COVID-19 Updates from the Front Lines

Your foodbankers throughout Ohio are working on the front lines to feed more people in need than ever before during these public health and economic crises.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Hunger in Ohio

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and will continue to impact all our lives in many ways. Unfortunately, Feeding America projects that 18.1% of Ohioans will experience food insecurity in 2020 (up from 13.9% in 2018) and that more than one in four children in Ohio (27.1%) will live in food insecure households (up from 18.9% in 2018). This ranks Ohio tied for 10th highest in the nation for overall household food insecurity in 2020 and 13th for child food insecurity in 2020. With more Ohioans living with uncertain access to adequate, healthy food than ever before, and with an ongoing public health crisis creating added challenges in how foodbanks respond, we are working hard every day to keep food on the shelves of Ohio's food pantries and on the tables of Ohio's families.

If you or someone you know is struggling to access enough food, view resources to get help today, including from your local foodbank.

How Foodbanks Are Responding

We've been committed since the very earliest days of the pandemic to protecting the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and clients. We have reimagined nearly everything we do, from holding mass drive-through food distributions, to minimize person-to-person contact to implementing home delivered meal programs to reach individuals isolated by quarantine periods or high risk of serious illness from the virus, to pre-packing groceries and distributing to-go meals.

Each month, we're serving from 120,000 to 150,000 more Ohioans than we were pre-pandemic. About 3 in 10 of the people seeking our help have never sought help from our emergency hunger relief network before. At the same time, the 1.6 million Ohioans we served prior to COVID-19 remain more at risk for hunger than ever, isolated from other support networks and struggling with job loss, reduced wages, and increased household expenses.

The Ohio National Guard and Ohio Military Reserve have deployed more than 400 members to help our foodbanks continue to feed families in need. With many of our elderly volunteers sheltering in place, some local food pantries and soup kitchens closing their doors, and more need than ever in our communities, we are grateful for the support Guard members continue to provide to help us keep safely sorting, packing, and distributing food to the many Ohioans who need help now.

How You Can Help

Individual Donations: We strongly encourage individuals to make cash donations, rather than donations of food or other items, to minimize the burden on local retailers and grocers and to minimize the need for person-to-person contact as our warehouses accept deliveries. To make a cash donation, please visit our donation page or donate directly to your local foodbank by navigating to their website.

Corporate Support: If your company is able to offer needed supplies, including shelf-stable food, personal care/personal hygiene/household cleaning items, food service supplies such as "to-go" meal containers, disposable silverware, or sturdy bags, or other packaging items like cardboard boxes, please contact Jessica Renwick by email at jrenwick@ohiofoodbanks.org with information about your offer, including the quantity you have available.

Volunteer Resources: If you are an individual or group of individuals who are at low-risk for serious illness from a COVID-19 infection, and you are able to assist in volunteering in safe, clean settings in foodbank warehouses, please reach out to your local foodbank's volunteer department. We ask that only individuals free of symptoms, without known exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and without known underlying conditions that would put them at higher risk, respond to this call for volunteer support.