Parishes Support Food Pantries Serving 6 Million Meals in SW Ohio
CINCINNATI – September 23 – Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio reports that 6,046,920 million meals were served through food pantries supported by almost 100 Catholic Parishes across Southwestern Ohio in 2014. Food pantries provide emergency relief for families.
Nearly 600 parishioners volunteer at food pantries every month, serving 503,910 meals each month
to those in need. From 68 food pantries, 254,652 families were served last year. When adding the more than 4.7 million meals served through the Second Harvest Food Bank operated by Catholic Charities in Springfield, Ohio Catholic-supported food pantries provided more than 10.8 million meals last year.
“Providing food for the hungry is high on Pope Francis priorities,” said Ted Bergh, CEO of Catholic Charities locally. “We are planning to do even more to answer this urgent need.”
In Ohio, the need is great as the state ranks sixth in nation in having the highest rate of food insecurity – 16.9% in 2014 up from 16% in 2013 while the national food insecurity rates fell to 14% during the same period.
Catholic Charities is partnering with St. Leo’s Food Pantry in North Fairmont to reduce hunger through adding services to reduce the need for emergency food from pantries. Bergh explained that, “Pope Francis inspires all of us by his action and his words.
“The scandal that millions of people suffer from hunger must not paralyze us, but push each and every one of us to act: singles, families, communities, institutions, governments, to eliminate this injustice,” said Pope Francis at the launch of his global Food for All Campaign.
Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, a United Way Agency Partner, has been serving the most vulnerable in our community for 100 years. Our programs serve the poor, protect the vulnerable and welcome the stranger regardless of their religious background or country of origin. Our mission to enlighten, serve and empower is enabled by the generosity of donors and volunteers. Together, we serve and bring hope to more than 82,000 people each year. Visit www.ccswoh.org to learn more.