“Caring for Each Other”
Having undertaken to feed the hungry just over two years ago, Our Community Hunger Center is making a real difference in our Twinsburg, Ohio community and surrounding areas. We opened our facility at 9733 Ravenna Road right off the square in downtown Twinsburg and began introducing ourselves to the community in May 2013. Close to 2,000 individuals, businesses, churches, schools, and student groups have partnered with us to care for our hungry neighbors since then. In 2014, our first full tax year, we generated over $483,000 in food and monetary donations, of which we distributed 78% to the community. Donations are expected to increase this year, and in 2015 to-date our distribution rate has risen to over 82%.
Demand for emergency food assistance and continuing support is increasing dramatically! We provided a 7-day supply of nutritious, non-expired, non-perishable food to 1,959 individuals in 2014. As of August 31, we have already aided 1,968 neighbors this year, more than we assisted in all of 2014. Since we opened our doors, we have fed a total of 4,639 adults and children. These numbers do not reflect the hundreds blessed by special Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter programs, where we provide everything necessary for a traditional holiday meal, as well as gifts and candy for our children. Without the generosity of our donors, our families would have very meager holidays.
Partnering with our donors, our goal is to offer a 7-day supply of food, personal hygiene items, paper products, and household supplies to the individuals and families who seek our help. This assistance is meant to serve as a bridge until our families can reach a more stable financial footing, and it generally will continue for six months. However, we extend the assistance period for as long as is necessary in extenuating circumstances, such as for seniors on fixed incomes, the seriously ill, disabled individuals, and single parents.
Through the generosity of local grocers, bakers, and restaurants, we are at times able to distribute fresh and/or frozen fried chicken, pizza, soup, and other prepared items, in addition to the non-perishable items we have distributed since we first opened our food pantry. In late August 2015, we partnered with a wholesaler of organic fruits and vegetables, and we now distribute fresh, organic produce every Thursday. Fresh bread and baked goods have been available most days for over a year and a half. We understand that many who come to our Center for food assistance lack reliable transportation; we are happy to deliver food to the homebound within our service area.
We are an independent non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity and rely entirely on public support. We thank our current donors and ask for their continued support. We ask new donors to contribute their time, talent, and treasure. We welcome volunteers, especially high school students who need service hours. If you have not joined the fight against hunger, consider yourself invited!
WE HAVE BEGUN PLANNING FOR OUR ANNUAL THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS PROGRAMS, AND WE NEED YOUR HELP! To ensure that our families experience the joys of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, we seek families, businesses, and others who will sponsor a less fortunate family for a turkey dinner with all of the classic side dishes and desserts. We will also provide each of these families with a three-day supply of non-perishable food, and with fresh produce and bread. The cost to sponsor a family of four for our Thanksgiving program is $100.
In addition, we seek sponsors for our annual "Adopt-a-Family" program, through which we link sponsors with struggling families to assure that, as in Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Santa will visit not only Whoville, but Twinsburg and environs as well! We ask the sponsor to donate $200, which we use to provide a ham or turkey dinner for the family, traditional side dishes and desserts, three-additional days' supply of food, and gifts for children under the age of 16 (approx. $50 per child). Last year our donors sponsored 68 families, and Santa came to visit 125 children that he may otherwise have missed.
Not to worry! If you cannot sponsor a family on your own for our
Thanksgiving or Christmas programs, we will pair you up with another
sponsor, so that two or three sponsors together can make the holiday
joyous for a local family.