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h 14 WINTER arvest gatherings Hunger is not a choice. Giving is. www.sharedharvest.org 800-352-3663 Inside this Edition Notes from our director ...
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arvest gatherings

Hunger is not a choice. Giving is. www.sharedharvest.org 800-352-3663

Inside this Edition Notes from our director


Check-Out Hunger and Community Food Relief


SNAP worker Kate Dart shares Regina’s story


Learn more about our BackPack program and what volunteers and professionals say about it.


Zombie Run and Chamber Alliance’s Caring for Kids help BackPack project


Honoraiums Thanks to Woodforest Bank



The vital role of our many volunteers

It’s hard to imagine the limitations Shared Harvest Foodbank and other charitable organizations would face were it not for the help of volunteers. Whether it’s sorting food from local food drives, preparing weekend BackPacks for hungry children, monthly boxes of food for seniors, or stuffing envelopes for Shared Harvest’s mailings, volunteers play a vital role. Shared Harvest’s Community Engagement Director Ben Powers said dedicated volunteers have put in over 6,000 hours of work through the first nine months of the year. Melissa McGowan is Executive Administrative Assistant at MartinBrower Company in Fairfield. When she became volunteer coordinator for their employee engagement program, she decided they should help Shared Harvest. One of her favorite tasks is packing weekend food bags for the BackPack program. “I didn’t realize food security was as prevelant a problem as it is in the community,” McGowan said. “It’s so large a problem that not all the children referred to BackPack can be accomodated.” McGowan says volunteering is a unique experience. “It’s a win-win situation,” Melissa explained. “Shared Harvest gets the help it needs and volunteers get the satisfaction of knowing they’re making a difference.”

After 10 years volunteering in schools her children attended, Suzanne Collins decided it was time for a new experience, so she began helping Shared Harvest in February. As the mother of three children with disabilities, she understands how important it is to have reliable volunteers. Suzanne loves helping the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for seniors and sorting food for the retail food rescue program. She also enjoys packing BackPacks. “I’ve assisted with packing many bags, and with each one, I feel I’m making a difference in the life of a child,” she said. Collins encourages you to volunteer. “If you have even one day a month to volunteer, do it,” she said. “Your small sacrifice may be the difference in someone having a meal today.” Debbie Jones retired in January and also launched a new volunteer career at the foodbank. Like most volunteers, she helps with CSFP, BackPack, retail pickup and foodbank mailings. She believes helping local charities is critical. “It’s so important to give back,” Jones said. “I do it because I’m helping others, but the reward is just as great for me.” If you’d like to volunteer, contact Ben Powers at: [email protected] or call him at 800-352-3663.

Suzanne Collins (below left) volunteers at Shared Harvest each month doing a variety of tasks. A group of volunteers from Target (below right) help with the retail food pick-up program.

Written and edited by Bob Long


Notes from our director

Board of Trustees

As I stood looking in my refrigerator, I wondered what to make for dinner… roast chicken breast with wild rice and steamed broccoli? How about something light… like fresh green salad, grilled salmon and raspberry vinaigrette? The choices seem endless as I look at my supply of food, then close the door and think... maybe I’ll just order a pizza.

barriers to becoming self-reliant. Do we make these people suffer hunger because it may be their ‘fault’ they did not take advantage of the opportunities offered them? I often wonder what I would be doing if I had been the product of generations of poverty. Would I be standing in the food lines too, the victim of my own seemingly hopeless situation?

How many of us make these choices every night without a second thought, even get frustrated because there are too many choices? Too many choices, that is, if you have the resources: Money to buy food, a refrigerator and stove to cool and cook the food, utilities to run the appliances, a home to hold all of it.

It is that time of year when we are all inundated with requests for donations to a variety of worthwhile charities. It can be frustrating, even for those of us who do the asking. We have learned over the years that people are their most generous around the holidays, so that’s when most of us do the asking. The result is your mailbox is full of pleas for help and if you are like me, I consider each and decide where my donations will have the most impact.

That lack of resources leaves little choice. Just spend some time at Serve City or Family Services of Middletown. Drop in at St. Raphael’s or Salvation Army. The people standing in line, waiting for a meal or a bag of groceries, aren’t much different than you and me. Some of the folks waiting in the food line are working more than one job but not earning enough to keep them out of the food line. Some just lost their job, some are too old to work, or care for sick or disabled parents or children and some are disabled themselves. Most of us have no trouble helping people who are trying to help themselves, or are sacrificing their own independence to help family members or those simply unable to work. This is where it gets tough. Some of the people in the food lines just never learned how to support themselves and now face multiple

In giving to Shared Harvest, every dollar you give provides seven meals to someone who will go without otherwise, right here at home. I know that a bag of food or a hot meal given to someone who is hungry is more than just food, it is a statement of who we are as a people, a testament to our willingness to care for each other. Please, give what you can, do what you can… every little bit (and big bit) helps! Hunger is not a choice, giving is.

Kevin Cooney, Chair Frost, Brown, Todd LLC Amanda Blevins, Sec./Treas. PepsiCo Gary Cornett, Past Chair Cincinnati Bell Lou Colantuono Retired, Original Mattress Factory Bryan Cooper Woodforest National Bank Mike Harkrader Dickerson Distributing Patricia Plavko Ultimus Fund Solutions, LLC Chuck Roesch Dinsmore & Shohl LLP Dave Sobecki Miami University Hamilton Russ White Retired, Frito-Lay Co. Steve Woody Kroger Company

UPCOMING EVENTS Through December Community Food Relief Journal-News/Cox Ohio Through December Kroger Check-out Hunger Through December Holiday Food Drives January Souper Bowl February Fill That Bus - Hamilton Schools

Tina Osso Executive Director




Two ways you can fight hunger at the holidays You can help Shared Harvest Foodbank feed local families in need whenever you go through the checkout line at your local Kroger store. The grocer’s ninth annual Check-Out Hunger campaign makes donating simple at 21 stores in Butler, Warren, Preble, Darke and Miami Counties. Placards like the one pictured on the right have been placed at regular check-out lanes as well as U-Scan machines giving you an opportunity to swipe a coupon and donate to Shared Harvest. Some Kroger stores have placards with $1, $3 and $5 coupons while others have coupon amounts of $3, $5 and $10. “This is just one of the many ways Kroger partners Readers of the Journal-News have an opportunity to contribute to Shared Harvest Foodbank through Cox Ohio’s 11th annual Community Food Relief campaign. Envelopes have been provided in several Sunday papers encouraging people to make a donation to the foodbank. Cox Ohio also is running ads to emphasize the theme: Hunger is not a choice. Giving is. In 2013, Community Food Relief received nearly $17,000 in individual contributions from 444 people. The Hamilton and Middletown Community Foundations also combined to contribute $14,000, bringing the grand

CHECK OUT HUNGER $1 = 7 meals

100% of your donation helps Shared Harvest provide food for families in need right here at home.

Hunger is not a choice. Giving is.

with our foodbank to put food on the table for those who struggle through difficult times,” said Shared Harvest Executive Director Tina Osso. “Every dollar you give provides seven meals to those in need.” The campaign runs through the end of December.

total to nearly $31,000. Online readers of the Journal-News can also make contributions. To make your contribution, just visit www.Journal-News.com/foodrelief.

From the front lines... a true friend to people in need Shared Harvest’s SNAP Outreach Program helps people learn if they qualify and can apply for SNAP or other supports. This month, SNAP Outreach worker Kate Dart shares the story of a woman named Regina. We all have those days where we wonder how things could possibly get any worse. It was on a day like that when I met Regina. She’s a 50-year old woman who came to a food pantry where I was working to get some groceries, but she found out I could help her to apply for food stamps while she was there. Regina has no income right now but has been applying to Social Security for disability. She has been turned down twice because she hasn’t been under consistent doctor’s care for the heart condition she has had for the last two years. But there’s more to her story. Regina has had two heart attacks and lost her husband to cancer. His job was the one that provided

the only health insurance they had. Since his death, Regina’s medical expenses have caused her to lose almost everything, including her home. She has tried to work, but she was let go from her last job because she fainted a couple of times due to her health-related issues. As I listened to her story, it was hard for me to concentrate on the task at hand - helping her apply for food stamps. We did manage to get through the application process, and now she’s waiting to see if she’ll qualify for SNAP benefits as well as medical assistance. I’m hoping Regina will get the care she deserves soon.


Children in the BackPack program rely on... “We know that in many cases when times are tough for a family, these BackPack food bags are the only food items they have in their homes. We have people who absolutely are dependent on these bags to give their kids something to eat.” Cari Wynne Butler County Success Supervisor

Snow days may be fun for some kids, but for families in Shared Harvest Foodbank’s BackPack program, it’s a nightmare trying to figure out how to provide extra food. Shared Harvest started providing BackPacks to elementary and Head Start preschoolers in January 2007 to give them snacks and ready-to-fix meals to get them through the weekend. BackPack has grown from serving a few hundred children in Butler County to over 3,600 kids in Butler, Warren, Darke and Miami Counties today. It has become a favorite for many of Shared Harvest’s volunteers as well as professionals who identify the kids who need help the most. Butler County Success Supervisor Cari Wynne sends liaisons to elementary schools to work with school nurses, teachers, counselors and principals to identify kids at risk of going hungry on weekends. Wynne said liaisons ask parents the hard question - do you have enough food to last? “We’re continuously shocked at how many responses we get where families

are skipping meals or frankly don’t have enough to go around,” she said. From time to time, Wynne gets to assist the liaisons in handing out BackPacks to kids. “We joke that we feel like rock stars because the kids come up and embrace us and say thank you for bringing them their food,” she added. “It’s pure excitement for them to know they’re going to have food this weekend.” Cari understands the link between food and learning. She believes BackPack helps kids to focus. “What we hear most frequently is kids are better able to sit still and listen because they aren’t preoccupied with worrying about being hungry,” Wynne said. The director of dining services for Hamilton City Schools, Cinde Gorbandt, says its heart wrenching because so many kids in Hamilton need BackPacks, and there is a waiting list for help. “The program is extremely important for our kids because there are many students that come to school every Monday extremely hungry, and it breaks my heart that we can’t do more,” Gorbandt said.

Bill Waltz has been volunteering since the beginning of BackPack to deliver meals to kids in Middletown. “I deliver to more than 100 kids at Rosa Parks in Middletown,” Waltz said. “There’s something special about volunteering because you’re giving from the heart.”

Warren County Scott Williams and his wife began volunteering for BackPack in the Lebanon City Schools, and that district helped them to set up a new program in Little Miami Schools. “We’ve really seen the need in our district,” Williams said. Little Miami has 1,200 kids in the free and reduced price lunch program, and that has helped them target 160 to 200 elementary kids for BackPack. Williams recalls talking to a single mom raising two kids who appreciates the help. “She didn’t know where the BackPacks were coming from at first, but she knew they were ensuring her two daughters had weekend meals,” he said. Williams is now helping ClintonMassie Schools get a BackPack project underway as well.

BackPack volunteers like this group from Ethicon Endo-Surgery (below left) come to Shared Harvest to pack the food bags. Volunteers like Bill Waltz (center) pick up the food and deliver it to schools where liaisons like Jessica Allshouse (right) deliver it to kids like P.J.




... volunteers and professionals to lend a hand Darke County Ann Ditmer has witnessed BackPack’s growth in Darke County over the last two years. “We started with Greenville - the biggest school district in Darke County - and we had 80 kids,” Ditmer said. “The next year we added three more districts and were serving about 200 children. Now we’re in seven school districts plus Head Start and that means about 420 kids per week.” Most Butler County schools assemble their BackPacks at Shared Harvest’s warehouse, but groups in Warren, Darke and Miami have their own volunteers to pack bags each week. The foodbank delivers the food to the Kroger parking lot in Greenville, where volunteers unload it and then take it to other volunteers for sorting and packing. Ditmer said Darke County may be rural, but the biggest issue is a living wage. “We just don’t have enough jobs here, and the factories we have just don’t pay enough,” she said.

Miami County Kathy Bramlette says her pastor talked her into coordinating BackPack for Piqua City Schools, and she has fallen in love with it the last two years. “BackPack is important to me because it helps those who are the most vulnerable,” she said. “These kids can’t help what their home lives are like and shouldn’t have to worry if they’ll have something to eat over the weekend.” Kathy recalls packing bags initially at United Pentecostal Church in Piqua. “The church has a bus that brings kids to Sunday School, and one little girl came in the fellowship hall, saw the bags of food and said, “I get one of those bags,” Bramlette said. “It broke my heart and steeled my resolve to make sure we didn’t let any of these kids go hungry and make sure this program continues.” Bramlette says BackPack helps kids feel normal.

BackPack by the numbers Total School Districts served: 21 Total Schools: 83 Total Head Start programs: 22 Projected Students each week: 3,607

Butler County: Total school districts: 8 Total schools: 44 Head Start programs: 18 Projected students each week: 2,013

Darke County: Total school districts: 7 Total schools: 9 Head Start programs: 1 Projected students each week: 420

Miami County: Total school districts: 2 Total schools: 9 Head Start programs: 1 Projected students each week: 182

Warren County: Total school districts: 4 Total schools: 21 Head Start programs: 2 Projected students each week: 930

Many groups like General Electric Aviation (below left) are constant volunteers at our warehouse. BackPack is one of their favorite projects, knowing that it helps children like Shane and his mom Marilyn (below center). Miami University student groups also help with BackPack, such as this group (below right) that did volunteer work during Spring Break.


BackPack program draws support from many groups Z o m b i e s H e l p B a c k P a c k P r o g r a m Groups around the country have learned Zombie runs are a great way to draw a crowd and support charities. The Women’s Leadership Council of Butler County United Way decided a local Zombie 5K run and walk would be a fun way to spread the word about Shared Harvest Foodbank’s BackPack program, and raise money. United Way Resource Development Director Mitchell Willis said the October event raised just under $5,000. “Zombie runs in most areas are like flag football where the walkers and runners have flags and zombies try to capture flags to win prizes,” Willis explained. “We didn’t do that this first time, because we wanted to keep it simple.” Willis was pleased that close to 100 runners took part in the event, in

conjunction with Operation Pumpkin in downtown Hamilton in early October. “United Way nationally has a very strong focus on feeding the mind, so anything that has to do with early education is vitally important,” Willis explained. “The Zombie Run was a fun way for the Women’s Leadership Council to show its strong support for the BackPack program, since good nutrition is critical to childhood learning.” Shared Harvest board member Bryan Cooper got his employer, Woodforest National Bank, to serve as the lead sponsor of the event. Willis hopes to move the Zombie Run to Hamilton’s German Village next October, so the zombies can come out of the older homes in the neighborhood to make the event even more fun.

Nearly 100 runners or walkers (some dressed as Zombies) helped support Shared Harvest while participating in the first Zombie 5K in downtown Hamilton in October.

Chamber group uses “Caring for Kids” to support BackPack Members of the Chamber Alliance’s Leadership 21 class were impressed by what they learned when they visited Shared Harvest Foodbank. “We knew there were hungry people in our community, but we didn’t know the numbers and how challenging the situation is,” said Leadership 21 member Britt Scearce. Scearce and others were surprised to learn nearly 20% of the kids in the Lakota School District receive free or reduced price lunches. “A lot of people view Lakota as an affluent district, so you don’t think about there being that many kids in need,” he said.

Searce decided his group should do a class project on childhood hunger, so the members launched a 2-month fund raising campaign called “Caring for Kids.” “We know we can’t end childhood hunger, but if we can impact it in some way, that’s what we want to do,” Scearce said. “There shouldn’t be a situation where a child doesn’t have a sandwich or something to eat.” The campaign raised $6,500 for BackPack, Reach Out Lakota’s school supply project and The Faith Alliance summer meals program for kids. BackPack will receive $3,500 of the total.

Kroger offers 2nd holiday project Kroger stores allow shoppers to donate to Shared Harvest Foodbank through the Check Out Hunger campaign (Page 3). But the company is offering foodbanks even more help through a project called “Bringing Hope to the Table”. Kroger works with vendors like

Campbell’s Soup, ConAgra and General Mills to offer specific items to consumers to help raise money to fight hunger. Kroger will make a donation to Shared Harvest when the campaign ends. The company hopes to donate the equivalent of 30-million meals to foodbanks nationwide.




Memorials and Honorariums by our donors... In Memory: Of: Pauline & Paul Bonner Sr. By: Paul Bonner

Of: Pete Poulemanos By: Jean Poulemanos

Of: Birthday of Jeff Griss By: Richard & Mary Griss

Busken Bakery Classic Carrier Cloverleaf Cold Storage ConAgra Covenant Food Marketing Freestore Foodbank Frito-Lay Company General Mills Good Food Made Simple Heinz Hershey’s Hostess Interbake Foods LLC Interstate Warehousing J.M. Smucker Company Kellogg Company Kraft Biscuit Kraft Foods Market Day Meijer Distribution Center Mondelez Nabisco Norcon Ocean Spray Ohio Association of Foodbanks Ohio Department of Education Ohio Deptartment of Job & Family Services Pepperidge Farm,Inc. Phil Craig Quaker-Tropicana-Gatorade Schwanns Food Service Second Harvest Foodbank of Clark, Logan & Champaign Service Trucking Southeast Missouri Food Bank Sugar Creek Packaging Tipp Top Canning United States Department of Agriculture Vendors Supply of Ohio Victory Wholesale Grocers

Of: Mildred Sergent By: John & Mary Hoffman

Food Drives:

Of: Tony Rogers By: Anthony & Sandra Rogers

Of: Dennis Suman By: Joy Brown & Grandchildren Savannah, Shely & Nicolas

Of: Ron “Murph” Murphy By: Thomas & Mary Shannon

Of: Doreen Clarke By: Angela Clarke & Michael Sheehan

Of: Tom Stallman By: Judy Stallman

Of: Helen Palmer Clarke By: Angela Clarke & Michael Sheehan

Of: Jackie Stubenvoll By: Walter Stubenvoll

Of: Wally Mayer By: Anthony Cole

Of: Dorothy Zettler By: Dr. Richard Zettler

Of: George Conrad, father & husband By: Charles & Doris Conrad

In Honor:

Of: Jo Ann Coombs By: William Coombs Of: Marjorie Jean Gordon By: Danny & Constance Danford

Of: Elizabeth Sacco By: Anonymous Of: Joan Corbin By: R.P. & Patsy Ann Biederman

Of: Grace Fitton By: Vaden Fitton

Of: Amy Rux for well deserved promotion By: Rose Brune

Of: Shirley Drees By: Eugene & Delores Foley

Of: Doug Ross By: Crum & Wilson Farms

Of: Greg Franchini By: Gregory Franchini

Of: Lisa Dunlap By: Kris Ector & Karen Rodriguez

Of: James & Nora McNally By: Vincente & Maureen Gallardo Of: Tom Geiger By: Louis & Cheryl Geiger Of: Ken Schoettmer By: Todd & Skip Groeber, Mike Pucke Of: Phyllis Turpell By: Michael & Alison Holland Of: Grace Ciavarella By: Steven Isgro

Of: Our dear veterans By: Virginia Elam Of: Birthdays of Dennis & Nancy Taylor By: Vincente & Maureen Gallardo

Of: Alice Tarvin By: Abe & Shirley Johnson

Of: John Sunderhaus By: Susan Marvin

Of: Mary Knollman By: Leonard Knollman

Of: Ed Allen By: Robert & Elizabeth Meiner

Of: Thanksgiving By: Darlene Onyett

Of: Charles R. Neeley Sr. By: Charles & Marlene Neeley

Of: Helen M. Palmer By: Donna Jeanne Seiple

Of: George Onyett By: Darlene Onyett

Food Donors:

Of: Harry & Landon Otto By: Harry & Dorothy Otto

Abbott Nutrition Aero Fulfillment Services Anonymous Barilla America

AK Steel-Super Bowl Drive Atos IT Solutions Australian Sands Tanning Resort Beiersdorf Inc Bethany United Methodist Church Bob Bundy Brookdale Senior Living Butler County Educational Services Center Food Drive Butler County RTA Butler County Success: Fairwood School Carmax Catalina Check-N-Go Children R Our Future Daycare Clincial Specialists Community-First

CSL Plasma Dave Williams Dayspings Montessori Emerald Performance Materials Express Scripts First Financial Year Round Food Drive G.E. Aviations Graphel Carbon Products Hamilton City Schools “Fill that Bus” Hi-Tek Humana Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints Kroger Tri- County Admin. Office Lane Libraries Liberty Mutual Macy Inc. Miami University Hamilton Miami/UC Football Game Middletown Music Club Molar-Pickens Beauty Academy NALC “Stamp Out Hunger” Northrup Grumman ORS-NASCO Pacific Industries USA Pole Zero Remington Place Apartments Renner- Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty Rez Center Richard Allen Academy Hamilton S.A.N.E. Schaefer Seimens Showcase Springdale 18 Society for Creative Anachronism: Miami University St. Aloysius Cambridge School St. Peter in Chains Talawanda Middle School Thyssen Krupp Bilstein of America United Metal Performance Verizon The Cellular Connection Wildwood Apartments Wildwood Pub

Retail Food Rescue: Aldi’s Main Street Markets Meijer Stores Target The Kroger Company Walmart

Our thanks to Woodforest Bank... Woodforest National Bank and its Woodforest Charitable Foundation made a donation of $1,450 to Shared Harvest Foodbank to fight hunger in local communities. Pictured at left are Woodforest National Bank Retail Divisional Manager Michael White; Director of Community Development Boyd Nelson; Charitable Foundation Executiive Director Kim Marling; Shared Harvest Executive Director Tina Osso; Retail Regional Manager Renee Hall and Retail Branch Manager and Shared Harvest Board Member Bryan Cooper.

Holiday movies help Shared Harvest Foodbank Staff Gloria Bateman

SNAP Outreach

Dylan Bostwick

Driver/Warehouse Associate

Holli Curry

CSFP Administrator

Kathy Dart

SNAP Outreach

Nick Davidson

Direct Services Associate

Rick Devine

Operations Manager

Nate Hoskins

Warehouse Manager

Debbie Houston

Food Production

Bob Long

Communication Specialist

Jack Mairn

Food Procurement Specialist

Sarah Ormbrek

Agency Relations Director

Tina Osso

Executive Director

Benjamin Powers

Community Engagement Director

Darrell Sandlin

Chief Operating Officer

Mike Stamper

Retail Pickup

Mike Williams


If you enjoy holiday movie classics, Showcase Cinemas has a deal that’s hard to turn down. The Showcase Springdale 18 Cinema Delux is supporting Shared Harvest Foodbank again this holiday season by offering you free admission to a classic movie with the donation of one non-perishable food item per person. Showcase has been showing its Holiday Classics on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. on four

consecutive Saturdays through December 20. The movies offered include White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life. The movie promotion is just another example of one of the many Holiday Aid projects carried out by businesses, schools, civic organizations, churches and many others to support Shared Harvest during the Thanksgiving to Christmas holiday season.

www.sharedharvest.org 800-352-3663 Hunger is not a choice. Giving is.

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