We covered dessert first (what would our mothers say?) but we don’t want to forget that some people struggle to eat at all. The Foodbank is, as the name suggests, a food bank. It also supports more than 100 other hunger relief programs. Every year, Foodbank provides millions of pounds of food to pantries, soup kitchens, and other distribution channels in Montgomery, Greene, and Preble counties. That translates to feeding about 70,000 hungry people annually; almost half of them are children.
The Foodbank and the pantries and soup kitchens to which it distributes food depend heavily on volunteer service and are funded by generous individuals and corporations as well as by Montgomery County.
According to Feeding America, of which The Foodbank is a member, 1 in 6 Americans faces hunger. The Foodbank is the only organization of its kind in the area, fighting back hunger in the Miami Valley.
An appalling 16.7 million children faced food insecurity in the United States in 2011.[i] The Foodbank Among others, The Foodbank runs the Kids Café program in the Miami Valley, which provides meals and snacks to children through other community locations such as Boys and Girls Club of Dayton, the Dakota Center, and the YMCA of Dayton.
The Foodbank also works to make sure children don’t go hungry over the weekend through the national Good-to-Go Backpack Program. Children in need receive a backpack full of nutritious, kid-friendly food to eat over the weekend. In order to prevent embarrassment, no one but the child knows what is in the backpack. In 2011, more than 44,000 backpacks were distributed.
The Foodbank’s website includes a calculator that shows how far your donation goes in the community. For $10, The Foodbank can produce 80 meals or buy $170 of groceries, more than 100 pounds of food.[ii] A donation of $500 means 4,000 meals or 5,000 pounds of food.[iii] That’s 4,000 children who can go to bed with full stomachs.
To learn more, volunteer, or donate, visit http://thefoodbankdayton.org/.