Greater Cleveland Food Bank to rely on donations, partners in new year after federal program ends

Food Bank
Posted at 8:05 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 08:05:08-05

CLEVELAND — The Greater Cleveland Food Bank (GCFB) wrapped up 2020 helping millions of families put food on the table during a tough year. Many people turned to the food bank for the very first time.

"We've been around for 40 years, we've never seen the need like this before," said Karen Pozna, director of communications for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Pozna said in 2020, GCFB provided more than 56 million pounds of food to households across Northeast Ohio. The agency is expecting that need to continue well into the new year.

But 2021 is bringing a new set of challenges. Pozna said they're set to receive 15 million fewer pounds of food due to the termination of the USDA program called Farmers to Families. She described the program as a "life-saver" in 2020, helping to get more food into the hands of people who need it. Pozna said the new stimulus relief package will help some, as millions are earmarked for food banks across the country, however, GCFB is going to need help the community's help.

"We're really going to need our community’s support well into the new year to be able to provide the food to families right here in our area," she said. "We can't do it alone. It is a group effort, not only from food banks but various local organizations, community support and obviously government support to make sure we meet the need. If we can make sure we can get the food out to those who need it, and that's one less thing those people have to worry about, then that's why we're here. We're going to continue to be here for as long as needed."

You can donate to the GCFB by clicking here. A donation of $1 can help to provide four meals.