AVON, Ohio — Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are out of work as the state keeps up strict measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 — and most food banks say because of this, demand is up.
Saturday, the Cleveland Hope Exchange and Journey Church hosted a huge food giveaway to help those who are struggling to nourish their families.
Now, hundreds of families in Lorain County have food to put on the table. But people from those families and volunteers say the giveaway is about more than just food - it's about supporting each other and lending a helping hand.
Jennifer Johnson and her fellow Journey Church members are on a mission.
“Journey’s all about helping people - and that’s one of the reasons why I love coming here.”
All day Saturday, they popped trunks and filled them with nutritious food over, and over, and over again.
“There’s so many shutdowns, there’s so many people going without jobs and paychecks,” Johnson said.
The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on food pantries around northeast Ohio. At the giveaway, families picked up more than 30,000 pounds of food donated by national non-profit, Convoy of Hope.
Volunteers created a drive-thru to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
With masks and gloves, they loaded food directly into trunks, knowing they’re taking a risk.
“We do what we gotta do. It's our community, we’ve got to band together,” Johnson said.
For people like Susan Glassford, Johnson's selflessness - means the world.
“I live by myself and because of an auto-immune disorder I’m forced to not be around a lot of people all the time anyway,” Glassford said.
She drove home with not only enough groceries to last until the end of the month, but something else you can’t put in a bag.
“You can feel the smiles and the happy Easter signs and everyone waving, and it's just overwhelming and it creates a lot of hope,” Glassford said.
The Cleveland Hope Exchange and Journey Church have another giveaway planned for April 25 at the Journey Church Metro Campus in Cleveland.