You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Kettering schools administrator dies after crash

Food relief campaign begins today

The Springfield News-Sun in collaboration with Second Harvest and Catholic Charities kicks its annual food relief campaign today.


A cut to food stamp benefits that went into effect this month has the Second Harvest Food Bank steeling itself for a surge in demand.

“This winter is going to be very challenging,” said Keith Williamson, executive director of the local food bank serving Clark, Champaign and Logan counties.

Today, the Springfield News-Sun kicks off its annual food relief campaign in collaboration with Second Harvest and Catholic Charities at a time when 1 in 7 Americans already receives food stamps.

Through Jan. 1, Williamson would like to raise between $30,000 and $35,000 to feed local residents in need.

In what can only be described as a sign of the times, 75 percent of those families in need have jobs.

“They’re working,” Williamson said, “they just can’t get by.”

An envelope is included in your paper today to make it easier to donate.

“Through our stories, we know that hunger is a real problem in Springfield and throughout the area,” said Ben McLaughlin, editor of the Springfield News-Sun. “This effort is a great way to stretch your donation and feed the most local people possible.”

With the food bank’s buying power, every $1 donated can purchase four complete meals, Williamson said.

“Monetary donations go much farther than a product donation,” he said.

With “food insecurity,” or a person’s inability to find enough food, stuck at 2008 levels — the highest-recorded level since national monitoring began in 1995 — there’s never a wrong time to help the food bank help others.

But, this year’s campaign comes at a time when more than 47 million Americans are seeing their food stamp benefits reduced, and with Congress eyeing additional cuts to the nearly $80 billion annual program.

Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, had benefited from a temporary boost in benefits after the 2009 passage of the stimulus bill, which increased the maximum SNAP benefit by 13.6 percent. That boost expired on Nov. 1, reverting food stamp benefits back to pre-stimulus amounts.

A family of four will now receive $36 less each month.

According to the New York Times, the reduced funding represents the largest wholesale cut to the program since the passage of the Food Stamps Act in 1964.

Williamson said that people on food stamps will likely be able to get by the rest of November.

But, come December and January, “We expect it to start snowballing,” he said.

Second Harvest already is accommodating more people than it ever thought possible.

“It’s been overwhelming for a couple of years,” Williamson said. “I’m not seeing where the end is going to be.”

In 2012, the local food bank distributed more than 4.1 million pounds of food to the pantries it serves. This year, however, they’ll surpass 5 million pounds, Williamson said.

By Nov. 1, Second Harvest already had distributed more than 4.6 million pounds of food this year, he said.

Part of it is need, he said, and part of it is because Second Harvest had more food than usual to give out this past summer after Gov. John Kasich in May signed an executive order providing $1 million to the state’s 12 food banks. Second Harvest received $76,000, Williamson said.

The local food bank also is about to open a new, $156,000 cooler that will be able to hold 84 pallets of food compared to the old cooler’s capacity of 16 pallets.

The cooler is needed, Williamson said, because the food bank’s product offerings have shifted from shelf-stable items to more fresh produce and meats.

The giant new cooler no doubt will soon be put to the test.

Each day, 15 to 20 families have to be turned away at Second Harvest’s own pantry alone on East Columbia Street, Williamson said.

“It’s becoming the new reality,” he said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Madame Tussauds in London unveils Trump wax figure
Madame Tussauds in London unveils Trump wax figure

Other Madame Tussauds locations also have Trump wax figures on display, including Washington, D.C., Orlando and New York, according to The Telegraph.
Ohio mourns loss of Colo, world’s oldest gorilla in captivity
Ohio mourns loss of Colo, world’s oldest gorilla in captivity

Remembrances and condolences have poured into the Columbus Zoo for Colo, the world’s first gorilla born in captivity and oldest known living gorilla in the U.S. who died this week. Colo’s passing comes less than a month after her 60th birthday. During Colo’s birthday celebration last month, hundreds of people filed into the Columbus...
94-year-old woman graduates college with honors
94-year-old woman graduates college with honors

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report. A 94-year-old woman got a big surprise after earning her bachelor's degree online with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Amy Craton, of Honolulu, has been keeping herself busy by taking online classes at Southern New Hampshire University. Now, Craton is one of the oldest graduates to earn a bachelor's degree in the...
Memphis Belle to go on display at Air Force Museum in 2018
Memphis Belle to go on display at Air Force Museum in 2018

The Memphis Belle, one of the legendary American aircraft of World War II, will be put on public display at the main complex next year after more than a decade of restoration at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, officials said Wednesday. The historic Army Air Forces B-17F bomber will be unveiled May 17, 2018, the 75th anniversary...
Why pit bulls have a bad reputation
Why pit bulls have a bad reputation

You may have heard bad things about pit bulls. More than 700 cities across the country have placed bans on the breed. Stories of attacks, bad behavior and strong bites have made people fear the once-beloved breed.  Experts say the culture of dog fighting has contributed to the pit bull's bad reputation. The dogs are often conditioned ...
More Stories