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Mobile Market Starts This Week

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Mobile Market starts this week

   CADIZ- Statistics show that more than 1 million Ohioans are going hungry, and even more staggering is that nearly 34 percent of Harrison County children are impacted by a lack of food.

   To combat the problem, Harrison Hills City Schools, Mid-Ohio Foodbank (MOF) and the Muskingum Chapter of the American Red Cross are teaming up this week for the first in a bi-monthly Mobile Market venture. Beginning Oct. 12, the school district is implementing the free food distribution program every second and fourth Thursday from 9-11 a.m. at the district office (the former Harrison Westgate Elementary School) at 730 Peppard Ave. in Cadiz. Residents who fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty level qualify to participate. They may bring their own bags and means of carrying the food home. Food is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and the program also allows people to remain anonymous.

   District Superintendent Dr. George Ash, who now serves as Harrison’s representative on the tri-county American Red Cross executive board, said a recent review by the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks (OASHF) and the national organization Feeding America noted that 26.6 of the state’s youth—or approximately 731,000 children—grappled with hunger pains on a regular basis. Statewide results show that 17.1 percent of the population (more than 1.97 million people) lacked food. Harrison County was among the leading counties facing “food insecurity” among children at a startling 33.8 percent.

  “It is alarming that this issue is hitting right in our own backyard,” Dr. Ash said. “No one should have to go hungry, especially our children. With the Mobile Market, there will be enough food to help 130 families. This is our way of reaching out to the community and combating what unfortunately is becoming a growing problem.

   The recent study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011,” revealed that children in every county nationwide dealt with the same predicament. Sources cited growing unemployment and parents’ struggles to make ends meet that ultimately led to a decline in sustenance. According to the statistics, 60 percent of affected children live in households with incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, meaning they and their families could qualify for nutritional programs. Meanwhile, the remaining 40 percent fall above federal eligibility guidelines and have fewer avenues for food programs, such as the Emergency Food Assistance Network and state-funded programs. In the latest state budget, the OASHF will receive a total of $12.5 million per year in funding assistance for Fiscal Years 2012-13. 

  Those figures were among the reasons district officials were prompted to host a Mobile Market through the MOF. Other scheduled dates include Oct. 26, Nov. 9 and 23 and Dec. 14 and 28 and signage will be posted designating registration areas and restroom facilities. Dr. Ash said volunteers from Harrison Central Jr./Sr. High School Student Council and FFA organizations will be on hand with the Red Cross’s VIP program to help with distribution.

  “The student council and FFA are going to help to get community service hours for an academic letter,” he explained. “The VIP program through [American Red Cross Executive Director] Chad Conrad will help mobilize, so the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Harrison Hills City Schools and American Red Cross are working together.”

   The Grove City-based Mid-Ohio Foodbank, or MOF, already has ties with Harrison County by providing food to pantries in Cadiz and Freeport, plus Harcatus and the county senior center. The Mobile Market will distribute fresh produce, eggs, milk and other staples for free to low-income residents who may be seniors or households with children. Clients are those generally eligible to visit pantries but may lack transportation, while the children may also receive free or reduced lunches at school.  Now in it’s second phase, the Mobile Market is extending its reach to outlying service areas. The refrigerated market truck visits housing sites, community centers, public libraries and schools with the goal of directly helping to alleviate hunger.

   For more information, contact the district at 740-942-7800

 

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Larry Bertolino

Larry Bertolino

Owner at myLocalPCpro
Larry Bertolino is a 31 year old, U.S Navy Veteran and currently sitting on the board of Directors for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, as well as Harrison County Rural Transit.
Larry Bertolino
Larry Bertolino

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Posted by on October 12, 2011, 7:48 am. Filed under Community, Kids & Youth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry