Logan, Ohio (Oct 22, 2007) Smith Chapel Food Pantry UMC Food and Clothing Ministry, www.smithchapelfoodpantry.com
I made a trip to Logan last October and it moved me like nothing I've seen in the past 10 years of philanthropy work! This food pantry tries to give struggling families about 2 weeks of food once a month. Most months they don't succeed. In October 2007, 613 families showed up. In January 2008, over 800 families showed up, some as early as 4:00am, simply hoping to obtain food to feed their families. According to a major 2006 hunger study, 1 out of 3 people in Hocking County, Ohio live under the federal poverty level.

With higher gas and food prices, Ohio is in crisis for some very good people.

Logan, Ohio (Jan 28, 2008) Food Bank Virtually Empty.
This major Second Harvest Food Bank provides food to 203 individual food pantries in 10 of the poorest counties in Southeastern Ohio. In 2007, the food bank provided food for 203,539 good people struggling to make ends meet. To make matters worse, about 85 pantries are currently on a waiting list to be served by this food bank, but the food is simply not there.

An empty food bank in Ohio is unacceptable!

Hunger in Ohio is unacceptable!

 

Empty Ohio Food Pantry
Logan, Ohio (Feb 4 - Mar 7, 2008) World Harvest Church and Southeastern Ohio Food Donor Fund Collaboration between World Harvest Church (one church!) and the Southeastern Ohio Food Donor Fund has leveraged $42,000 into $262,000 of food deliveries into the Logan Food Bank. This is an incredible example of partnering, sharing food industry contacts, and the raw power of bulk purchasing. She's Hungry, We Deliver
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, TROY DUGAN OF WORLD HARVEST, MARYLYN SLOAN OF THE FOOD BANK, DEAN COLE OF THE WEST OHIO CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, BOB RITE OF WORLD HARVEST, HOLLY DUELL OF THE FOUNDATION FOR APPALACHIAN OHIO, TOM YASKOFF OF THE FOOD BANK, AND JEFF DAVIDSON OF THE SOUTHEASTERN OHIO FOOD DONOR FUND
Southeastern Ohio Hunger Crisis Update: August 1, 2008

A major food bank low on food, pantries closing, and a line of 700 cars to get an emergency supply of food (every month) ….. in Ohio. Welcome to Logan—and Southeastern Ohio!

Helen and I are long-time Dublin, Ohio residents, both CPAs, who have worked in tax and financial management positions for years. We believe that nothing one accomplishes in the business world is as important as giving back to people who haven’t had the same opportunities in life. Since October 2005, we haveHelen and Jeff Davidson donated $50,000 a year into our Southeastern Ohio Food Donor Fund to help Ohio’s poor. We have a real problem with hunger in Ohio—and the income disparity in this country in general. We see good people, trying to raise families on wages of $10 or $14 an hour (or less) while many CEO’s make $10 million or $20 million (or more) in salaries and benefits—even if their companies lose money. Compounding the income disparity problem are national statistics that say that less than 10% of all donations go to the poor—the wealthy donate primarily to “culture palaces: operas, art museums, symphonies, and theatres, where they spend most of their leisure time” and “major colleges and universities, where their children go to school” (Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, Oct 2007).

Many good people living in Ohio are struggling to simply obtain basic necessities. This includes our “working poor” and many wonderful senior citizens. At the same time, many of us in the suburbs are not dramatically affected.

This is an unacceptable moral crisis!! Helen and I are appealing for your help.

In January, and then in April, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeastern Ohio was empty. This major food bank serves 203 food pantries in some of the poorest 10 counties in southeastern (Appalachia) Ohio. Currently, food inventory is way down. To help this crisis, a hunger challenge has commenced. We opened a new fund, the “Southeastern Ohio Hunger Fund” in December 2007 and a Southeastern Ohio Food Donor Fund matching grant of $25,000 was initiated. Donations received through August 1, 2008 total $34,414.80 and the funds are being used to assist bulk purchases of food for the southeastern Ohio area. The matching grant and bulk purchasing can turn every $1 donation into $4 or $5 dollars of food. Donations can be made and mailed to:

Food being given to qualified persons at the Smith Chapel Food PantrySoutheastern Ohio Hunger Fund
Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
P.O. Box 456
36 Public Square
Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
(Phone 740-753-1111)

The Southeastern Ohio Food Fund will continue to match donations dollar for dollar up to $25,000.00.

Please call Jeff Davidson at (614) 580-1561 for more information. We are looking for other successful people to join us. We are looking for food distributors to make donations, or sales of food at discounted prices. We are also looking for churches and other organizations to join together in a large-scale collaborative effort. In addition to a phone call, Jeff can be reached at jadavidson@columbus.rr.com

Since 2004, Helen and I have:

  • Collected over 117,000 pounds of food in many “central Ohio” food drives
  • Donated over $200,000 to charity (mostly to poverty non-profits)
  • Raised well over $200,000 from other donors through various fundraisers

But, we will be the first to say: “we are not doing enough!”

One of our aspirations is to form a “Poverty Social Venture Group” where philanthropists passionate about helping the poor can pool donations and collaborate to make a large-scale difference. During the Katrina crisis, Ohioans sent well over $70 million down south.

Why can’t we do that for our struggling neighbors in Ohio?

Thank you.
Jeff Davidson