United Way of Lake County Distributes Nearly 25,000 lbs. of Food

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United Way of Lake County Distributes Nearly 25,000 lbs. of Food to Local Food Pantries September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020 – Mentor, OH –United Way of Lake County (UWLC) distributed nearly 25,000 pounds of food on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 to nearly 40 Lake County food pantries. 

The food is enough to provide 24,895 meals to those suffering from hunger in Lake County.

The food was purchased from funds raised during UWLC’s 28th Annual Feed Lake County Fundraiser held this past spring and was used to help re-stock the shelves of Lake County food banks.

Pantries received apple juice, applesauce, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, canned chicken, Knorr rice & pasta sides, canned spaghetti & meatballs, pasta, pasta sauce and chicken noodle soup. Representatives from United Way of Lake County meet with the food pantries several times a year to learn how they can better serve their needs, and the food they provided is based upon feedback they received.

Moving Ahead Services in Willoughby volunteered their help and provided several employees to assist with the heavy lifting and the loading of food into pantry vehicles.

According to UWLC Director of Marketing and Communications Tami Lewis, “Many of the food pantries we serve have reported increases in need ranging from over thirty to ninety percent since the onset of the pandemic.”

The McKinley Community Outreach Center in Willoughby is one of the pantries who have experienced a marked increase in need. According to food pantry volunteer Dale Harig of the center, “It’s sad to see so many of our friends and neighbors struggling, and we are grateful to United Way of Lake County for their support. The food means so much to our hungry, especially the children.”

Last year, pre-COVID, nearly 26,000 Lake County residents lived with food insecurity, and inquiries for food assistance ranked number one among all inquiries for help received by Lifeline's 2-1-1 help referral hotline. Last year alone, close to 9,000 inquiries for food assistance were received.

“A total of 1 in 9 Lake County residents live with food insecurity, and this was prior to COVID-19. The economic hardships that have ensued since this time have left many struggling now more than ever before. Resource-strapped families and those who have never struggled before are now faced with putting their children to bed hungry, a loss of health insurance to cover needed medication, fears of eviction and the list goes on,” said Lewis.

UWLC has a help resource center on their website. Anyone struggling with hunger or in need of health and human services are encouraged to visit uwlc.org/help-resources. More comprehensive help can also be found by calling Lifeline’s 2-1-1 referral hotline anytime 24/7.

“We are asking everyone with the means to give right now to please donate so we may meet the many critical needs of our community. One hundred percent of donations made to our community impact fund stay local, benefiting Lake County residents in need.” said Lewis.

Donations can be made in one of 4 ways:

  • Online at uwlc.org
  • By texting UWLC2020 to 44321
  • By calling 440.639.1291
  • By mailing a check payable to United Way of Lake County to United Way of Lake County, 9285 Progress Pkwy, Mentor, OH 44060 

United Way of Lake County. Respond. Recover. Reimagine. Rebuild.

United Way of Lake County is a local, independent organization dedicated to building a stronger community by focusing on the areas of health, education and financial stability. In partnership with nonprofit agencies, local business, community leaders and ordinary citizens, United Way is improving the lives of individuals and families in Lake County. By working together, we provide a network of services addressing Lake County’s most urgent needs while working toward lasting change.  For more information, please call (440) 352-3166 or visit uwlc.org.

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