Friday, June 26, 2009

Philanthropy Friday Behind the Scenes with Mid-Ohio Foodbank

This Behind the Scenes Spotlight features non-profit organization Mid-Ohio Foodbank. You can read my feature on this wonderful organization at Columbus Underground.

Mid-Ohio Foodbank helps so many different people, even those who never thought they'd need it.

That leads me to Craig's story. Craig represents the type of new faces being seen at pantries not just in Columbus, but across our state and nation: he’s a middle class individual with two grown daughters who has worked all his life and been hit with a major layoff that has changed his life.

Having worked without interruption for the last 17 years, this is a tough spot for him to be in, and he’s one of many people who are accessing emergency food assistance for the first time. “I was living a good life…I had a budget and it worked, until all of a sudden they give you that paper that says, ‘we don’t need you for awhile,’ and your pay gets cut in half…and it doesn’t work anymore.”

Craig is 54-years-old and acknowledges that in this tight job market, it’s hard to compete with younger workers. The part-time job he recently found was also affected by layoffs, and so twice in one year, he has lost two jobs. He keeps a log of the places he contacts for work, but with few companies hiring, nothing has turned up. Says Craig: “The cold reality rolls in…you’re poor now.” “Like most Americans, I just never thought this would happen.”

Craig is not alone. Forty-nine percent of people served by Mid-Ohio Foodbank's partner agencies have had to choose between food and utilities. Twenty-nine percent have had to choose between food and shelter.

Since March, Mid-Ohio Foodbank has ramped up their efforts to raise awareness about local hunger through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. They know these platforms offer unique opportunities to reach a new group of supporters in a place where many people are already spending a majority of their time - online.

You can follow Mid-Ohio Foodbank on Facebook here.
You can follow Mid-Ohio Foodbank on Twitter here.
See their on-line campaign, "Campaign to Sustain" from Resource Interactive here.

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