Ohio Governor John Kasich joined representatives from the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and many of Ohio’s Feeding America food banks this week to announce his resolution proclaiming the month of September as Hunger Action Month in Ohio.
“There are summer programs that have been created because of the need we see with children in the summer. We felt it was critically important,” Governor Kasich said during a press event at the Statehouse. “Sometimes kids don’t want to say they’re hungry. Sometimes kids don’t want to say there’s no food at home. There are children who, without these programs, would be home all weekend long and would have nothing to eat. There is a great need for people to continue to charitably give to help other people. We want to spread the word.”
During the month of September, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley joins with food banks across the nation in calling community members to action so that Together, We Can Solve Hunger™. Ohioans are encouraged to take small actions that make a big difference, like volunteering at a local food bank or food pantry or skipping a meal out to make a donation. Additionally, to raise awareness about the issue of hunger, Ohioans are asked to wear the color orange on Thursday, September 5.
At the signing of the Hunger Action Month proclamation, Governor Kasich was joined by Rep. Timothy Derickson and Rep. Ryan Smith, who also applauded Ohio’s food banks and encouraged their constituents to be a part of the hunger relief movement.
“To see those kids’ faces and those families’ appreciation for what was delivered was just really impactful. If you haven’t experienced it, it certainly might change some perspectives,” said Rep. Smith. “My overarching goal is to give people a pathway out of poverty, and if you’re hungry you can’t really think about education and your goals for three to five years. If we can’t satisfy that basic need we’re not going to get very far.”
Ohio’s First Lady Karen W. Kasich has also lent her voice to Hunger Action Month, calling on her fellow Ohioans to contribute what they can to support Ohio’s food banks through the FeedOhio campaign. To view the First Lady’s public service announcement and to make a donation to your local food bank online, visit www.ohiofoodbanks.org/feedohio.
“The need for food assistance in our community is great and continues to grow,” said Mike Iberis, executive director, Second Harvest Food Bank. “Last year, there was a 14% increase in the number of people visiting food pantries for food, and the Food Bank is filling 15,000 requests for emergency food assistance each week in the tri-county area. All participation in Hunger Action Month, especially food drives and fundraisers are greatly appreciated, especially as the winter months are fast approaching, and more families will be choosing between heating their homes and purchasing food.”