With money from state, generous donations from the community, food banks are able to keep serving

Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 16, 2020

CLEVELAND — Local food banks have never seen anything like this before, but for more than a month, thousands of families lined up in their cars in desperate need of food has been the norm.

"It’s totally different from earning an income and having to turn to this, but with the way things are going, we have to stock up on what we can,” said Craig Watson, who was laid off during the pandemic.

The folks at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank are answering the call, but they’re struggling too.

"Last week we distributed just over a million pounds of food. So we need to be planning, at least in my view, for a million pounds a week and perhaps more as this need continues,” said Kristin Warzocha, the President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Warzocha says they are in a much better place after Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order that $5 million of additional funding will go to 12 Ohio food banks, including them.

"That’s going to be a huge help in April, May and June,” she said.

While the food banks got $5 million, that’s a quarter of what they asked for, which means they still need more help. Luckily the community is stepping up with monetary and food donations.

"It’s the community’s generosity that is allowing us to do that so as long as folks continue to think of others, if they’re in a position to do so, we’re going to get through this,” said Warzocha. "We’ve got literally millions of pounds of food on order. So we’re expecting to bring in about 4 million pounds of food in April.”

About a third of the folks who come to these weekly drive thru food distributions have never used a food bank before, and now triple the number of families depend on the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

If you are in need of food, or you want to make a donation to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, click here for more information.

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