West Ohio Food Bank Seeking Emergency Funding

The West Ohio Food Bank in Lima is teaming with 11 other food banks across Ohio, as well as with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, to ask Ohio lawmakers for emergency funding,

“The request is in response to the current economic crisis, and to assist those who continue to seek assistance with food and other social services,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

She said Ohio’s foodbanks are asking for $50 million in immediate, emergency funding to move much-needed food out to food insecure Ohioans and $133 million in a longer-term investment to help us prepare our physical and human infrastructure to face the recession many economists estimate is just around the corner.

“There have been over 8,000 new families who have needed food assistance through West Ohio Food Bank’s food distributions and network of partner agencies over the past 11 months, ” said West Ohio Food Bank CEO Tommie Harner.

“This comes at a time when our food donations are currently 33 percent lower than what they were a year ago. The need to purchase additional food to help feed our hungry neighbors is vital. We need the support of our legislation to approve using some of Ohio’s ARPA funding to purchase food ensuring that those within the communities we live and work do not go hungry.”

More than 200 statewide, regional and local organizations, and nearly 600 individuals, have signed an online petition urging immediate investments in Ohio’s food banks and other basic services that Ohioans with low and moderate incomes rely on.

Starting on Tuesday, June 28, the food bank’s hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday from 7 to 5:30.

The West Ohio Food Bank office and warehouse will be closed on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and on major holidays.

“We are going to a four-day work week, but this does not mean that we will be cutting back on our services,” said Harner.

“We want the public to know that volunteer opportunities and distributions can still take place even outside of our normal business hours.”