, The Foodbank looks forward to serving those in need through this mass distribution.”

 

“The CareSource Foundation and The Foodbank have been great partners for over a decade,” said Cathy Ponitz, Vice President, CareSource Foundation. “Our mass food distributions are a result of understanding the unique needs of people in our surrounding communities. We’re honored and excited to greet our Greene County families with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, served by 150 CareSource employees.”

 

The food will be given out to families free of charge.

 


Canstruction 2019 – Call for Entries


The Foodbank, Inc., Walmart, Sam’s Club and Feeding America Launch “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” Campaign to Combat Hunger in Miami Valley

[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.

 

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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.

 

About Walmart

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

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.


UN Special Report: US “leads the world in income and wealth inequality”

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.


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.