UWLC Distributes 68,250 lbs. of Food

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United Way of Lake County Distributes 68,250 lbs of Food Today from their 25th Annual Feed Lake County program

May 11, 2017 – Mentor, OH – Today, over 50 local food banks benefited from United Way of Lake County’s (UWLC) food distribution.  The food was donated by the community to their 25th Annual Feed Lake County fundraiser and food drive, which ran from March 1, 2017 to April 16, 2017.

Volunteers from Lake Geauga Recovery Centers’ Lake House 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 drive to raise food and monetary contributions 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, “The food banks rely on us for continued support and we take this need very seriously, which is why we set a higher goal than last year and worked hard to successfully surpass this.”

Highlights from today’s food distribution include:

Food totaling 68,250 pounds was distributed to 51 local food pantries to help them stock their shelves. This is enough food to provide 56,875 meals to residents in need and is more than double the 25,752 lbs. of food that was collected last year. The increase in the amount of food donated is mainly due to the participation of 48 new organizations and businesses.

Funds totaling $34,436 were also raised by the 118 participating businesses, organizations and residents who participated in this year’s Feed Lake County program. These funds will be used by United Way of Lake County to purchase food later in the year to help re-stock Lake County food pantries and is enough to provide for an additional 137,744 meals. 

The food and funds raised this year is enough to provide 194,619 meals to our hungry and this number will continue to rise to well over 200,000 meals as the year continues and donations come in later in the year.

“We are so grateful to United Way for the food we receive. Over the last year and a half the number of people we serve has tripled in number, and without United Way’s support we would have to turn people away. A lot of single moms with kids who are struggling to make ends meet rely on our help. Others reach out temporarily until they can get back on their feet after a job loss, while still others feel trapped in a cycle of poverty they cannot seem to break. We serve all of these people and more thanks to the help we receive from United Way,” said Debbie Tolar, Director of the Willoughby Food Pantry.

Jodi Matsko, UWLC Resource Development Associate and coordinator of this year’s Feed Lake County program expressed her gratitude to the community. “Our local businesses, organizations and residents came together in a big way this year and I’m so thankful to everyone who ran food drives and donated,” she said. “There were a lot of organizations who participated for the first time this year. A few of these include Buyers Products Industries who donated 1,485 pounds of food, Kirtland High School who donated 750 pounds of food, and Truline Industries who donated 450 pounds of food.”

According to UWLC Director of Marketing & Communications, other standouts include, “The Mentor School System donated 13,275 pounds of food, accounting for nearly 20% off all food donated. Marous Brothers Construction donated 6,290 pounds of food. Moving Ahead Services donated 2,395 pounds. Ricerca Biosciences LLC donated 1,883, Lake Health donated 1,473 and the list of our generous community partners goes on.”

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 continues to accept food and monetary donations throughout the year to help feed Lake County. If you would like to donate either, contact Jodi Matsko at 440.639.1236.


About United Way of Lake County

We help people.

United Way of Lake County works to measurably improve the quality of people’s lives in Lake County. We do this by fighting for the education, income and financial stability of every person in our community.  We believe these to be the building blocks of a good life. Giving to United Way is the best way to help the most people. Learn more about us by visiting www.uwlc.org.


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