More than 200,000 meals shared
The five-county Food for All program made possible by One Faith One Hope One Love distributed more than 200,000 meals during the first half of this year, the executive director of Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio said today.
“Every week, teams of volunteers converge at rural community centers east of Cincinnati where hunger is abundant and food is in short supply,” Ted Bergh said in a statement released today by the agency. “These areas, also known as food deserts, are where people live without convenient access to healthy food choices.
“Like the disciples who set out to feed the 5,000,” Mr. Bergh continued, referring to Our Lord’s miracle of the loaves and fishes, “Catholic Charities has set out with its Food for All program.”
For the first half of 2017, that amounted to 202,722 meals, he said.
Mr. Bergh described how it works: “Twenty to 30 volunteers gather in Bethel, Hillsboro, Ripley, West Union and beginning soon Cincinnati to unload pallets of food. They assemble tables and set up the fresh produce, frozen meat and dry good. While the setup is occurring their neighbors gather to fill the cupboard with a few days of healthy food for their families. With smiles all around, the process is complete by early afternoon.”
Catholic Charities began serving “food deserts” in Brown, Adams, Clinton, and Highland counties in 2016 with the support of funds from the One Faith, One Hope, One Love campaign.
The number of people served overall by Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio grew to more than 120,000 last year, an increase of nearly a third, the organization’s annual report said. One Faith, One Hope, One Love contributed $1,412,,882 to Catholic Charities in 2016, up from $396,017 the year previous.
All told, 61,665 people were fed, mostly through Food for All and Second Harvest Food Bank.
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