MENTOR, Ohio — Nearly 40 food pantries in Lake County have been helped by the efforts of the United Way of Lake County in a massive effort to distribute supplies and help the community.
Between May 5 and June 10, UWLC distributed $146,638 in food and paper products to numerous food pantries across the counties.
Among the distributions were $53,000 worth of food that had been donated by local businesses, organizations and Lake County residents during UWLC's annual Feed Lake County Food Drive & COVID-19 Relief fundraiser.
Lake County's largest employer, Just in Time Staffing, recently formed The Donato Foundation, which matched the first $10,000 in donations during the fundraising event.
The Giant Eagle locations in Painesville and Madison also helped in the distributions, providing more than $50,000 in food products and paper products such as toilet paper, paper towels and sanitizer wipes.
"The paper products we received were an unexpected blessing. These are expensive items that we normally must purchase. Getting these, in addition to all of the food, has been a godsend," said Beth Morgan, director of the McKinley Outreach Center in Willoughby.
On Thursday, volunteers helped load all of the items into food pantry vehicles during the most recent distribution.
Families in need will now be able to visit their local food pantry and receive items such as cereal, juice, pasta, rice, applesauce, peanut butter and jelly and canned proteins that were donated over the past month.
Later in the year, the food pantries will have help restocking their shelves thanks to $50,000 in cash donations that the UWLC collected during its Feed Lake County Food Drive & COVID-19 Relief fundraiser.
According to the UWLC, 1 in 6.5 Lake County Children and 1 in 9 residents lived with food insecurity before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, those numbers increased to 1 in 4 children and 1 in 7 residents.
UWLC encourages anyone who may be struggling with hunger or in need of health and human services to call Lifeline's 2-1-1 number or to click here.
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