The Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties has raised about $120,000 over the past several weeks after announcing a plan to become a locally-operated non-profit, according to official from the agency.
The organization provides food for as many as 32,000 people in the region each year, including servicing about 1,100 senior citizens each month, said Tyra Jackson, CEO of the food bank. But local officials have been working to develop a new model because it would give the local entity more flexibility and autonomy.
Staff and a group of board members are working on a plan to develop a non-profit called the Ohio Tri-County Food Alliance in a process expected to take place over approximately 15 months. So far, organizers have raised more than $120,000 since the beginning of October through a combination of small donations, fundraisers and assistance from businesses and other entities, Jackson said.
The entity’s new board has established a fund with the Springfield Foundation allowing donors to make tax-deductible contributions.
“Donors know and understand the dollars are being used here locally,” Jackson said.
She said the organization still needs to collect between $40,000 and $50,000 before the end of the year, but she said she’s confident that goal is attainable. The food bank hosted a dessert auction earlier this month and raised about $10,000 in about two hours, she said.
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The organization will also need to collect approximately $200,000 more over the next year in order to meet its goal.
Having a local board run the food bank will provide some benefits, including the flexibility to develop new programs and try new ways to serve area residents, Jackson said. One of the benefits, she said, is it will also ideally lead to more participation from area residents because it will be locally operated.
Jackson noted the food bank recently distributed Thanksgiving dinners to more than 400 area families.
“Without our community support we wouldn’t be able to do that,” Jackson said.
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Second Harvest runs several programs in order to provide food for local residents. That includes an on-site pantry at the Second Harvest office at 701 E. Columbia St. and close to 20 mobile food pantries to provide better access to residents throughout the region. The agency also has a program geared to provide nutrition to children in the three counties.
The organization is also developing an independent advisory board made up of local business and government officials to guide the new nonprofit.
Board members include:
•Maureen Massaro, executive director of the Wilson Sheehan Foundation to serve as president
• Patrick Field, president of Wallace and Turner Insurance to serve as vice president
• Brandy Phipps, a professor at Clark State Community College to serve as secretary
• Dulce Hurst, finance manager at Speedway
• Craig Marker, safety director at Thomas and Marker Construction
• Ross McGregor, executive vice president at Pentaflex
• Antiogone Petroff, administration at the Kreider/Champions Companies
• Nancy Cavanaugh, director of tax at Bundy Baking Solutions
• Nettie-Carter Smith, court administrator at Clark County Juvenile Court