West Side News

Hands for Hunger

Foodbank will 'pass the can' to mark anniversary

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The Mid-Ohio Foodbank is asking the community to help pass the can.

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank will host Hands for Hunger, a hunger-awareness event and celebration of the foodbank's third year in Grove City.

The centerpiece of the day will be the human chain passing of a can of food from the Mid-Ohio Foodbank's facility at 3960 Brookham Drive to the Grove City Food Pantry and Emergency Services, 2710 Columbus St.

The route will go north on Brookham and follow it west to south on Gantz Road, west on Stringtown Road, north on McDowell Road, west on Sonora Drive, south on Hoover Road and turn west on to Columbus Street.

In all, the chain would require a little more than 4,000 people to fill the route going shoulder-to-shoulder, said Colin Baumgartner, Mid-Ohio Foodbank's director of communication and marketing.

"Our goal is to get as many folks, friends and families to fill out the route," he said. "We can do it with a few hundred or a few thousand."

Volunteers can sign up and register on the Mid-Ohio's website, midohiofoodbank. org, or through handsforhunger.event brite.com/#.

Hands for Hunger also will feature an open house at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank as well as a cash and non-perishable food drive by the foodbank and Girl Scouts immediately following the passing of the can from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will have live music, tours, food and family activities.

The goal for the food drive, Baumgartner said, is to collect 10,000 meals from the event. One pound of food collected equals one meal, and $1 equals three meals, according to the foodbank's calculations.

"That's really where the community comes in," Baumgartner said. "This is a way to include the community and give back."

Laura Imbrock, of Operation Feed Vista at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, said they need as many people as possible to turn out.

"It doesn't matter who you are," she said. "You can play a part."

Imbrock said the idea for the chain came from one of the Americorps Vista volunteers at the Foodbank who participated in Hands Across America as a child and wanted to bring the idea to the community.

"What we're doing every day across the state is going to be demonstrated in the community," she said.

The Mid-Ohio Foodbank serves 20 counties and is one of 12 foodbanks in the state. It is the largest in terms of area and distribution, providing more than 100,000 meals every day though its 550 partner agencies, including the Grove City Food Pantry. The Grove City Food Pantry aids about 250 families every month.

"That's going to come in at 800 people per month," said food pantry Vice President Gene Cline. "Our main supply of food is the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. ... You get a better bang for your buck coordinating what your needs are."

The Grove City Food Pantry provides temporary food and emergency financial assistance to qualified residents of the Grove City, Harrisburg and Orient communities and receives support from those communities, local churches and the Southwest Christian Ministerial Association.

Cline said Hands for Hunger is a symbolic support of the effort against hunger.

"It's well worth (people's) time to go down and see the place," Cline said. "It's really an opportunity for the whole community in the area."

The food pantry also will be open that day, Cline added.

More information about the food pantry is available online at grovecityfoodpantry.org, including a list of the most needed food items.

Cline said people also can contact the food pantry and schedule a tour as well.

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