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Local Church Hosting Feed-A-Child 5K Fundraiser, Event Coincides with Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Harvest Time International Ministries Church is hosting a Feed-A-Child 5K run/walk on Saturday, May 13 at the Waterfall Pavilion at Riverside Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the race to start at 9 a.m. Cost to enter is $25 per person. Non-perishable food donations will be accepted for the coinciding USPS Stamp Out Hunger event. Participants who register before April 28 will receive a t-shirt. Register here.

The Feed-A-Child program distributes six easy-to-make weekend meals each Friday afternoon during the school year for children in grades K-5 in the Findlay City, Cory Rawson, Van Buren and Blanchard Valley schools. These weekend meals are provided to families who have identified a need for supplemental meals over the weekend. There are 815 children receiving meals through this program in the 2016-2017 school year.

The Feed-A-Child program is coordinated by the Findlay Family YMCA. Food is purchased at discount and packaged at West Ohio Food Bank. It is delivered with assistance from many volunteers from the community and various departments from Marathon Petroleum Corporation as well as Ohio Logistics and Garner Trucking.

“We started this school year with around 700 students’ family members requesting these supplemental meals and as the year progressed it quickly grew to 815 students,” said Heather Heilman, program and grants coordinator with United Way of Hancock County. “The need is real and, of course, there is a cost attached. We are thrilled that Harvest Time and its members are willing to put this 5K together for our kids.”

Heilman reported costs for the program average $125 per students for 34 weeks of meals.  “If you do the math you can see that it is quite a financial undertaking to make this happen for the children. We are fortunate to have the support of the Halt Hunger Initiative, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, churches and private donors.”

Feed-A-Child is evaluated every year for efficiency and effectiveness. Parents and teachers may also leave feedback. Comments from participants range from words of thanks to heartbreaking stories as they reveal the struggles their families face. One parent commented, “Being a single parent and not receiving any type of assistance, Feed-A-Child is a small safety net.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available. A sponsor contributing $250 or above is considered a gold level sponsor and will have their logo printed on the 5K t-shirts, the registration webpage and the flyers promoting the event. A sponsor contributing $100-249 is considered a silver level sponsor and will have their logo on the t-shirts, event flyer and company name on the webpage. 

A goal of United Way of Hancock County’s Halt Hunger Initiative advisory board is to support local food programs and providers in their efforts to provide nutritious food to individuals and families in need of food assistance. Feed-A-Child is an example of this type of programming. Nearly one out of eight individuals in Hancock County is food insecure, meaning they may not know where or how they will get their next meal.

To register, go to LiveUnitedHancockCounty.org. Gold level sponsors to date for the event are Harvest Time International Ministries Church and Great Scot Community Markets. Silver level sponsors are Integrity Salon and Organics and the Crime Prevention Association. For more information contact Heather Heilman at heather.heilman@uwhancock.org or call 419-423-1432.

Feed-A-Child 5K Coincides with 25th Anniversary of National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Over the course of its 24-year history, the United States Post Office’s (USPS) Stamp Out Hunger food drive has collected 1.5 billion pounds of food, with the assistance of the postal service delivery network that spans the nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands.

This year, in Findlay, the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, overseen by the local USPS AFL-CIO chapter, will enlist United Way of Hancock County’s help with coordinating volunteers for the effort. Up to 30 volunteers and volunteers with about 15 vehicles will be needed to assist the drivers with collecting donations throughout Findlay. Volunteers will be assigned to neighborhoods or regions in the community to drive through and pick up donations. To volunteer, register with United Way of Hancock County at http://liveunitedhancockcounty.org/stamp-out-hunger.

To donate food for the food drive, donors are asked to leave non-perishable food items in a plastic or paper bag by the home’s mailbox by 8 a.m. on May 13. Local letter carriers and volunteers will pick up the items. Donations can also be dropped off in the back parking lot of Great Scot on W. Main Cross on this same date from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m.

The food will be processed for safety by West Ohio Food Bank and then returned to the food pantries in Hancock County including CHOPIN Hall, Lutheran Social Services, City Mission and Salvation Army.

According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest food-relief organization, one out of nearly eight individuals in Hancock County can be identified as food insecure. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive was initially formed to address the needs of food pantries who often receive their largest donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. By the spring and summer, when school breakfasts and lunches are no longer available to students receiving assistance, these pantries would often be low on supply and high on demand.

For more information about either event, contact Heather Heilman at 4219-423-1432 or heather.heilman@uwhancock.org.

 

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