United Way of Lake County Puts Over $83,000 of Food into Community this Year with $35,000 Distributed June 19, 2024

United Way of Lake County Puts Over $83,000 of Food into Community this Year with $35,000 Distributed June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024 – Mentor, OH – United Way of Lake County (UWLC) distributed $35,000 in food to 31 Lake County food pantries on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Prior to this, the organization collected over $48,000 in food this year that was distributed on an as-needed basis as part of their new food pantry shopping program.

Volunteers from STERIS were on-hand with pallet jack trucks to help unload the food from the delivery truck and sort the food into groups. Additional community volunteers helped load the food into the food pantry vehicles one-by-one as each arrived.

UWLC convenes with the Lake County food pantries several times throughout each year to determine the food items that are most needed so the organization can fill this gap. Items distributed today included those most requested. This included Chunk White Chicken, Chunk Light Tuna, Beef Ravioli, Vegetable Beef Soup, Spaghetti, Spaghetti Sauce, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Cereal, Instant Oatmeal, Pancake Mix, Syrup, Fruit Cocktail, Apple Juice, and Bottled Water.

The food distributed today was purchased from funds raised during the organization’s 32nd Annual Feed Lake County Food Drive and Fundraiser held this past spring, along with funds from the $75,000 grant UWLC received last fall from the Jerome T. Osborne and Georgeanne S. Osborne Charitable Trust to help alleviate hunger.

A total of $60,000 in cash was raised from the fundraiser and much of this will be used to help re-stock the shelves of the food pantries later in the year. This amount included $25,000 donated by Buyers Products Company in Mentor for the third year in a row for use as a donor match incentive to encourage gifts.

The food donated during the food drive was stored by the organization in their new food pantry and distributed on an as-needed basis to the local food banks beginning this past March. UWLC’s new on-site food pantry represents the organization’s commitment to year-round need fulfilment.

“In the past we distributed the food all on one day during a few select dates during the year,” said UWLC President & CEO Dione DeMitro.  “Food is now donated year-round and not contained to just our spring food drive. This allows us to better meet the needs of our local food pantries by letting them shop for what they need from our supply.”

Donor standouts from UWLC’s spring food drive included PCC Airfoils, who donated 5,327 lbs. of food; Component Repair Technologies, who donated 5,049 lbs. of food; Mentor High School, who donated 2,165 lbs. of food; and Marous Brothers Construction, who donated 1,900 lbs. of food.

DeMitro emphasized the importance of addressing our community's basic needs, saying, "In addition to supporting numerous local nonprofit programs, meeting our community's fundamental needs is a top priority for us. I deeply appreciate everyone who contributes food and funds to make days like today possible."

One-third of Lake County residents struggle to stay afloat and afford basic needs.

UWLC has a list of food pantries on their website at uwlc.org/food-pantries. More comprehensive health and human service help can be found by calling Lifeline’s 2-1-1 help referral line anytime 24/7.

Those in a position to donate are asked to visit uwlc.org/give to make a gift. Checks payable to United Way of Lake County can also be mailed to them at 9285 Progress Parkway, Mentor, OH 44060. Attention: FLC.