United Way addresses emergency food needsWritten by Lori Golaszewski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The United Way of Greater Toledo is in the midst of a month-long fundraising campaign aimed at helping to reduce the emergency food needs of families in Lucas County.
The Family Food Fund, an outgrowth of a food summit hosted by the United Way and emergency food providers last November, seeks to raise $250,000 in support of area soup kitchens and food banks, said Sarah Gill, spokeswoman for the United Way of Greater Toledo. The campaign is slated to end April 15.
Monies raised will be used to provide funding to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, Toledo Seagate Food Bank and Toledo Area Ministries so the organizations can purchase food and fill food requests, Gill said. A portion of the funds will also go toward the placement of an outreach worker at one of the organizations, “to bring services to the people who need them most,” she said.
As the cost of gas and food staples such as eggs and milk increases, it’s becoming harder for many families and individuals to make ends meet, Gill said. She said United Way 2-1-1, the organization’s health and human services information line, received 60,000 calls in 2007, 40 percent of which were from needy families and individuals.
“We have an incredibly generous community; however, because of the pace at which demand is increasing, supply is unable to keep up,” Gill said. “Part of the reason is because our current economic situation affects donors just as it does families receiving food. This means a donor who would normally donate two bags of food may only be able to donate one bag this month. Food manufacturers are also using just-in-time inventory and becoming more efficient, which means they do not have as much excess food to donate.”
Ninety cents of every dollar raised through the Family Food Fund will support the community’s emergency food needs, Gill noted, and donations will be distributed in the coming months.
To donate, visit the Web site www.unitedwaytoledo.org or mail a check to the United Way Family Food Fund, One Stranahan Square, Toledo, OH 43604.