Over 75,000 lbs. of Food Distributed to 51 Lake County Food Pantries

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United Way of Lake County Distributes 75,277 lbs. of Food Today from 26th Annual Feed Lake County program


A total of 51 local food banks benefited from United Way of Lake County’s (UWLC) distribution of 75,277 pounds of food on May 9, 2018.  The food was donated by the community during their 26th Annual Feed Lake County fundraiser and food drive, which ran from March 1, 2018 to April 30, 2018.

Volunteers from Moving Ahead Services were on hand to help load food into cars and trucks from UWLC’s temporary warehouse located outside the Great Lakes Mall in the back of Office Max.

UWLC runs the program every spring and Lake County companies and organizations participate by running food drives to raise food and funds to help feed the community’s hungry. The food from this year’s drive is being distributed today and money raised will be used later in the year to purchase food to help re-stock Lake County’s food pantries.  

According to UWLC President & CEO Jennifer McCarty, “We are passionate about fighting hunger in Lake County, where 1 in 8 residents live with food insecurity. The success of our food drive is a testament to our community’s generosity and compassion for one another.”

Highlights from today’s food distribution include:

  • Food totaling 75,277 pounds will be distributed to 51 local food pantries to help them stock their shelves. This is enough food to provide 62,731 meals to residents in need. It is a 10% increase over the 68,250 lbs. of food collected last year, and nearly triple the amount of food donated in 2016.
  • Funds totaling $39,548 were also raised by businesses, organizations and residents who participated in this year’s Feed Lake County programs. These funds are enough to provide an additional 158,192 meals and will be used by United Way of Lake County to purchase food later in the year to help re-stock the community’s food pantries.
  • UWLC’s Young Leaders raised approximately $12,000 of the total funds from the over 40 local restaurants who participated in the April 10, 2018 Dine-to-Donate fundraiser they coordinated.
  • The combined total of food and funds raised year to-date is enough to provide 220,923 meals to our hungry. This represents a 14% increase over last year and the number will continue to grow as donations come in through the end of the year.
  • A total of 160 businesses, agencies and organizations throughout Lake County ran food drives.

Jodi Matsko, UWLC Resource Development Manager and coordinator of UWLC’s Feed Lake County program expressed her gratitude to everyone involved. “Our local businesses, organizations and residents came together in a big way to take care of our own. I’m so thankful to live and work in a community that cares so deeply for one another,” she said.

Marous Brothers Construction in Willoughby donated nearly 10,000 pounds of food, the greatest amount any one organization collected. The students from Mentor High School collected the second largest amount of food donating 7,315 pounds of food to help feed Lake County’s hungry.

“We’re grateful to be able to support the efforts of United Way of Lake County’s food drive and are proud of our employees who show tremendous compassion and teamwork in giving to Feed Lake County and other organizations that make a positive impact on our communities, and especially on our neighbors who find themselves in need,” said Chip Marous, president of Marous Brothers Construction.

According to Tami Lewis, UWLC Director of Marketing and Communications, “More than 28,000 residents in Lake County live with food insecurity, and inquiries for food assistance rank number one among all inquiries received by Lifeline's 2-1-1 help hotline. Last year a total of 9,341 inquiries for food assistance were received.”

“Approximately 990 volunteer hours went into collecting and sorting food in preparation for today’s distribution. It takes a village to make a food drive of this magnitude happen, and we are thankful for each and every person who either donated or contributed their time and effort to impact lives,” said Lewis.

Food distributed included the most requested items. Pantries received boxed and canned meals like mac and cheese and tuna helper; canned meats like tuna, chicken and spam; pasta and pasta sauce; peanut butter and jelly; rice; cereal; canned fruit and vegetables; and canned soup and stew.

United Way will continue to accept food and monetary donations throughout the year to help feed Lake County. If you would like to help by donating, contact us at  440.639.1236.