Traditionally, November is the month that we give thanks. But this year, Thanksgiving will not be very traditional. This year we have all faced some difficult challenges. Some related to our homes, work, schools, and some challenges related to our physical and mental health.
Some of us and some of our friends and neighbors have also struggled this year with food insecurity, which makes this an especially tough time of year. Being food insecure means that there is limited or uncertain access to nutritional and safe foods.
There are several organizations in Northeast Ohio helping our friends, colleagues and neighbors with food-related resources and services. While you may be familiar with some of those organizations, we wanted to highlight additional organizations that are doing equally important work in this area.
The Cleveland Food Bank
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio having served more than 350,000 people in 6 Northeast Ohio counties in 2019. In Ohio, the number of people who now report they are food insecure has increased by more than 290,000 individuals since the onset of the pandemic.
The Food Bank operates a community food distribution center that provides food and other groceries each year to more than 1,000 local food pantries, hot meal programs, shelters, mobile pantries, programs for the elderly and other nonprofit agencies. The Food Bank also prepares nutritious meals in their Food Bank Kitchen and takes hundreds of calls a day in their help center where they refer callers to local agencies and can sign them up for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other programs.
The Hunger Network
Another good resource, the Hunger Network has 72 Hunger Centers across Cuyahoga County that provide emergency food supplies and hot meals. Their Food Rescue program helps to bridge the gap between hunger and food waste. They also provide health screening, nutrition education and connect community members to medical providers.
A Spotlight on Additional Local Food Resources
In this month's meeting, we wanted to shine a spotlight on additional local organizations in the Greater Cleveland region who are providing much needed resources and services to their communities. If you've missed the presentation, you can watch the full recording below or on our Vimeo channel here. Below is a brief outline of our presenters and approximate times of their presentations. Make sure to visit their websites to learn more and share with anyone who may benefit from these resources.
- Food Strong - Sara Continenza (~4 minutes)
Food Strong is dedicated to enhancing community wellness through fresh, local foods. We offer a variety of programs including the School Gardens, Care-A-Van, and the Care Strong Project, all designed to engage local neighborhoods through collaborative food and health-conscious education initiatives.
- Cleveland Give Box - Ali Lukacsy-Love (~9:25 minutes)
Neighbors helping neighbors by stocking miniature pantries with non-perishable food, toiletries, and messages of positivity.
- Rust Belt Riders – Dan Brown (~14:00 minutes)
Rust Belt Riders offers clean, easy, affordable composting services for residents and organizations.
- Refugee Response – Patrick Kearns (~18:40 minutes)
The Refugee Response empowers resettled families to grow roots, supporting them in becoming engaged, self-sufficient and contributing members of their new communities.
- Rid-All Green Partnership – Marc White (~24:35 minutes)
The Rid-All Green Partnership is an urban farm in Cleveland, Ohio which grows food, jobs, and green neighborhoods through urban agriculture.
- MetroHealth - Sarah O’Keeffe (~30:25 minutes)
The Institute for H.O.P.E.™ was launched to help improve health through opportunity, partnership and empowerment.