To mobilize the community to research, identify, implement, and promote long-term sustainable solutions to the problem of hunger in Hancock County.
The goals are as follows:
- Support local food programs and providers in their efforts to provide nutritious food to individuals and families in need of food assistance
- Assure all those in need have access to food assistance programs.
- Develop and implement long-term plans for food acquisition, storage capacity and distribution capacity.
- Educate and equip individuals and families to be food secure.
Current Opportunities or Projects
Christian Clearing House
Christian Clearing House provides food vouchers up to four times per year to individuals and families in need through their Caring Cupboard program. The value of the voucher is based on household size. Approximately 4,805 individuals (1,848 households) were served in 2015. Vouchers are issued and clients may shop at Great Scot for their grocery items. CCH receives a copy of the client receipt and provides an evaluation of purchases to direct client selections toward more healthful choices. Less than seven percent of all purchases represent unhealthy purchases.
Lutheran Social Services of Findlay
Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Findlay provides a three-day supply of emergency food once a month to community members in need. In 2015, LSS relocated and changed their pantry model to a choice food pantry model. Food selections have been enhanced due to this change and clients “shop” with a volunteer in the stock room to make healthful choices they know their family will eat. Approximately 2,900 clients/households were served in 2015.
Salvation Army (SA) provides a three to five day emergency supply of food once a month as well as a soup kitchen the last full business week of the month. In 2015, SA served approximately 11,500 people from Hancock County. This type of program allows clients to distribute their limited resources to other areas of need. In a SA survey performed in 2015, 82% of individuals receiving food from SA were able to use the money saved through the receipt of these meals toward rent, utilities and other bills.
West Ohio Food Bank
West Ohio Food Bank (WOFB) supplies food and grocery-type products to its partner agencies in Hancock County. These agencies include, CHOPIN Hall, Salvation Army and Lutheran Social Services of Findlay. WOFB also works with several agencies and churches to distribute Commodity Supplemental Food Program boxes to eligible seniors. WOFB also provides weekend backpack meals to the Feed-A-Child program in the Findlay City, Cory Rawson and Van Buren school districts. WOFB also provides deeply discounted food for local mobile food pantries. Approximately 698,186 meals (a meal is considered 1.2 pounds of food by the United States Department of Agriculture) were provided to Hancock County or 837,823 pounds of food, at a unit cost of $.31 per meal in 2015.
Community Gardens of Hancock County
The Community Gardens of Hancock County (GGHC) provides individuals and families who are receiving assistances an opportunity to grow fresh produce in their own plot. Other educational opportunities through the CGHC include: a seed to seedling course, canning and freezing classes, and an opportunity to gain a scholarship when the Master Gardener Volunteer courses are being offered. Those on assistance are given first opportunity to host a plot. Should plots still be available closer to planting season, the gardens are then open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. In 2015, 50 families maintained 71 plots and fifty-one percent of those were receiving some type of assistance. Garden spots in 2015 were located at 1800 N. Blanchard Street and Brookside Drive. The CGHC are a collaboration of The Findlay Hancock County Community Foundation, Master Gardener Volunteers, Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Hancock County, Ohio State Extension and is maintained by volunteers.
The Feed-A-Child weekend meals program served 670 children in grades K-5 at Findlay City Schools and Cory Rawson during the 2014-2015 school year. This program, facilitated by the Findlay Family YMCA, provides six easy-to-make meals each Friday during the school year to families identifying a need for supplemental food assistance. The Halt Hunger Initiative designates $75,000 from its funding pool to support this program.