AKRON — The pandemic situation has caused the local community to struggle to fulfill their daily meal needs. In response to this situation, the state government food product is critical to the food banks' response and recovery efforts. It has been two decades since Ohio food banks have relied on a solid partnership with the Ohio Food Program and Agricultural Clearance Program.
In 2020, the Akron Canton Regional Foodbank received and distributed almost 6.5 million pounds of nourishing items like fresh fruits and vegetables and canned goods through these programs.
However, in light of current events, it is critical to increasing state funding in the 2022-2023 biennial budget for these programs to provide enough food for neighbors in need and ensure an equitable recovery for all Ohioans. By helping Ohio families meet their basic needs, they can reallocate their limited resources toward utilities, housing, transportation, childcare, recovering from debt and the state economy in general.
Help from the community is needed to support the inclusion of these critical programs in the 2022-2023 Budget. As the budget goes into effect on July 1, 2021, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank calls the local citizens to join their cause and contact the state representatives to approve a temporary increase in critical state funding.
The organization provides the following talking points:
I am joining the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, along with other state food banks, in requesting:
$12 million in pass-through federal CARES Act funding throughout 2021 to support the purchase and distribution of emergency foods, as well as shelf-stable items and essential non-food items.
$45 million per year in the 2022-2023 biennial budget, primarily funded through pass-through TANF dollars, including:
$40 million per year for the operation of the Ohio Food Program and Agricultural Clearance Program,
$4 million per year for non-food items,
$1 million per year in capacity-building support for hunger-relief organizations.
If you're interested in helping the cause, you can find your local representative here: https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/addr/#.