More than 330,000 NE Ohioans are 'food insecure': You can help by supporting Harvest For Hunger

Posted at 11:16 AM, Apr 25, 2017

You may know someone who's hungry and not even realize it. According to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, more than 330,000 residents of Northeast Ohio are "food insecure," meaning they don't always know where their next meal is coming from.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio. In 2016 it provided 50 million meals to hungry people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties.

News 5 talked to a struggling mother of three, Kimberley Rager at the Westside Community Corner. The local food pantry gets its food from the Greater Cleveland Foodbank.

Rager said she takes care of three little ones at home. Her husband works as a full-time machinist. However, she was told he makes too much to qualify for government assistance, but not enough to pay their bills and put food on the table.

"I don't understand why. They have a father who works. He provides, he's at work 24/7. He's constantly trying to pick up overtime, he's constantly trying," she said.

Rager said her kids can't always eat what they want, but they're not starving, thanks to places like the Westside Community Corner and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.


How to help

News 5 invites you to call into our Harvest for Hunger phone bank on Tuesday, April 25 to make contribution to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

5 things to know about hunger in Northeast Ohio:

1. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank serves more than 247,000 people.

2. Of that number, 28 percent are children and 16 percent are elderly.

3. 64 percent have to choose between paying for food or utilities.

4. Cuyahoga County has the highest percentage of people who are food insecure: 19 percent of the population.

5. Ashtabula County has the highest percentage of children who go hungry: 26 percent.

How the Greater Cleveland Food Bank works:

It provides more than 800 partner agencies and hunger relief programs with food, select non-food products, training and planning strategies.

These programs then directly serve the hungry. In the last fiscal year, the Food Bank made possible nearly 48 million meals to those struggling with hunger in our area.

"Two-thirds of what we distribute will be healthy perishable food, including fresh fruits and vegetables and prepared meals." -Greater Cleveland Food Bank