Community members highlight need for food assistance as pandemic continues

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – CareSource once again partnered with The Foodbank to distribute meals to families in the Miami Valley. Last month they held a drive through distribution in Montgomery County and this Thursday, they held a distribution at the Nutter Center in Greene County. Despite changing food assistance needs in other areas of the country, chief development officer of The Foodbank, Lee Lauren Truesdale, said 55 percent of families who attended the drive through had never sought help from their organization before.

“We’re hearing reports from the USDA that food insecurity nationwide is down. We’re not finding that  to be true here at the Foodbank, she said. “I recently just pulled some data and I compared the beginning of May to the beginning of August. We’ve actually seen a 30 percent increase in overall services delivered to our communities. 

Some community members, including Greene County resident Danielle Wade, said they have valid reasons for needing those services.

“Me and my grandma, we’ve struggled,” she explained. “She’s on disability and all that. I struggled with trying to find a job and everything and food really helps us… not starve. And I have a family at home so it’s a lot. [The food] helps a lot.”

But even since finding a job, Wade said it still hasn’t been easy taking care of her grandmother and her family of four while tending to her duties at work and trying not to get them sick.

“I finally got a job in the middle of the pandemic, and I can tell you, it was a stressful time because it was just me and only me. And it was hard,” she said. “It was very hard because nobody wanted to be…there. And especially with healthcare — it’s hard.”

But some people who were already working at the start of the pandemic faced some challenges as well. Dayton resident, Paula Brown said that was the case in her situation.

“By what I do not having as many people there…if you don’t have as many people you don’t [work] too many hours. So you know, [traffic] was an effect on my hours.”

Brown said she also had one of her daughters move back in the during the pandemic. But despite difficulties caused by the pandemic, she’s said she’s thankful for opportunities to help feed her family. 

“I’m just glad to see that this is happening, and, you know, sorry that it had to be a pandemic to bring everybody together, but whatever works, you know? And this is working with the community.”

In the coming days, 2 NEWS will look at more reasons the need for food assistance continues to rise in the Miami Valley and resources available to those who need help.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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