By Leah Markovich | Foundation and Grants Specialist
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank (GCFB) knows we could not serve nearly as many people without the generous contributions of our supporters, but this year, that feels truer than ever. The GCFB, our partners and our neighbors are all facing the increasing cost of food, and the support of people like you helps ensure we can sustain much-needed hunger relief efforts for our neighbors across Northeast Ohio.
The average Ohioan is currently facing an additional $490 in monthly transportation, energy, food and shelter expenses as a result of inflation. These extra expenses can have an extraordinary impact on many families, particularly senior citizens and individuals with disabilities living on fixed incomes. As a result, we are seeing more people turn to the GCFB and our partners for support, including some who have never before relied on emergency food assistance.
However, as the GCFB strives to serve the hundreds of thousands of individuals and families who rely on our services to make ends meet, we are working to navigate increases in food and fuel costs as well as decreases in government support. Below are just a few ways our work has been impacted by supply chain issues and inflation:
Despite our ability to purchase in bulk, food banks in Ohio today are paying $1.04 for a pound of food that cost just .42 cents a year ago.
Specifically, the GCFB has seen our food costsincrease on average between 20-26% depending on the item.
In just the past few months, 46 loads of much-needed USDA food donations have been canceled for the GCFB, totaling 1.58 million pounds. Overall, the GCFB has seen a 40% decrease in USDA food donations this year.
Due to sharp increases in diesel costs, our fleet costs alone will be at least $140,000 over budget this year.
Despite these challenges, the GCFB has been able to sustain our high level of distribution. Thanks to the generous support of our community, we have been able to provide 30.7 million pounds of nutritious food to more than 266,800 people so far this fiscal year. We are truly grateful that our community continues to stand with us in the fight against hunger to help make this important work possible. Thank you for being a part of this effort and for helping to ensure that everyone in our communities has the nutritious food they need every day.
By Amy Kocian | Senior Manager of Foundation Relations
We distribute thousands of these food boxes weekly
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank (GCFB) wants to thank you once again for your support in the fight against hunger. Unfortunately, we know that nearly one in six people and more than one in four children are at risk for food insecurity within the six counties we serve. Together with our network of program partners, volunteers, advocates and supporters like you, we are working to provide increased access to nutritious food for the hundreds of thousands of Northeast Ohioans who worry about where their next meal will come from.
Your support is critical to helpings us meet the ongoing needs of our community – particularly now as the GCFB, our partners and clients are all facing the increased costs of food. Currently, we are seeing food costs hit record highs and we are experiencing the largest price increase in 31 years. One extreme example is a case of canned green beans. In 2019, it cost the GCFB just over $9 to purchase one case. Now, that same case costs over $19.
The GCFB is also having to purchase considerably more food to meet our community’s increased needs as some of our grocery partners and retail food donors have not been able to donate as much product during the pandemic. Your support helps ensure we can continue to purchase and distribute more of the nutritious food our neighbors need.
Thanks to the generous support of our community, we have been able to provide more than 14.7 million pounds of food through January of our FY2022 (October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022). Furthermore, of all the food we distributed during this time, 8.3 million pounds was fresh produce and nutritious perishable product to help support the health and well-being of our neighbors.
These incredible distribution efforts have helped us to serve more than 187,800 people so far this fiscal year. And, we anticipate that we will serve hundreds of thousands more children, families, seniors and individuals before the year ends. We simply could not serve this many people without the generous support of individuals like you. Thank you again for joining us in the fight against hunger!
By Amy Kocian | Senior Manager of Foundation Relations
Every year, hundreds of thousands of children, families, seniors, and individuals turn to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank (GCFB) and our partners for emergency food assistance. In order to meet the significant needs of our neighbors, we must rely on the generous support of our community. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of many volunteers, advocates, partners and the support of individuals like you, we have been able to provide nutritious food and many other critical resources to support the health and well-being of our community.
The GCFB recently completed our FY2021, and we are pleased to say that together with our community,we served more than 343,000 unduplicated people. While many individuals are going back to work and children are going back to school, it is clear that hundreds of thousands of individuals and families are still feeling the impacts of the pandemic. We recognized that the people we served this year were making significantly more visits to our distributions than last year, which tells us that our neighbors are depending on the GCFB even more to help make ends meet. Your generous support plays a pivotal role in helping us sustain our critical programs and service offerings for our neighbors across Northeast Ohio.
Below are just a few additional highlights from our FY2021 that your support helped make possible:
Distributed more than 53 million pounds of food, including 33 million pounds of fresh produce and nutritious perishable product
Served more than 87,000 new clients who accessed our services for the first time
Submitted more than 16,700 applications for SNAP and other public benefits on behalf of our clients
Continued innovative distribution methods include weekly drive-through, non contact distributions (pictured above), home deliveries to senior clients and individuals with disabilities, and grab-and-go meals for children
While we know there is still much more work to be done, we have made great strides to help increase access to nutritious food and build a more food secure future for our community. Thank you again for joining us in the fight against hunger and for all you do to support our neighbors!
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