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Harvest Market: Combating Food Deserts in Northwest Ohio

Small neighborhood grocery stores and farm carts once brought fresh produce to our communities. Now, liquor and convenience stores are the norm, carrying little more than highly processed snack foods and sugary drinks. The result is a growing number of food deserts in Northwest Ohio.

What is a food desert?

The USDA defines food deserts as areas where people have limited access to a variety of healthy and affordable food. Food deserts are characterized by the absence of supermarkets and grocery stores. For those who live within food deserts, access to fruits, vegetables and other whole foods is limited.

Food deserts affect millions of households throughout the country, in both urban and rural communities. However, rural communities are some of the most underserved. In fact, Feeding America states that “three-quarters of the counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are in rural areas.”  Rural food deserts often face increased obstacles such as greater distances to food pantries and soup kitchens, which is especially difficult for those without a vehicle or nearby public transportation.

To combat the effects of food deserts, the Food Bank’s Harvest Market is hitting the roads of rural Northwest Ohio.

What is the Harvest Market?

The Harvest Market is a grocery store on wheels, bringing healthy, wholesome foods to the food deserts of Northwest Ohio. The Harvest Market is a direct service program of the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank supplementing the need for healthy food options for seniors, children, and families in rural Northwest Ohio communities.

The custom-made refrigerated vehicle keeps product fresh while on the road.

The mission of the Harvest Market is to increase access to healthy food choices with an emphasis on reaching those least served in a food desert. The Harvest Market does this by

  • Operating regularly scheduled stops in low-income, food-insecure communities
  • Offering high quality, locally grown, sustainably produced farm products
  • Accepting SNAP benefits (food stamps)
  • Providing educational resources on how to prepare the market’s offerings

Harvest Market is operated by a small team of Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank staff members and volunteers. Products offered include fresh produce, dairy, meat and shelf stable items such as rice and pasta. Currently, the Harvest Market services the NW Ohio counties of Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Wood.

Harvest Market regularly offers its guests a variety of produce at no cost.

Why was the Harvest Market created?

The Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank recognized the need to create a direct service to help fill in the meal gap, where access to our partner agencies may be limited. Thus, in August of 2016 The Harvest Market was created with the intent to meet hunger where it lives in the rural counties of Northwest Ohio.

Utilizing the “Map the Meal Gap” statistics and findings from Feeding America’s “Hunger in America 2014” study, the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank discovered an unmet need in the communities we serve. Map the Meal Gap statistics show that 14.8 percent of Northwest Ohioans are food-insecure or are without reliable access to enough nutritious food to lead healthy lives; many client households reported employing a number of coping mechanisms to avoid hunger.

What can you do to help?

Advocate for policies that support hunger relief and create awareness of the hunger issues affecting your community and beyond. Now that you know the facts, share them! A problem no one knows about is a problem no one solves.

Volunteer. Join us at a market day and make a difference. Serve members of your community and be a part of a program that’s makes a difference.

Donate to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank to support programs that help fight food insecurity in your community.

Utilize the resource. Are you affected by a food desert? Visit the Harvest Market and shop for healthy food options. If you aren’t in need of our market, share our info with friends, family, and community members that might be. For Harvest Market dates and times, visit http://www.toledofoodbank.org/event/

Additional Resources:

USDA Food Access Research Atlas

Feeding America: Rural Hunger Facts




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What’s Cooking at the Harvest Market?

The Harvest Market cooked up some fun with a special cooking demo and tasting during its market on September 20th. September is Hunger Action Month, a month devoted to taking action and raising awareness on the hunger issue. A wonderful SNAP-Education Program Assistant from the OSU Extension Office took action against hunger and volunteered her time to come to our market and prepare a meal. She made a sweet potato apple bake. This recipe can be made as a hot side dish or treated as a desert.

“Snap-Ed has an important role in improving the nutrition of Ohio’s SNAP participants. By taking that one step they are improving their health, the health of their families through better food choices.”
-Meredith, OSU-Extension Office Fulton County, Snap-Education Program Assistant

Cooking Demo at the Harvest Market

This low cost, easy to make recipe was a hit with all of our shoppers at the market. What is even better is that the produce we offered at our market coincided with the recipe. So, qualifying shoppers were able to walk away with sweet potatoes and apples for free and make this recipe on their own if they so desired! The Harvest Market, a mobile grocery store on wheels, is servicing rural communities in Northwest Ohio. The mission of the market is to increase access to healthy food choices with an emphasis on serving those least served in a food desert. Additionally, we understand the importance of providing nutrition education to our shoppers because in order for our shoppers to actually implement these lifestyle changes towards a healthier living they need to know how to actually use and cook with the healthier food options. When several shoppers are being introduced to many of our produce items for the first time, providing education is key. That is why cooking demos and recipes are so important. It helps our shoppers learn basic nutrition as well as ways that they can turn their produce and shelf-stable items into delicious, healthy meals that are both cost effective and easy to make.

What is the Harvest Market?

Click here to learn more about the Harvest Market.

More questions about the Harvest Market?

Contact Shelley Crossley at scrossley@toledofoodbank.org or 419-242-5000 ext. 212.

Interested in how you can help?

Contact our Harvest Market Community Outreach Coordinator, Kaimyn Paszko at kpaszko@toledofoodbank.org or 419-242-5000 ext.221.

Baked Apples and Sweet Potatoes

Makes: 6 servings

Total Cost: $$/$$$$

Layer sweet potatoes and apples to make this sweet and satisfying hot side dish.


  • sweet potatoes (cooked)
  • apple
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (or cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Boil 5 sweet potatoes in water until they are almost tender.
  2. After the sweet potatoes cool, peel and slice them.
  3. Peel the apples. Remove the cores, and slice the apples.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Grease the casserole dish with butter or margarine.
  6. Put a layer of sweet potatoes on the bottom of the dish.
  7. Add a layer of apple slices.
  8. Add some sugar, salt, and tiny pieces of margarine to the apple layer.
  9. Repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 to make more layers of sweet potatoes, apples, and sugar/salt.
  10. On the top layer of apples, sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar and margarine pieces.
  11. Sprinkle the top layer with nutmeg.
  12. Mix the hot water and honey together. Pour the mix over the top layer.
  13. Bake for about 30 minutes until apples are tender.

Source - What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl

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2017 Can Jam Food Drive

2017 Can Jam

Friday, November 10 from 6am–6pm

Q105 and The Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank are “Jamming the Truck” with The Q Can Jam for Northwest Ohio families in need this holiday season! Q105 will broadcast LIVE from Walt Churchill’s Market at 26625 North Dixie Highway in Perrysburg from 6am to 6pm on Friday November 10th!

We will be collecting turkeys, canned goods, and non perishable food items for local families in need. Walt Churchill’s will also have pre-packed food bags available the week of November 6th, for only $20.

In conjunction with the live event, we will also be running a virtual food drive from October 30 – November 11, 2017. Click here to make a donation online.

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Hunger Action Month

Hunger Heroes

2017 Hunger Action Month

Not all heroes wear capes-some wear orange in support of Hunger Action Month.

Hunger. We all know that it is a problem. One that affects each and every community. Often times we feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the issue and are not certain what we can do or even where to start in order to make a difference. Feeding America and its network of food banks recognized that many people may feel this way but also acknowledged that the only way to find a solution to the hunger problem is through an “all hands-on deck” approach. The result? In 2008, September was designated Hunger Action Month. A month focused on mobilizing community members to take action against hunger by participating in simple activities that give back in a big way.  Advocating, donating, and volunteering to help the efforts of the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank are just a few of the ways YOU can make a difference in the community this month and every month.

So, what have we been up to during Hunger Action Month? The Harvest Market, a program of the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, celebrated Hunger Action Day on September 14th at our Market in Williams County. The Harvest Market team, community partners, and volunteers all wore orange to raise awareness while helping to take action on the hunger crisis by serving those least served in a food desert. We were fortunate enough to have “hunger heroes” from Montpelier High School’s National Honors Society program come out and volunteer with us. One activity we had the students do was fill out plates that said: “On an empty stomach I can’t _________. But I can _________ to help end hunger.” One volunteer said, “On an empty stomach I can’t be productive. But I can take action to help end hunger.”  And take action is exactly what she and our other volunteers did. They helped register our shoppers into our system, weigh and record our produce, set-up and tear down the Harvest Market, and most importantly, they helped us with our mission: to fill bellies, and feed souls. In addition, on September 20th we had a nutrition education specialist from the Ohio State Extension Office volunteer at our Harvest Market in Fulton County. Here, we held a cooking demo providing an opportunity for shoppers to learn about healthy yet delicious ways to use some of our produce! We are extremely grateful to all of our hunger heroes who came to our Harvest Markets and helped to take action against hunger – we couldn’t do it without you!

All in all, Hunger Action Month has been great. It has provided a blueprint for community members on ways each and every one of us can help in the fight against hunger. But, as always, there is still more work to be done. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!

What is the Harvest Market? Click here to learn more.

Interested in how you can help? Contact our Harvest Market Community Outreach Coordinator, Kaimyn Paszko at kpaszko@toledofoodbank.org or 419-242-5000 ext. 221.


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Hip Hip Hooray- It’s Harvest Market’s Special Day

2017 Harvest Market

Cue the confetti:

The Harvest Market is celebrating its one year anniversary! On August 26th, 2016 the Harvest Market had its first market, EVER!  Now, 365 days later we couldn’t be happier with the growth of our Harvest Market. What started as an idea to help tackle the problem of local food insecurity has manifested into a grocery store on wheels, servicing five locations in four counties. We have grown our market to the following counties: Defiance, Fulton, Henry, and Williams with plans to expand to the Sandusky and Ottawa Counties by the end of this year.

Did you know?

  • The Harvest Market distributed an overall total of 5,654 pounds of food this past year
    • 2,802 pounds of fresh produce
    • 2,852 pounds of shelf-stable products
  • Served 483 people, many of whom are now reoccurring shoppers
  • Saw a total of 720 visits from shoppers
  • Documented more than 340 volunteer hours

As we reflect on this last year we know that in large, our successes are due to the wonderful partners we have within each community that we service. So, a harvest of thanks to all of our community partners, namely, the Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission, Clay Meadows Apartments,  Clinton Circle Apartments, The Enrichment Center, Hebron Ministries, and Liberty Center School District. We couldn’t do it without you!

Now, as we begin our second year, we are excited by the possibilities ahead while still motivated by the same mission-to fill bellies and feed souls.

Cheers to a year and many more to come!

–The Harvest Market Team at the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank

What is the Harvest Market?
Click here to learn more about the Harvest Market.

More questions about the Harvest Market?
Contact our Harvest Market coordinator, Linda Toney at ltoney@toledofoodbank.org or 419-242-5000 ext. 215.

Interested in how you can help?
Contact our Harvest Market Community Outreach Coordinator, Kaimyn Paszko at kpaszko@toledofoodbank.org or 419-242-5000 ext. 221

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U.S. House 2018 Budget


U.S. House Budget Would Endanger Older Adults, People Living with Disabilities and Children

Statement from Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks:

“This week, the U.S. House Budget Committee approved its 2018 budget resolution, which strips billions of dollars from a program that helps working families, seniors and people living with disabilities put food on the table. The budget includes major reductions in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, in addition to drastic cuts to other programs that expand economic opportunity for everyday Ohioans.

SNAP is one of the most cost-effective tools we have in the fight against hunger and poverty. In Ohio, about 85 percent of all SNAP participants are children, seniors or people with disabilities. Not only is it the right thing to do to make sure everyone has enough nutritious food to eat, it’s also good for our entire economy. When families can afford to buy groceries, it pumps money back into local businesses, instead of putting more families into our food pantry lines more frequently. This budget plan would devastate millions of families – and the businesses that rely on their spending.

Before we made a national commitment to end hunger, some areas of the country, including Ohio’s Appalachian region, had serious problems with hunger, including children suffering from malnutrition. Although the help that SNAP provides is extremely modest – averaging only $1.38 per person per meal in Ohio – the program keeps more than eight million people out of poverty nationwide, including nearly four million children.

Ohio’s charitable hunger relief network is committed to feeding the hungry in our community. But if Ohio families lose SNAP benefits, we won’t be able to make up the difference. Members of Ohio’s congressional delegation should protect SNAP and other poverty-reduction programs in the federal budget. We all win when our communities are healthy and prosperous.”


About the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger, representing Ohio’s 12 Feeding America food banks and 3,300 member charities including food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. In SFY 2016, the association and its member food banks were able to acquire and distribute over 208 million pounds of food and grocery items. The association also serves as the home of The Ohio Benefit Bank and operates the state’s largest navigator program for the Affordable Care Act. Follow the association on Twitter, stay connected on Facebook and visit them on the web at www.ohiofoodbanks.org.
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Join Us on Harvest Market Days!


HARVEST MARKET – After a year of planning with community partners, the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank launched the Harvest Market in August of 2016. The Harvest Market currently serves six locations across the Food Bank’s four western counties, Defiance, Fulton, Henry, and Williams, with plans to add Sandusky and Ottawa counties in the fall of 2017. The mission of our “grocery store on wheels” is to increase access to healthy food choices with an emphasis on reaching those seeking hunger relief in the rural and urban communities of Northwest Ohio.

The Harvest Market truck is a unique program – it can accept SNAP, credit or debit cards for shelf-stable product purchases and it has Ohio grown produce available at no-cost. This summer, the Market will offer its own “Double Up” program, allowing SNAP recipients to double the value of their SNAP dollars when shopping for program eligible items like baking ingredients, canned vegetables or fruits, and boxed meals.

As a result of the “2014 Hunger Study,” done by Feeding America to assess the hunger needs of those living across the country and within our service area, the Food Bank discovered that 68 percent of households reported choosing between paying for food and paying for transportation or gas for a car at least once within that year. In addition, as indicated by Feeding America’s latest “Map the Meal Gap” study, 15.2 percent of Northwest Ohioans are food insecure, or are without reliable access to enough nutritious food to lead healthy lives. Despite the hard work of the volunteers and staff from our partner food pantries and emergency kitchens to meet the need of those seeking hunger relief in our communities, the Food Bank recognized the necessity to create a direct service to help fill in the meal gap. The Harvest Market is intended to meet hunger where it lives in the rural counties of Northwest Ohio.

Since hitting the road back in August of 2016, the Harvest Market has experienced a steady increase in shoppers and host sites as it travels throughout northwest Ohio. By fall of this year, the Harvest Market truck will be rolling through six of our 8-county service area.

To find out more information about where the truck will be
or to volunteer your time at the Harvest Market,

call Linda Toney at 419-242-5000 x 215 or visit us at

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Feeding America participates in Older Americans Month by raising awareness
and showing support for seniors we serve, seniors in need and seniors who support us.
More than 750,000 older adults are active volunteers across the Feeding America network.

Make a Difference for Seniors Facing Hunger

The Feeding America nationwide network provides food assistance to seven million seniors age 60 and older – more than any other organization in the country. As a network, we are working to Solve Senior Hunger so older adults can live vibrantly throughout their golden years.

1 in 12 seniors in the United States struggle with hunger, which means they’re not getting the nutrition they need to stay in good health. Just as it’s necessary for young children to receive proper nutrition, it’s imperative that aging adults get enough nutrients to remain strong and healthy.

Food insecurity is especially detrimental to aging adults. According to Feeding America research, Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food-Insecure Older Adults, we know seniors facing hunger are at increased risk for chronic health conditions like depression (60%), heart attack (53%), asthma (52%) and congestive heart failure (40%).

Charitable food assistance alone cannot solve senior hunger. The federal nutrition programs that reach seniors, including SNAP, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and senior congregate and home-delivered meals are critical supports for low-income seniors facing hunger.

Feeding America and partner organizations have come together to shine a light on the fact that seniors, more than any other age group, do not take advantage of SNAP benefits. Nationally, only 41 percent of seniors who are eligible to receive SNAP are actually enrolled in the program, compared to the larger population where 83 percent of individuals who are eligible are taking advantage of benefits. During Older Americans Month 2016, we’re joining together to help #SolveSeniorHunger by closing the Senior SNAP Gap. Senior SNAP gap state-level information is available thanks to the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

Golden Sisters Selfie to Solve Senior Hunger
TV and YouTube celebrities, The Golden Sisters, show how “easy” it is to take a Solve Senior Hunger Selfie to raise awareness of senior hunger in the United States

Let's Talk about SNAP | Feeding America
Let's talk about the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and how it is an important tool to get people struggling with food insecurity back on their feet.

Together, we can give back to those who have given us so much of their time,
hard work and wisdom. Join us in raising awareness for older Americans who struggle
with hunger, so we can work toward Solving Senior Hunger.

You can get involved in Older Americans Month in four key ways (calls-to-action for the general public):

1) Highlight photos and stories of seniors served in your community through #SolveSeniorHunger

2) Share your state’s Senior SNAP Gap data to spread the word

3) Tweet or message your Members of Congress to help close the Senior SNAP Gap

4) Take a Solve Senior Hunger selfie and post it to social media with #SolveSeniorHunger to show your support

~ Click Report To View ~
~ Click Report To View ~

Additional Resources:

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Join Ohio in the Fight to End Hunger


Without question, there is a continuing need for food assistance in our community as 1 in 6 people, including 1 in 4 children are food insecure.

Higher prices for food, coupled with the tremendous rise in costs of living in recent years have left increasing numbers of families in the northwest Ohio struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis.

We are grateful to Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has been a longtime champion in the fight to end hunger in Ohio, and a leader in addressing hunger in our state. Our proposal to Governor Kasich is to embrace and support a comprehensive approach to hunger relief by allocating $30 million per year of funding within the FY2018/19 Executive Budget. This approach will allow Ohio to set the standard for addressing food insecurity in the most extensive and focused manner possible.

Now is not the time to jeopardize a safety net that is responsible for catching more and more people – many of them children and seniors – and providing them with one of the most basic necessities of life: food.

For more information about Ohio’s Comprehensive Approach to Hunger Relief, visit: http://bit.ly/HungerInOhio

How can you help?

  • Send Governor Kasich a message in support of including funds in the FY2018/19 Executive Budget that will help Ohio’s comprehensive approach to ending hunger.
  • Send an email to your representative.
    Please join the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank and the Ohio Association of Food Banks in encouraging Ohio legislators to ensure that no one in our community is forced to go hungry.

@toledoNWOfoodbank | @OhioFoodbanks

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National Nutrition Month – Help Us Give Meals

We invite you to join us in participating in National Nutrition Month by learning about the importance of making healthy food choices, learning about the deep connection between eating healthy and feeling healthy, and helping us #GiveMeals.

Good health starts with good food. At the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, we provide community members access to nutritious meals and nutrition education, like recipes, to support a healthy lifestyle.  There a deep connection between food insecurity and living a healthy life. The Food Bank strives to provide community members with resources they need to relieve food insecurity and live a healthy lifestyle.

What is food insecurity?

In Northwest Ohio, 1 in 6 people, including 1 in 4 children are food insecure.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.”

While hunger and food insecurity are closely related, they are distinct concepts. “Hunger” refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort. “Food insecurity” refers to a lack of available financial resources for food. Think about a time when you came home from work or school, and your stomach was rumbling. You might have went to the refrigerator or the pantry to grab a snack. A food insecure individual feels that same level of discomfort, but does not have a snack in the refrigerator or pantry to grab.

For more information, read:

What are the Connections Between Food Insecurity and Health?

Households served by the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank include people coping with long-term health problems that are impacted by dietary intake.

According to the Feeding America “Hunger in America” report, in Northwest Ohio, 38 percent of households served report at least one member with diabetes. In addition, 67 percent of households served report at least one member with high blood pressure.

The cycle of food insecurity and chronic disease begins when an individual or family cannot afford enough nutritious food. The combination of stress and poor nutrition can make disease management even more challenging. Further, the time and money needed to respond to these worsening health crises drains the household budget, leaving little money for essential nutrition and medical care. This causes the cycle to continue. Many families experiencing food insecurity often have several, if not all, compounding factors which makes maintaining good health extremely difficult.

For more information, visit: HUNGER & HEALTH 101

You have the power to make a difference in the lives of many today.

For every dollar you donate, the Food Bank is able to provide 4 meals to those in need right here in our community.
Donate to feed a family in need today.
 Together, we can solve hunger in our community.

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Ask Your State Rep To Volunteer


Each day, hunger is experienced in every community across our state.
Currently, 1 in 6 people, including 1 in 4 children, are hungry in northwest Ohio.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks and its 12 partner food banks, including the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, has made a request to Ohio Governor John Kasich to support A Comprehensive Approach to Hunger Relief, which will provide $30 million per year in funding for hunger relief within the FY 2018/19 Executive Budget. This approach will allow Ohio to set the standard for addressing food insecurity in the most extensive and focused manner possible. Investing in diverse anti-hunger programs will benefit Ohio, resulting in increased educational achievements, higher worker productivity, and lower rates of chronic health conditions and elderly institutionalization.

The best way to help Ohio legislators understand the scope of hunger in Ohio is to see it for themselves.

To understand how federal anti-hunger programs affect thousands of Ohioans every day we must urge Ohio legislators to volunteer at the Food Bank and see how these programs are making an impact in our community.

How can you help? Ask your state representatives to volunteer at the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, or another of the 12 partner food banks (http://ohiofoodbanks.org/foodbanks/), before March 2017, when the Ohio House of Representatives will develop and pass its version of the state budget.

Write your state representative and be a part of the change today!

To find your State Representative and send him/her a request to visit the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, visit: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

For more information about Ohio’s Comprehensive Approach to Hunger Relief, visit: http://bit.ly/HungerInOhio

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Meet Epiphaney, Humberto & their children


“My husband Humberto and I have been married for nine years – but these past two have been the hardest we have known. We both started our careers serving in the army. I had to leave when we had our first child and a few years ago he was medically discharged.

At the time we had three kids and suddenly one less income. Humberto's service-related injuries cause him a great deal of pain so it was hard for him to find work. I was working full time but the company suffered losses, and I was laid off.

The loss of my job catalyzed the loss of our apartment. For several months our family of five lived out of our car. We had nothing, including no money for food. To have to worry about where your next meal is coming from is the most horrible feeling. I mean, my husband and I can go without, but I cannot imagine letting my children go hungry.

We looked everywhere for any place that could help us. Someone referred us to the Food Bank’s services. The pantry we were referred to provided us with food to feed our growing boys. I cannot describe the relief that passed over me when I no longer had to worry about them getting enough to eat.”

Watch Epiphaney & her family’s story:

REAL STORIES from Feeding America’s Network of Food Banks

Help a hungry family in our community

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Join Our Growing Harvest Market Team

Vista-open position

Looking to start a career in the nonprofit sector? The Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank's new Harvest Market program has a great opportunity for you! We’re looking for a passionate new member to join our team who wants to make a difference while gaining valuable work experience. As an AmeriCorps VISTA member, you’ll receive a modest living stipend, an education award at the end of your year of service, and a lifetime of memories and networking opportunities. Learn more and apply today! http://bit.ly/TNWOFBPosition

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Fewer Ohioans Self-Sufficient Seven Years After Recession…


The number of Ohioans living in households with incomes low enough to make them eligible for help from foodbanks has increased by more than 356,000 people since the end of the Great Recession.

Data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) show that from 2011-2015, about 34 percent of all individuals in Ohio, or more than 3.8 million people, lived in households with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $40,000 a year for a family of three. That’s up from about 31 percent, or about 3.46 million people, from 2005-2009.

Ohio’s metropolitan areas, which represent about 83 percent of Ohio’s total population, have collectively seen an 11.39 percentage increase in the number of residents living below self-sufficiency from 2005-2009 (2,750,729 people) to 2011-2015 (3,064,056 people).


At the county level, 22 counties have 4 in 10 or more of their residents living in households eligible for help from foodbanks.


Of Ohio’s 88 counties, 75 still had more individuals living in households with incomes below the self-sufficiency standard from 2011-2015 than from 2005-2009.

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks said “With the serious potential for deep, harmful cuts and changes to programs like SNAP and Medicaid at the federal level, we urge Ohio to make its own investments in policies and programs that promote livable wages and support emergency safety nets.”

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is seeking $30 million per year in the 2018-19 state biennial budget to support a comprehensive approach to hunger relief.

To view the full pre-release, please visit:

For more information, visit the U.S. Census Bureau FactFinder to view American Community Survey data. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml

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Feed New Traditions

Despite the hustle and bustle of each of our daily lives, family traditions are sacred treasures that unify the whole family during the holiday season.

For 1 in 6 people who struggle with hunger in Northwest Ohio, traditions may look a little bit different. This season, simple acts of kindness can help families in need find a little magic.

When you donate or volunteer at the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, you’re feeding new traditions in more ways than one. You’re not only giving families a chance to cherish their own holiday meal traditions, but it’s a great way to start a new one with your family.

Volunteer and donate today.
Together, we can solve hunger!

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$10,000 Red-Nose Day Grant Received!


$10,000 Grant Received from Red-Nose Day
To Feed Local Children

The Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, received $10,000 for local child hunger programs in September! Inspired and supported by Comic Relief U.K. — the British charity behind Red Nose Day — NBC televised a three-hour benefit featuring hilarious stand-up comedy, clever parodies, sketch comedy, incredible music performances from A-list artists and short, compelling films about the cause. Red Nose Day encouraged viewers and participants to “Have fun, raise money and change lives.”

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Feed a Family this Holiday Season


Tis the season for hats and warm mittens, hot chocolate by the fireplace, and delicious food shared with family and friends.

As the holiday season is upon us, and Thanksgiving right around the corner, we begin to ponder what in our lives we are most thankful for. Some of our lists might include our family and friends, our beloved pets, our favorite movies and electronics, our favorite store, and many other items, I’m sure! But what might not have made it to your list is the food you share with your loved ones during the holidays. The food you eat when you wake up in the morning, your midday snack, and the food you eat before you fall asleep at night.

Many families in our community wish they could be thankful for never having to skip a meal, but this is not a reality for some. While you are enjoying your holiday meal, think of those who do not have that luxury. Think of those who wish they could provide their families a Thanksgiving turkey, or a Christmas ham.

You have the power to make a difference in the lives of many this holiday season. For every dollar you donate, the Food Bank is able to provide 4 meals to those in need right here in our community. Be a part of the change. Donate to feed a family in need today. Together, we can solve hunger in our community.



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Harvest of Thanks Dinner, Dance & Auction to fight hunger in Northwest Ohio


The holiday time is a time to be thankful for all of the blessings you have been awarded in life.

Your list may include: your family, your home, your career, etc. One thing that may not necessarily be at the top of your list is the food you eat every day. The breakfast you eat to start your morning, your afternoon snack, and dinner before bed. Food is true blessing that many families in Northwest Ohio only wish they could be thankful for. Unfortunately, not all families are sure when they will eat their next meal.

Join us for our Harvest of Thanks Dinner, Dance & Auction
on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at The Premier.

The evening includes an amazing dinner, a live auction, and entertainment by the KGB Band.

More importantly, all proceeds from the event go toward making sure every family is fed during this holiday season.

Get your tickets today: http://www.toledofoodbank.org/harvest-of-thanks/

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Shop at any of your local Northwest Ohio
T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores
Fri., Nov. 4th thru Sun. Nov. 6th
and join the fight against hunger in Northwest Ohio!


All stores will collect $1, $5, or $10 donations at the register.

100% of funds raised will stay in our local community
and will go toward feeding our local community members!

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Art in Food Festival





Join the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank
and the Toledo Museum of Art for Art in Food,
a festival at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Tour the table-for-two settings created by local designers, inspired by works of art in the gallery. In the evening, book your ticket for the chef lecture, gala, bartender battle, or gourmet dinner! In addition, donate to the canned food drive, to benefit the Toledo NWO Food Bank, and join us in the fight to end hunger in Northwest Ohio!


Oct. 27
Mixed! Bartender Battle
Hosted by Circle 2445
7 p.m- GlasSalon- $30-$40

Oct. 28
Taste of the Arts: Dinner Under Glass
6:30-10 p.m.- GlasSalon- $200-225

Oct. 27-30
Throughout the Museum- Free

To purchase Tickets:
ONLINE: Click the links above to purchase tickets,
BY PHONE:  (419) 255-8000 ext. 7448 during Museum hours,
IN PERSON: at any Museum Information Desk.


    Make a Donation

    For every $1 donation, Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank can provide 5 meals.

    Food Bank Blog

    Follow along for the latest updates from the Toledo Food Bank!