Mid-Ohio Food Bank offers perishable foods

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The Mid-Ohio Food Bank will offer perishable food items, like fresh fruit and vegetables, to help those who lost groceries in last week's power outages.(Photo: Mandie Trimble)
The Mid-Ohio Food Bank will offer perishable food items, like fresh fruit and vegetables, to help those who lost groceries in last week's power outages.(Photo: Mandie Trimble)

Many families lost food last week after remnants of Hurricane Ike caused power outages. And for those living pay check to pay check losing groceries is tough. WOSU reports the Mid-Ohio Food Bank is helping out.

Low-income people who bought their groceries with food stamps were given replacements. But for those who do not qualify for food stamps, re-stocking the frig is a financial challenge.

“Working families can’t afford to replace food they lost during the wind storm,” Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown said.

Brown said the county gave the Mid-Ohio Food Bank $100,000 to help purchase perishable food items. The food bank will distribute them to its 133 food banks around the county.

“Milk, eggs, cheese. We have turkey sausage, hot dogs, I’m forgetting something margarine, bacon…”

Mid-Ohio Food Bank president and CEO Matt Habash said fresh fruits and vegetables are also available – items the food bank does not offer on a regular basis.

Habash said the food bank serves more than 70,000 people each month. That’s a 14 percent increase over last year. He says the money the county donated from its general fund is helps.

“Obviously if we’re serving 71,000 people right now it’s not going to reach everybody,” Habash said.

The Salvation Army this week has been turning people away after it ran out groceries and supermarket gift cards. Some of those people had been in line for hours and left upset. Habash said the food pantries do not plan to send people away empty-handed.

“We’re not turning people away from food pantries right now. We haven’t turned people away in the past. Often what happens though is if they know how many people are coming they lighten the bag so they can cover everybody,” Habash said.

To be eligible for the emergency food a single person can earn up to $20,808 a year. A family of four can earn up to $42,408. Individuals who go to food pantries will need a picture I.D., and can expect to fill out paperwork.

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