Food for All
“For I was hungry, and you gave me food …” Matthew 25:35
Food deserts are more common than you’d think in rural areas where grocery stores are sparse and public transportation limited. Food deserts can be found in urban neighborhoods and rural towns that lack access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may be served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options. The lack of access contributes to a poor diet and can lead to higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The USDA estimates 23.5 million people live in food deserts. More than half of these people are low-income. With more than 400,000 people living in poverty in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Catholic Charities is tackling food insecurity head-on by bringing every month a variety of nutritious food items to rural communities without established food pantries. Currently, Catholic Charities is partnering with other organizations to serve people in Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton and Highland Counties.
This ministry is made possible through donations made to the One Faith, One Hope, One Love campaign. Read some of the success stories.
How does it work?
Every month, Catholic Charities travels to Clermont, Clinton, Highland, Brown, Adams and Hamilton counties with food. Those who are in need sign up. Working with local organizations, a pantry is set up for the day. Food is brought in from the FreeStore Food Bank and volunteers prepare the food for distribution at each site.
Food for All pantry visitors receive between 20-40 food items. We bring a variety of food choices and fresh produce. The pantry opens at 11am and closes at 1pm.
Where are the pantries?
- Bethel, Clermont County, the second Friday of the month
- Blanchester and Wilmington in Clinton County, alternate locations on the second Thursday of the month
- Hillsboro in Highland County, the fourth Thursday of the month
- Ripley in Brown County, the third Wednesday of the month
- Sharonville at the Sharonville United Methodist Church, 3751 Creek Road, second Saturday of the month
- West Union in Adams County, the fourth Tuesday of the month
Volunteers are needed from 9:00am to 1:30 pm at each mobile site. If you can help for a few hours or the whole time, call Julie Pfeffer at 513-672-3720 for (Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton and Highland counties). To volunteer at the Sharonville pantry, sign up here or call LaTonya Ginyard at 513-672-3722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can get a group to come assist with distribution or come alone. We have volunteers of all ages.
Five Ways to Fight Hunger
- Volunteer at a food pantry. Call Julie at 513-672-3720 or email her at email@example.com to get involved.
- Teach your children not to waste food. Set an empty plate at the table to remember those who go without food.
- Devote one day each month to fasting and prayer to end hunger.
- Advocate. Contact Congress to ask your representative to visit a food pantry and support policies that aid hungry families.
- Donate cash or stock to support programs that address food insecurity like Food for All and the Second Harvest Food Bank.
For seven years in a row, Feeding America has conducted Map the Meal Gap to shed light on food insecurity at the local level. The intent is to provide useful data so policymakers, business leaders, community activists and others can work towards solutions to food insecurity. “Ensuring that food-insecure people have access to adequate and nutritious food may help reduce their risk of developing associated physical and mental health issues, and also improve the strength of the broader community. When people are provided with the social support they need to thrive, everyone benefits,” Map the Meal Gap 2017