A human chain to help fight hunger
Have you ever wanted to get involved in the fight against hunger? Well, soon you will be able to by lending only your hands.
On Oct. 27, the city of Grove City, the Girls Scouts, the Grove City Food Pantry and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank will be sponsoring an event called Hands for Hunger as part of Make A Difference Day.
The community has been invited to create a human chain from the foodbank on Brookham Drive all the way to the food pantry on Columbus Street to help a can of food find its way to the shelves in order to feed a person or family in need.
“The one can from the foodbank to the pantry is symbolic of the community’s role in the fight against hunger,” said program coordinator and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Laura Imbrock.
With the assistance of area residents and businesses, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank is able to distribute 45 million pounds of fresh produce and grocery products each year to its 550 food pantries, soup kitchens, after-school programs and senior housing sites across central and eastern Ohio. In addition, the organization provides 101,000 meals a day to those struggling to find food on a given day.
“The community is vital to the work we do,” Imbrock said.
The Mid-Ohio Foodbank is trying to get 4,000 volunteers to take part in Hands for Hunger, an ambitious number for a first time event.
“We can accomplish it (the hand-to-hand passing of the can) with far fewer people, but we would love to get closer to that number,” said Colin Baumgartner, director of communications at the foodbank.
He said the goal is to pass the can all the way across the 2.5-mile stretch without using one of their trucks to deliver the can to the next stretch of volunteers waiting along the route.
So far, hundreds of volunteers have signed up for the event, but the numbers are nowhere near the ultimate goal. The foodbank hopes more will join as the word spreads.
The passing of the can begins at 9:30 a.m. When that event ends, the community is invited to come back to the foodbank for an open house with live music, food and family activities to celebrate its third year of operation in Grove City. The Girls Scouts will be on hand to collect canned food or monetary donations.
Every item donated counts in the fight against hunger. Hunger is a growing problem in this country, says national food agencies. According to Feeding America, hunger exists for more than 50 million people in the country.
A 2011 report states that 6.1 million households accessed emergency food in a food pantry one or more times. It also reported that 16.7 million children are living in food insecure households.
On a local level, the Grove City Food Pantry website states that the pantry served 8,433 people in 2010. Of the people served, 38 percent were ages 1-17 years, 50 percent were ages 18-59 and 12 percent were 60 years or older.
For more information on how to volunteer for Hands for Hunger, go to http://handsforhunger.eventbrite.com.