Do yourself a favor when you get home tonight. Walk over to your cabinet or cupboard in the kitchen and open it. Take a look at what you have in there. Now imagine if you had to decide whether or not to pay your rent, mortgage or utilities…or buy that food.
According to the most recent survey done by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, over 43% of their clients have had to choose between food and paying their rent or mortgage, while 57% had to choose between food and paying a utility.
Many of us are lucky enough to not have to face a decision like this, however over a quarter of a million individuals (including children and seniors) are dependent on services provided by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, a figure that’s up 28% since 2006. More than 40,000 people receive food assistance each week from a food pantry, soup kitchen or shelter. And this is just Ohio folks, in case you hadn’t guessed.
The Mid-Ohio Foodbank began life as The Operation Feed Foodbank in April, 1980. Food distribution stats are as follows:
• 1980 distributed over 200,000 pounds of food
• 2005 distributed over 28 million pounds of food
• 2011 distributed over 40 million pounds of food
See a trend? Unfortunately it’s not one you can wear to school or decorate your home with. There are thousands in need every day and who rely on services like those provided by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank to feed themselves, their parents or their children.
So what’s the point of all this? Well, we thought we’d simply try something nice this fall. We have a lot of fans out there who may be in a position to help those who need it, but rather than ask for food and hope for the best, we wanted to give something in return.
You see, our summer bowling pass was a huge success this summer, selling close to 1000 passes; the majority of which were bought by families. We recently surveyed our summer pass holders, and many families feel bowling is simply too expensive nowadays, and our pass gave them a very fun and affordable option this summer. In fact, requests for a fall, winter or even year-round pass were suggested. While we can’t really do some of these, this offer is not only an effort to make bowling a little more affordable this fall, but an effort to help those who don’t even have the option of entertaining their families.
Bring in a canned food, non-perishable item, or something from their specific list below and receive a coupon for FREE SHOES or get FREE SHOES on the spot. If you think about it, you could simply go to the store and purchase 5 cans of something for probably not more than $6 (if you hit the sale right – gotta love the stock-up sales), then bring those in and get 5 coupons for free shoes (worth over $20). Coupons are valid until December 31. One coupon per item (regardless of value). There is no limit to the number of vouchers you can receive for donated items. Bring in 10 canned goods and get 10 vouchers, for example. You just need to use them all by the end of the year.
In order to get your coupon you must bring in one of the following items listed below. There are specific things they’re looking for as well as some restrictions (sorry, doomsday preppers – no self-canned items).
With Thanksgiving approaching, the following are helpful: canned green beans, pie filling, mushroom soup and cranberry sauce.
Otherwise, these are the items in MOST need: chili with beans, canned fruit (in juice or light syrup), tuna, canned veggies, canned meat, soup with vegetables and peanut butter.
But please note: They are not able to accept perishable, homemade, home-canned and outdated food, bulk packages weighing more than 5 pounds or food in glass containers.
We will be collecting items until the end of October, so you have over a month to drop off your item(s). We hope you can find a way to donate this fall. And be nice folks, don’t bring in mini-cans or stuff your dog wouldn’t eat. Pasta, rice and cereal are also permitted.
For more information on the Mid-Ohio Foodbank you can visit their website here. For details on non-perishable items, check out this list.
Source: Mid-Ohio Foodbank