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Economy and Business


Regional food banks struggle as need continues to rise
Harvest for Hunger campaign only halfway to goal, food banks say
Story by LYNDSEY SCHLEY


 
The Harvest for Hunger campaign is only halfway to its 17 million meal goal for early May.
Courtesy of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
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In The Region:

Northeast Ohio food banks are having trouble meeting demand as need continues to rise and donations have decreased.

Julie Chase-Morefield is executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio. She says the cold winter led to fewer donations, though they are starting to rebound. Their Harvest for Hunger campaign is doing well with corporate donations, but donations from customers at drugstores and supermarkets are down.

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"We’re wondering if maybe people in general just have a little less money to spend, a little bit less disposable income or maybe are just shopping less in general," Chase-Morefield says. "Certainly the economy, at least in the area that we serve, still continues to struggle.”

Chase-Morefield says this need has yet to decline since the recession and her food bank is raising funds for a larger building.

She says some of the increases in need this year may be related to recent cuts in food stamps.

Kristin Warzocha of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank says the Harvest for Hunger campaign to benefit Northeast Ohio’s four food banks is struggling. The campaign to raise money for 17 million meals began in early March, but is only half way its their goal. The campaign ends in May.

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