“Our community is still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the people of Dayton are resilient,” says Michelle Riley, chief executive officer of The Foodbank, Inc. “To meet elevated need last year, we expanded our direct service programs with increased service through our drive-thru, mobile farm markets and mass food distributions.”
Did you know that one in six of our neighbors in the Miami Valley struggle with hunger? “Hunger remains a problem for many working families and seniors who struggle to make ends meet,” says Riley. “Difficult decisions are being made by families each week as they choose between paying for rent, bills, medications, or paying for food.”
The Foodbank relieves hunger in the community through a network of partner agencies by acquiring and distributing food. The nonprofit organization ensures that over 100 local food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters have the food capacity to meet the nutritional needs of the neighbors they serve. Thanks to The Foodbank, over 14 million meals were distributed to community members in Montgomery, Greene and Preble counties last year.
Riley said many school children get fed at school, but go hungry over the weekend. The Foodbank delivers 1,500 weekend meal packs full of nutritious food every week to these children to supplement meals over the weekend.
Funds raised by the Dayton Daily News’ Valley Food Relief provides 50% of The Foodbank’s wholesale food budget. “These critical funds are used to purchase food for weekend meal packs and to purchase food that is delivered by our mobile food pantries,” says Riley. “Transportation is one of the largest barriers to accessing food assistance, and elderly residents specifically have trouble getting to food pantries. The Foodbank sets up farm markets and mobile food pantries where seniors live so that they can get needed food.”
Here’s what they need: Note that food should be boxed or canned. Cooked food is not accepted.
- Peanut butter
- Hearty soups
- Canned meat
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Spaghetti and spaghetti sauce
- Stews (beef, chicken and dumplings)
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Macaroni and cheese
- Meat/high protein group
- Canned fish
- Nuts and seeds
- Rice and beans
- Breads, cereals and pasta
- Hot and cold breakfast cereals
- Baking mixes
- Pastas and canned sauces
- Evaporated milk
- Powdered milk
- Puddings and custards
- Fruits and vegetables
- Canned juices
- Canned vegetables
Must be boxed and stored separately from all food items.
- Cat and dog dry and canned food
- Non-food household products
- Paper products — toilet, tissues and towels
- Soap — bar and liquid
Items can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at The Foodbank warehouse, 56 Armor Place. The Foodbank is located near the intersection of Washington and Germantown streets, one of two buildings on Armor Place.
Other ways to help
The Foodbank is always in need of volunteers. “We have several additional food distributions planned this summer and fall,” says Riley. “We also offer volunteer opportunities weekly in our warehouse, building food boxes, sorting food items, passing out food in our drive-thru program, and tending to our urban garden.” All opportunities can be found through the volunteer portal accessed in the website: thefoodbankdayton.org/volunteer
Financial gifts are always appreciated. You can donate by going to www.thefoodbankdayton.org/donate or by sending a check to The Foodbank, Inc., 56 Armor Place, Dayton, Ohio 45417. Phone: (937) 461-0265
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: email@example.com.
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