Food assistance need still prevalent in Dayton region

Foodbank employee Carolyn Rife, works in the warehouse Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The Foodbank is getting $3.1 million in aid to help retain their employees. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Foodbank employee Carolyn Rife, works in the warehouse Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The Foodbank is getting $3.1 million in aid to help retain their employees. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Dayton Foodbank to get $3.1M to help keep up with operations needed to serve community.

The number of employees needed to distribute food and run operations at the Dayton Foodbank has nearly doubled since the beginning of the pandemic.

More than 400,000 people have been served by The Foodbank and its partners in the past year and it has distributed more than 17 million pounds of food. And although the number of individuals served has lowered since the height of the pandemic, many families are still seeking help, Chief Development Officer Lee Lauren Truesdale said.

“While need has leveled off some, we are seeing continued high demand for food assistance as well as an increase in families needing assistance more often, ” she said.

The Foodbank will soon receive a $3.1 million infusion from a community block grant Montgomery County is facilitating through the state to help pay employees and continue its service to the community through. food assistance.

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“The Foodbank provides essential support for those in our community who have struggled to put food on the table, especially with the pandemic. The increase in personnel will allow The Foodbank to continue their vital mission,” Montgomery County spokeswoman Deb Decker said.

During the pandemic, The Foodbank got help from the National Guard and hired temporary employees. But as the National Guard began to phase out, The Foodbank hired new employees to help directly serve those in need, Truesdale said.

Before the pandemic, The Foodbank had 32 employees. It now has 56 and plans to hire more.

The new employees work in the drive-thru, in the mobile farmer’s markets and in the warehouse picking and packing orders for their partner agencies. There are also employees picking up donated food, she said.

“We have five trucks on the road five days a week picking up at local retail store donors and so we would not be able to pick up those items and those donations and distribute to individuals if we did not have the drivers that we needed,” Truesdale said.

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Truesdale said the employees do important work and retaining and hiring more employees is necessary for The Foodbank to continue to serve those in need.

Montgomery County had more than 80,000 people getting food benefits at the end of April, according to Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert.

“This grant will help meet the increasing demand for food,” Colbert said. “The Foodbank has also had to nearly double the size of its team based on its distribution and this $3 million grant can help cover the cost of salaries and benefits for additional personnel.”

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