Having undertaken to feed the hungry almost three years ago, Our Community Hunger Center is making a real difference in Northeast Ohio. 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. Over 2,300 individuals, businesses, churches, schools, and student groups have partnered with us to care for our hungry neighbors since then.
In 2014, our first full year of operations, we provided a seven-day supply of nutritious, non-expired, non-perishable food to 1,959 of our hungry neighbors. In 2015, we provided a seven-day supply of non-perishable food to 3,697 individuals, an 88% increase over the number served in 2014. Unfortunately, business is booming for food pantries in 2016. Since the day we opened our doors through March 31, 2016, we have served a seven-day supply of food to 7,443 of our neighbors. Over 85% of total donations made to Our Community Hunger Center is returned to the community in the form of assistance delivered directly to our clients.
Beginning in 2015, through the generosity of Giant Eagle, Schwebel's, Heinen's, and Panera, we began to offer our clients fresh bread and baked goods on a daily basis. With weekly donations from Door to Door Organics of Solon, we established our fresh produce program where our clients come to the Center to pick up produce for the week every Thursday. Pizza from Twinsburg Pizza Hut, fried chicken from the Twinsburg Mr. Chicken, and soup from the Northfield Hard Rock Cafe are distributed to our clients on a regular basis. We have cultivated relationships with several freight companies who now call us to donate excess freight. Our clients have benefited from large donations of such items as pepperoni, sausage, olive loaf, chicken nuggets, seasoned chicken patties, individual pastries, cookie dough, and, most recently, TWO TONS of spaghetti squash!
This year our big news is that we have become a "Choice Pantry" member agency of the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank. We are classified as a "Choice Pantry" because we stock our pantry with a variety of items and allow our clients to "shop" and select the items they would like to take home. A pantry that is not a "Choice Pantry" gives its clients a prepackaged assortment of items that may or may not be in line with their dietary needs and preferences. By operating as a Choice Pantry, we endeavor to "serve our clients with dignity" as well as to minimize waste. Being a member of the food bank gives us access to some food items at subsidized prices. WHILE WE ALWAYS APPRECIATE DONATIONS OF FOOD AND PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS IN KIND, AS YOU CAN SEE WE CAN USE MONETARY DONATIONS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO US THROUGH THE FOOD BANK AND LEVERAGE THE FUNDS MANY TIMES OVER!!
We just completed our "Caring for Each Other" Easter Program. As part of our Easter efforts, and with the assistance of generous members of the community, we gave a half ham and traditional fixings to each of 144 families, as well as baskets of candy and small toys to 108 children 11 years old or younger.
Both our annual Thanksgiving "Share the Harvest" Program and our Christmas "Adopt-a-Family" Program were a smashing success in 2015! With extremely generous support from local residents and businesses, we were able to provide traditional holiday meals with all the trimming for 532 local residents at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Included were Christmas gifts for over 150 of our children, who may otherwise have woken up on Christmas morning to find Santa had missed their homes.
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 students who need service hours. IF YOU HAVE NOT JOINED THE FIGHT AGAINST HUNGER, CONSIDER YOURSELF INVITED! Volunteer at Our Community Hunger Center and enjoy yourself, have fun, and make friends, all while CARING FOR EACH OTHER.
To Our Community Hunger Center,
I would like to thank all that have helped me and everyone in the Twinsburg Senior Apartments. I am very appreciative for the bread we receive on Tuesdays. It is so helpful. I also want to thank the Hunger Center for the holiday baskets and some toys for my granddaughters.
May God Bless You All!
(Many of the seniors are regular clients. OCHC also delivers bread to the seniors on Tuesdays and delivers food for the holidays directly to the senior apartments.)