SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — As demand for food assistance significantly increases, the Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield is looking to raise $100,000 by the end of December to be able to continue serving families in need.
The number of people seeking help from the Second Harvest Food Bank has gone up 30% within the past month, according to executive director Tyra Jackson.
Nearly nine months after the closure of the neighborhood’s only supermarket, people on Springfield’s south side are still struggling, according to Oakie Moore, who runs Dunamis Ministries, a food pantry near the former South Limestone Street Kroger.
“That’s why I think a lot of people start coming through the food pantry because we do provide produce for them,” Moore said.
Moore told 2 NEWS his food pantry feeds about 100 families a week, 30% more compared to this time last year.
His organization is able to meet the current demand, he said, thanks to the Second Harvest Food Bank, which serves Clark, Champaign and Logan counties.
“The total amount of people that we served last year was a little bit over 37,000,” Jackson said. “We have already served, as of the end of November, over 57,000 people.”
Jackson attributes the recent increase to the economic effects of the pandemic combined with the holiday season.
In about two weeks, the food bank will lose the help of the Ohio National Guard once state and federal funding runs out, Jackson said.
The organization will have to hire about a dozen temporary workers to help distribute food to people in need, she added.
“They’ll even call us and tell us, ‘We’re quarantined. We can’t get out. Is there any way you can bring us food?'” Jackson said of the deliveries her food bank makes.
Second Harvest Food Bank increased its 2020 budget by 200 percent due to the high demand for assistance, Jackson said.
Jackson said she remains optimistic community donations will help the food bank raise the $100,000 it needs by the end of the month.
Jackson estimates the food bank’s budget for 2021 will increase by $150,000 to $200,000 compared to a typical year due to the continued growth in demand for food assistance.
“We’re anticipating this increase for at least the next 18 months because even when the vaccines and everything are approved and people are able to do that, people’s lives have been completely disrupted,” Jackson said.
To donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank, click here.
Dunamis Ministries, located at 34 West Pleasant Street in Springfield, is accepting donations of food while the food pantry is open: Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.