Cleveland - The 28th annual Harvest for Hunger spring campaign gets underway Wednesday at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
The drive is one of the largest of its kind in the nation, with a goal of raising enough food and funds for more than 22 million meals in 2019. The campaign is a collaborative effort of four food banks including the Akron-Canton Regional Food bank, the Second Harvest Food bank of North Central Ohio and the Second Harvest Food bank of Mahoning Valley and coordinated locally by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
"As long as the need is still there, we will keep trying to serve those in need," says Director of Communications at The Greater Cleveland Food Bank Karen Pozna.
The campaign kicks off at 9am Wednesday morning as campaign co-chairs Rick Chiricosta, Chairman, President, & CEO, Medical Mutual and Paul Clark, Regional President, Cleveland, PNC Bank will be on hand. Also, Cleveland mayor Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish are serving as honorary co-chairs.
The co-chairs will be in attendance to kick off the campaign along with Kristin Warzocha, President & CEO, Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Darnell Brown, Chief Operating Officer, City of Cleveland. Mary McNamara from the City of Cleveland Department of Aging will share her perspective on the continuing need. More than 200 Harvest for Hunger food drive coordinators, volunteers and supporters will be in attendance. Local media personalities will participate in a Super Six Grocery Challenge and representatives from local supermarkets will serve as judges.
More than 300,000 people turn to hunger programs annually in Northeast Ohio. Those turning to food programs are making tough choices and trade-offs to keep food on the table. 64% report choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities. Every dollar donated through the campaign can help provide enough food for four nutritious meals. Dollars raised through Harvest for Hunger are used to provide nutritious food to hundreds of hot meals sites, food pantries, shelters and other agencies in Northeast Ohio. Almost half of those served by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s nearly 1,000 partner programs are children and seniors. Harvest for Hunger is a critical resource for local hunger centers and the individuals they serve.
Photos by: Kyle Cornell / WTAM 1100 / IHeartMedia 2019
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